I think we can all agree that these are crazy times! Being stuck in our homes trying to make the best of this quarantine and stress from the Coronavirus as we watch our loved ones die around us, seeing how our frontline workers are suffering as they work tirelessly to help care for the sick and dying, scared to go out into the world as we are still learning how this virus spreads. I wonder how are we going to get through this? Then I witness magic! Magic happening everywhere and all around me! Beautiful, talented humans coming together to reach out to everyone who will listen to help us get through these tough times by performing various live free music concerts on television! Artists performing their comedy acts on stage and bringing it to the screen so we can all share some laughs for a small fee that goes towards funding PPE equipment for our frontline workers! Art museums around the world, opening up their displays to the public for free! Various everyday beautiful humans are reaching out to their Facebook community by reading poetry to anyone who wants to listen, orchestra conductors sharing their music performances, people sharing their videos of them dancing to make us laugh, people reading excerpts from their favorite books all to inspire us and to let us know this is but temporary. Life and love and laughter live on and reaching out to others, by being part of a community however large or small it is, we can create and share moments that make us forget about the virus and this is what creates magic. We are only human, but we are capable of creating something bigger than ourselves. Magic is all around us and it is because beautiful humans are there to create it and share it. I feel the love and I feel the magic in the air!
Sharing an emotional connection with all living animals is something I am reflecting on this morning as I listened to yet another Meditate Story podcast, this one entitled, #32. Loving Our Living World, by Carl Safina. With my little Belle by my side as I start to meditate, she brushes her soft kitty whiskers on my hand and licks it to remind me that she’s here for me. She proceeds to rub her forehead into the palm of my hand. A big full body stretch and yawn is followed by tucking in her tiny white chin, her plump fluffy belly, her shiny black tail and her tiny little paws in order to get comfortable, preparing for her daily cat nap. This predictable ritual makes me laugh out loud! As I laugh, she looks up at me and then falls back down into a deep slumber. Eventually I see what appears to be a smile on her face as she starts to purr softly, cuddling close by my side. Usually, Belle’s sister, Izzy, is the one who cuddles with me during meditation, but today, Belle wanted to see what this was all about. I think it’s more like sibling rivalry, but I’ll take what I can get.
As we both get settled in, I suddenly stop and think about studies continuing to develop on the human to cat transmission of this virus and then some slight panic starts to set in. What does this mean for our beloved pets? Why are other mammals not effected by the virus? A few tigers and lions were recently diagnosed with the Coronavirus from a Bronx zoo, but why are humans so easily infected and mammals not so much? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would be a total wreck if Izzy or Belle were infected! Of course, being an animal lover, I would be devastated if millions of other mammals were infected! But the one thing that helps keep me calm during this pandemic, is being able to curl up on the couch and feel my kitties’ “pure love”. I try not to think about it and continue to listen. “Stay focused, Julie!” I tell myself. Carl continues on to tell a story of how animals show us as what he refers to is “pure love”. He describes this love from an animal that doesn’t want anything from you in return except wanting to show you affection by being close to you. Showing their human companions that they truly love us unconditionally by sprawling out on our laps, our arms, our necks and even our faces to try to get as close to us as possible as they trustingly sleep turning their guard completely off, knowing we are there for them if they need us.
This “pure love” reminds me that we all need to love and be loved-humans and animals alike. No one wants to feel alone, especially during isolation as we quarantine ourselves from each other.
Do you see “pure love” displayed by your pets? How so? If so, please share a story or photo of how your pets help you cope through this stupid pandemic. I’m sure all of us could use a heart-warming pet story to cheer us up!
If you are interested in listening to Meditative Story Podcast#32 Loving Our Living World, by Carl Safina, go to:
“Through failure, we become more successful when we learn how to become more adaptable to the challenge before us”, says Forrest Galante.
He continues on….
“With each and every phase of our lives, we cultivate a unique skill set for being adaptable and being communicative and slowing down and being respectful and taking a breath. That allows us to see everything from a bigger picture and navigate what ever comes our way. This is how we are meant to evolve as humans. This is how we adapt.”
Now I know I’m not a professional wildlife biologist and adventurist with my own show on Animal Planet like Forrest Galante, but I can’t help but ask when I’m outside, surrounded in nature, “What is here to be known and enjoyed”? I am always noticing new plants, new habitats that animals have created, new foliage and sometimes new damage such as a whole or pipe or some kind of foreign object put there by us humans that disrupted a part of nature. But as I look closer, nature continues to adapt by growing lush new greenery surrounding the whole or the pipe or what ever damage there once was. After all, birds build nests on man made objects such as utility poles and basketball hoops. Who is to say we are not as adaptable as well as the nature that surrounds us?
This motivates me to get outside when I feel down or defeated by this depressing virus and just looking around, observing how nature adapts and works around its surroundings to keep on moving, is very inspiring to me.
How are you adapting? What inspires you to adapt through this unexpected life changing virus that effects all of us? If you are not finding ways to adapt, I challenge you to find one specific thing that motivates you to adapt to this change this week. What was the result? If you would like to share your ideas, please do so. I would love to hear about them and hopefully, we can all help others around us get through adapting to a world of unpredictability.
As I’m fighting anxiety and fear from this pandemic known as COVID-19 or Coronavirus through eating, drinking and baking(not successfully). I realize just how close our mind and body are connected. The more I fear, the more my body tenses up. The more anxious I feel, the more aches and pains I feel. The more I watch the news and get upset about all the politics behind it, the more nervous I get and can’t seem to sit down. If I’m feeling this way, I have to think there are others out there with the same thoughts and actions as myself, right?! At least I have to think that, otherwise, I’m just going crazy, which my husband reminds me is very possible.
So, here is my first attempt at doing my very small part in helping others to get through this together. Despite our differences and where we see ourselves on the other side of this pandemic, I hope we can all agree that we are all one in the universe. I listened to a podcast today that helped put these thoughts into context. I listened to Meditative Story, the one titled, “Our tiny meaningful lives in the vast universe”(March 21, 2020) with astronomer Michelle Thaller. She reminded us how vast the universe is and how tiny we are. The universe doesn’t care about our trivial worries or fears. It just moves on and continues to evolve through the death and rebirth of the stars. And this death and rebirth creates Earth and everything around us, including us as humans. It made me realize how I need to be flexible and move with the universe in good and bad times. To create a sense of awareness, but yet still trust in the universe to show it’s goodness. I know this is very difficult to do, but Michelle Thaller reminds us to give ourselves permission to be human. After all, we beat ourselves up, thinking we can control everything sometimes, but this episode in Meditative Story grounded me even if it’s only for a few minutes today. I hope you can find some grounding yourself and the flexibility to remove yourself from worry and fear, to realize we are not in control and to give into the universe. Otherwise, you might be baking up a storm, trying to fix your anxiety ridden sugar cravings like I did the other day, only to realize your chocolate chip cookies are adding to the frustrating weight gain and extra emotional baggage this virus is leaving us all with!
May you be happy
May you be well
May you be healthy
May you be free from suffering
May you stay away from the cookie jar!
If you are interested in listening to the podcast Meditative Story-Our tiny meaningful lives in the vast universe”(March 21, 2020) with astronomer Michelle Thaller, here is the link below: