May 15, 2020
Daily Habits! As we move forward during the Coronapocolypse, as I now understand it to be called… I try to even remember what day it is. And I am called to consider my habits.
The first night of the shelter in place order in the San Francisco Bay Area, I heard of people going outside to sing at 7:00 p.m. So I went out on my porch; alone, and sang the strains of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”. The only audience I had was the cat across the street. And the whole experience felt frivolous and made me feel lonelier.
After the first two days of the shelter in place, I realized I had consumed a half gallon of Butterfinger Ice Cream and 2 bottles of wine. I knew I truly needed to make some plan for my daily existence.
As I have learned walking with people at end of life; it is a personal journey… always. So in this time of living… when it seems like so much is ending; I knew I needed to make some changes. For me, I knew that drinking and eating through my fears and anxiety would not serve me. So I had an opportunity to take a mindful nutrition class, and somehow that has grown into many opportunities for me to look at patterns of eating and living. Both needed some find tuning.
I am in day 60 of the San Francisco Bay Area Shelter in Place order. I am in day 54 of my Mindful Nutrition journey. This journey has led me to remove more and more processed foods as I replace them with whole foods…many plant-based. The changes are providing more clarity and more energy, despite much depression.
Tonight a dear friend and colleague, whom I shared the experience of being a Chaplain Resident at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics, called me via FaceTime. He shared his isolation and depression, and I shared mine. We compared experiences and coping strategies. Ironically we both have fallen into mindful eating and lifestyle changes. And interesting we are both alone at this time, and both shared how we hear people in our neighborhoods gathering, and how much lonelier that makes our existence.
Thus why he called this night. And I was grateful! And I believe he was too.
I understand my privilege and am grateful for a home to stay safe within; albeit in isolation. I honor all the ways people are coping at this time, regardless of circumstances or resources. I have grave concerns for our world. This is a difficult time for all. And as I’ve said before; even more difficult for those with less resources.
With my rose colored glasses; I continue to work with myself toward what I have control over. And trusting that makes me stronger to offer my gifts to the greater good. I found the Daily Habits that I post here at the beginning of the reality of the Pandemic. Here is that list with where I’m at in parenthesis, on each of the 10 steps:
Daily habits that will change your life:
1 - hour exercise - (Room for improvement. Gardening but not so motivated for much more.)
2 - liters of water - (Drinking at least 100 ounces of water per day… more than the 68ish ounces of 2 liters! Yay!)
3 - cups of tea - (Drinking 1-2 cups of tea… with so much water.. not much room for much more liquids.)
4 - colors on the plate - (I am eating the rainbow and my plates are pretty… and give me more energy.)
5 - minutes of meditation - (Taking multiple opportunities in Zoom groups or individually to have several times of meditation and prayer throughout my day.)
6 - songs that motivate you - (Turning into calming music and music meant for movement each day.)
7 - minutes of laughter - (If I’ve learned anything in life, it is how to find the humor and laughter in the midst of it all.)
8 - hours of sleep - (Finding this very important and also to add a nap.)
9 - pages of a book - (With my studies, I am at no loss for pages to read. Working toward a balance of studious reading and fun reading.)
10 - reasons to be thankful - (I am grateful for a deep well within my soul that always allows me to find the gratitude. So blessed.)
I charge those reading this, this night, to consider daily habits… what can be left behind; what is; what can be added. There is an opportunity for a turn toward that which will serve each of us better… individually… so that we may collectively be a better community.
So my prayer:
Please grant us, human beings, some way to embrace the daily habits that feed us; and our journey.
May all find the strength and power and meaning at this time.
To live fully: embracing the fear, celebrating the blessings.
May all be well, May all be safe, May all be sustained by hope.
May it be so…