A recent post on my Facebook page has two women explaining how they’re getting through the stay-at-home order. One boasts that she is working to improve herself and the other declares that she’s eating carrot cake with her hands. I have to admit that during these past six weeks, I have been both of these women.
Initially, I could barely get off of the couch. I watched everything—I mean everything—about COVID-19. I felt as if I’d earned degrees in epidemiology, virology, and public health, all while getting my M.D. on the side. I’ve learned more about viruses than I ever cared to know and have become the resident pandemic expert.
In the beginning, even as a psychotherapist, my anxiety skyrocketed. I woke in a panic every morning and spent the day wondering: Did I touch my face? Will I or someone in my family be exposed? Will I remain financially solvent? The questions swirled in my head. Of course, there was no way to answer them and so, I went around and around on this never ending merry-go-round. I was crazed. Until one day, I made the decision that I was wasting this time given to me.
I decided that instead of spending these swaths of time wrapped in negativity, I would do something positive. I asked myself: What have I always wanted to do? And my answer was: Lower my blood pressure! So, that’s what I decided to do. Now, I spend every day working on my stress, which in turn lowers my hypertension, and I’m happy to share that I have been successful.
Transforming, however, has been a conscious, consistent choice. Having to stay in one place has been challenging. So often, I think of the ease of life before the virus. I dwell on recipes and miss not being able to go to the store and buy the ingredients. I think about the stores that I would visit and the leisure of simply browsing the aisles of clothing. I realize that I wasted time looking for things outside of myself to make me happy or distract me. I am not doing that anymore.
Instead of looking outward for fulfillment, I have started finding it within. You can call it higher self, God, Buddha, Christ Consciousness, whatever you like. I am reading, meditating, and listening to uplifting podcasts. For some time now, I have felt called to more quiet and reflection. Now, I am given the time to do it. This is all of the stuff that I wanted to do, and I can feel the transformation happening because of it.
What do you want to get from this time? This free—sometimes even boring—amount of time that you have right now?
The choice is yours. You can eat carrot cake with your hands and you can also use this time to make the changes that you’ve always wanted to make. Both ways of dealing with this time are acceptable; there is no judgement here!
If, however, you’re like me and you started off in a spiral of anxiety, fear, and frosting smeared fingers, but you can feel the transformation coming…
If you know in your bones that something different—at least for this moment—is calling for you, here are five tips for transformation.
Five Tips for Transformation
Decide what you want to work on— Be specific. Our brains like specificity. If you’re all over the place with what you want to work on, your brain won’t know what direction to go in. Write every change you’ve ever wanted to make on a piece of paper. No matter how wild the idea, write it down. Pick the one that jumps out at you. If you want to lose weight, write the weight that you’re working towards. Want to learn a new language? Write it down.
Hash it out—Change is difficult. You need to have a strategy. Begin by writing your strategy out once. Then, write it a few times to refine the way you are going to bring about the change. Remember that change is a process and nothing worthwhile happens all at one time.
Get grounded—Everything has a starting point and that starting point is you. Spend some time writing, reflecting, and meditating on what you want to manifest.
Silence—Still your mind and quiet your soul. Spend some time in silence. It’s in silence that you can hear the Divine—your higher self. Ask for guidance and patience to make this inner and outer change.
Do it—After you think about what you want, do it. You may need help and you can easily find that in books, YouTube, or a mentor. When you’ve made the commitment to something and have even a smidgen of tenacity, miracles can happen. Make today the day for a miracle or two.
What’s calling for you, my friend?