By Sharonne Cohen,
Wonder Source Health & Life Coach
A year into our collective and personal COVID-19 reality, I wanted to share a few reflections about what this experience might teach us, what positive “side-effects” it might have for us.
Last March, as the world withdrew, and it became apparent that COVID was here to stay for a while, I made a conscious decision to do things differently. Instead of brushing my uneasy thoughts and feelings aside, and “focusing on the positive” – my old way of coping with difficulty – I decided to take the opportunity to really check in with myself (How? More about that next time), to notice my experience and give it the space to be. I let the discomfort percolate, so that it could transform.
As I observed myself, I noticed a “low-grade” tension, my anxiety around going outside, and my extreme discomfort with the mask, obstructing not only my natural breath, but people’s faces. I noticed how tense I became before leaving the house, and as I scrubbed down my grocery items. I noticed fearing how this would impact my practice, and my ability to support my clients and community. I noticed how much I missed human contact, and how frustrated I was that the freedom to move around as I wished, when I wished, was taken away.
In my practice, and out in the world, I encountered similar fears and anxieties: concerns about leaving the safety of home; the dread of catching it outside, of seeing other people and being exposed; fear of doing the most mundane things, like going to the post office; fear of being alone, of losing control; fear of death, and of the unknown. I also encountered much loneliness and feelings of isolation. A lot of grief over lost opportunities, lost income, a lost sense of connection with friends and family, the loss of potential, of new budding love… In Chinese medicine, the state of our emotions has very real physical consequences, and that was my experience: these emotions usually came with corresponding physical symptoms.
It slowly became apparent that those who came to see me with the expressed intention of trying to ease their COVID–related unease, often found that underneath lay something entirely different… Unresolved grief over the need to release a relationship that wasn’t working, or to find the courage to let go; wanting to connect and grow in an existing relationship; being unfulfilled at work, and knowing there is something more, a greater purpose; wanting to finally make lifestyle changes, to feel good in one’s body. As we were forced to become still, COVID allowed all of this to surface.
What's in it for Us?
A year later, the end is not yet in sight… How can we use this as an opportunity to acknowledge and release whatever we carried inside even before Covid?
Take a moment to reflect:
What has COVID unearthed in you? What kind of fears? Yearnings? Grief? Frustration? Anger? Sadness? Physical pain?
Have you allowed yourself to really feel these feelings, to appreciate the seed of the gift they hold? What is this gift for you?
How can this be a moment in your life, even through dark days, when the clouds in your own personal world part, and blue skies appear, and sunshine? What might that look like for you? What might it feel like?
If there is a tightness or pain within you, or an uneasiness you can’t quite put into words and this resonates with you, I invite you to try this:
Give yourself a few uninterrupted moments
Sit in a quiet space
Close your eyes
Take a few deep breaths, deep into your belly
Tune into your heart
Let these questions circulate
And see what comes to the surface...
Sharonne Cohen is a Health and Life Coach on Wonder Source. She helps her clients get back in touch with their joy, vitality and well-being! Click here if you'd like to learn more or book a session with her.