Move your mind, Move your body, Move your soul.
I am mad right now.
My company's leaders are not trying to piss me off. They are trying to be inspirational and motivational for their employees. But it's not working.
The idea is for us to see our Executive Leadership team in their "quarantine" situations. I see them in places like this:
Spotless, beachside locations. Serene, beautiful. A place of ease and relaxation. This particular home has a room for grandkids that haven't been born yet. (Did I mention that my kids share a room?) Video after video reeks of wealth and a disconnect from how 'real' people are living.
Our dining room table has always doubled as my "desk" since I have worked from home for the last 5 years. Now, my desk also quadruples as the art station, school work station, gathering station, etc.
One of my co-workers admitted that she is doing her work from her bed. It's the only room in her house with a door. And she is trying to get work done while her kids are separated from her. Yikes.
Now, I don't live in squalor. I am incredibly fortunate and I know it. I am a white collar worker, too. My husband is blue collar. He is a builder/woodworker/artist. And as a "solo-preneur" this means that he doesn't have access to unemployment benefits during this time. He has never been afforded health benefits, he doesn't ever have sick days, if he's injured he's s.o.l.
We have survived difficult times before. In 2008, our kids were 1, 2, and 5 years old. When Aaron couldn't work that time around, he stayed home with the kids and I continued my work in healthcare administration. We just barely squeaked by.
This time around, we are in a better place financially, for sure. We have a lot of amenities we didn't have in 2008. Like internet, a full tank of oil, a savings account. Our kids are in their teens now and don't need the kind of hands-on attention they needed more than a decade ago.
But there are people in my company (who are seeing these videos) who make $11/hour. People who were told before the COVID-19 situation truly "hit" that they wouldn't see their cost of living increase until July because we didn't achieve our financial goals last year (even though the ELT got their 6 figure bonuses). People who have kids at home, vying for their attention. People who can't escape to the country. People who don't have that luxury. People who might be worried about a partner who is out of work, for aging parents, for all the "normal stuff". People who are watching our leaders in their second homes, taking a break from the conference travel circuit.
Ouch, Anne. DAMN. I have just re-read what I've written. I had to get it out. And now I have a question for myself: What does this judgment say about me and what is it that I want?
Is being rich a slap in the face to others? Can they help it that they live in self-proclaimed "pink palaces"? I suppose I simply want room for the admittance of the white privilege that is oozing from these videos. Some semblance of sensitivity for the people who are having a different experience. The fact is, I will likely NOT be asked to share a video of my own quarantined reality. I will not receive the external accolades nor the affirmations that I am doing an ok job coping in the way that I am coping. And so I need to offer it to myself.
I am doing the best that I can in my tiny house with too few bedrooms. I am taking it easy on my kids who are not doing all of the online learning that is assigned to them. I am taking it easy on myself in my work. I am doing what I can. I am checking in with myself and working with the flow of my energy. Some moments I am on fire. Others, I need a midday rest. And I do it. I respond to what I need.
I am also using my privilege to support others. I am buying gift cards for services and locations that I frequent. I am writing and posting. I am reminding people that they can do hard things. That it's ok to feel all the feelings that we feel during this. I am reminding myself that it. is. a. practice. You got this.
There's a whole lotta shaming going on out there. About how people are parenting, hoarding TP, exercising (or not), eating carbs, making jokes, not staying home, etc.
The fact is, we are all dealing in our own ways with this moment in time. What works for me doesn't necessarily work for my kids. Or my husband. Or for you. We are all dealing with things differently. And that's ok.
People are people. Some of us don't like to be told what to do. Some of us want to be told what to do. Many are experiencing fear. Here's how fear can show up:
Maybe you see yourself on this list? Or members of your family. So when you notice these behaviors it can be helpful to realize the feelings underneath. And to connect with those. The truth is, we all feel fear to some extent or the other. My hubby is probably out of work for a while. While I love spending more time with him during the day and I logically "know" that we are going to be ok, I still feel a little nervous about it from time to time.
So I check in - am I ok right now? Yes. I have sooo many amazing gratitudes at this moment in my life. What do I need right now? On this particular day, I needed a walk. I needed fresh air and nothing but the wind in my ears.
So I did. I went for a walk and here I am in the car before coming back home. See the backseat? No one wanted to come with me. And that's ok.
I counted my steps and synced with my breath. It felt good. What do you need right now? Go do it.
#Truthbomb? I don't watch the news. At the end of each day, I ask my hubby what I need to know. I have "alerts" on healthcare so that I can "do my job" effectively in the field of healthcare programs aimed at improved the quality of healthcare.
Well, in the event of Covid-19, it's pretty hard to avoid the news these days. And at some moments, I feel inundated with the overwhelm, the fear, the lack of TP.
For the last 2+ years, I have created a daily practice of gratituding. I list out five things for which I am truly thankful. I focus on the thanks as the beginning of my day.
And since I am unabashedly glass-is-half-full, I will express to you my gratitudes as arrived this morning- because even social isolation/quarantining/illness has silver linings.
1. I am so thankful that my kids are not in school. 2 of my 3 kids really struggle with the mainstream schooling environment. In many ways, I have been trying to figure/plan and design them out of school for at least a year. Now I get to hang out with them, teach them life lessons, and spend more time in their awesome presence. (Honestly)
2. I am so incredibly grateful that my job is remote. I can do my job from literally anywhere and I get paid. (amazeballs)
3. I love divine timing of receiving money at the same time that I needed to purchase a home computer in order that my kids can actually participate in online learning. I am so thankful that I am able to offer this to my kids. (thank you, Universe!)
4. I am so thankful that a good friend who relies on 4-walls income has paid off her living situation so that her stress can be eased as she is unable to work right now.
5. My lovey honey brought me coffee in bed (as he does every morning) and we were able to laze around and really connect without the rush of "getting ready". i sincerely enjoy time with him.
Things that I didn't mention but are also in my mind - I was able to be outside, I am close to water (my favorite), the temps are above freezing, my home is warm, my fridge is full, my friends are communicating, my pile of books is available. I am so incredibly privileged and I know it. I am able to help and offering space to do so. What are you thankful for today?
It has been more than a month since my last post. I have been writing, but not here. I have been focused on a writing "project" and that has felt good and productive.
Today, though, I am back.
Perhaps it is the full moon energy - the call to release that brings me back to this page.
The grief I am feeling today - and that I have been feeling in waves for the last year - is the grief of the loss of my physical voice. My voice is not (currently) gone completely. It is gravelly, hesitant, sometimes doubled (like blurred vision for the vocal cords).
I have gone to specialists (all claims denied, BTW - another story) and been 'scoped. No answers. I have been put on medications and I have stopped taking said medications. I've been told it's not a tumor. Not my thyroid. But what is it?
My work is predominantly over the phone. And my voice embarrasses me when I speak. I seemingly have no control over the sounds that will emerge. They can be squeaky, gritty, and almost-fine all in the same sentence. I've tried humming, throat chakra cleansing, drinking tea, spoonfuls of honey, cough drops, clearing my throat, singing lying down. Singing, actually sounds pretty good. But it's weird to sing your words all the time.
So I have been avoiding talking. I don't speak up during meetings, workshops, or events because I don't like hearing myself. And too much talking hurts my throat. And that is profoundly sad. The voice in my head still sounds like me. My words on the page - still me.
What am I not giving voice to? Am I energetically strangling myself? I have asked myself these questions. What can I do that I'm not doing?
What is the lesson? What does being voiceless teach me about how I show up in my life? If communication is only 5% verbal, how do I tap into that other 95% in ways that make the world a better place. How do I add value without a physical voice?
Over the weekend I went to a workshop with the incredibly talented Maryann Russell. Her reminder for us was to sit in our heart space - in the feels zone. Stop thinking and simply sit with the emotions. Then respond from that seat. So today I let the lump in my throat escape through tears. I cried and cried. I let it happen. I breathed through it. I recognized the struggle in myself and held me in compassion.
There is nothing more to this story for me today other than that I faced it. I faced the sadness and it didn't swallow me up.
You gotta feel it to heal it.