By Shawn McAndrew
Fear and anxiety seem to have us in their grips these days with a pandemic, wars, the Dow Jones dropping like a boardwalk rollercoaster, the climate crisis, life, death. In the panic over the world-wide COVID-19 crisis, many people have responded from a place of fear and anxiety. It’s human nature. But we also have a Right Road choice – to respond from our true, authentic selves, our Spirit.
I’m receiving a lot of emails with suggestions on how to weather this storm, how to take care of myself, how to stay calm in the face of the unknown. I appreciate all the help people are offering, and I also have my Hoffman Process tools and practices. They serve me best, and are readily available at any time, in any place.
One practice that I seek to perform and experience every day is kindness. There are very simple ways to be kind – a simple smile and thank you to my neighbor out walking his dog as he switched over to the other side of the street to keep our social distance. Another neighbor texted to ask if I would like him to pick up groceries when he goes out (he’s much younger than me!). I heard about a grocery store employee who was wiping down each shopping cart as it was returned to be used by someone else.
Say please and thank you. It costs us nothing. My sister, who works in a large grocery store, told me that several customers had thanked her for being there. It meant a lot to her, it was a simple gesture, and it made her feel better. That is kindness.
Kindness Today Goes Both Ways
Kindness is also present in my friend who bought a large amount of paper products and groceries to have on hand so her elderly neighbors wouldn’t have to go to the store. Being mindful and kind go hand-in-hand. I keep my distance if I have to stand in a line. That is a kindness that goes both ways.
I reach out to my friends who are isolated in their homes, especially my older friends. I can’t get out and bring them anything, but it does help to abate some of the loneliness that this shelter-in-place has imposed on us.
Shelter In Grace
My friend Clara, who will turn 91 in August, sent me an email the other day. She said, “Shelter in Grace. God’s grace is sufficient for you. It is like a bank account opened in your name. You can make withdrawals at any time or any place.” I love this.
As we go through each day (hopefully getting closer to the end of this pandemic and upside-down world), be reminded that Hoffman has several teleclasses coming up, our local graduate communities are connecting via Zoom calls, there are tools check-ins on our Instagram page and outreach on our Facebook page, and other innovative, virtual ways to keep our graduate community connected.
Stay tuned in, keep your Spirit connected, and don’t let the dark side win this one. We are in this together. There is strength in numbers, even if we have to be virtual about it for now!