Life as we know it has changed, at least for the time being with Covid-19. Fear, sickness, grief, loss of employment, a change in lifestyle, and many other uncertainties plague our world. The more rumination and fear occurs, the more we find ourselves in a rabbit hole of discontent. In this time of uncertainty, the cultivation of fearlessness and compassion can pull us out of the rut and even put us in a better mental state then pre-pandemic. Our minds are always looking to create safety and as fast as we put it together, it falls apart. We are seeking our sense of wellbeing in the wrong place. These insights have the power to conquer uncertainty, no matter what is taking place in your life.
- Move into your suffering, not away from it. So much of what I witness is people trying to run away from their pain through cocktails, disassociation, and distraction. I say this as a form of observation, not judgment and I write this as a reminder to myself also. And, I remind myself that transcendence of suffering does not actually stick until we can move toward the turmoil. Moving into unpredictability, insecurity and pain, not pushing it away, is the process that helps us awaken from our fear. It is what helps us access our bruised heart, hold it with compassion and be present with what is. This is what offers real transcendence.
- Embrace uncertainty. As much or as little as we prepare, there is a peace in realizing we can’t actually know what is going to happen to us in the world. When we can accept this, we can stop trying to live through self-deception and reactivity when things do not go our way. We are afraid of losing the illusion that we are safe. Embracing uncertainty releases the quest for control, eternal comfort, and safety. Embracing uncertainty allows us the autonomy to relate to life in a direct way.
- Cultivate self-love and kindness. Everything you fear, hold it with compassion, love and kindness. Learn how to love yourself, learn how to be with yourself, learn how to respond to yourself with deep revere. Do not nurture cognitive distortions and ruminations. Train your mind to hold unconditional love for your self. With out this you cannot create it with others.
- Do no harm. Everyday decide to do no harm to self and others. The most harm we do is to ourselves is our own lack of honesty in the inability to look at the self with clarity. This ignorance combined with a lack of self-compassion fosters self harm and harm to others with judgment, aggression, ignorance and jealousy. Decide today and practice with gentle compassion when you mess up. You will, and then get back up and practice again.
- Be present. In everything you do, be there. There is only one moment, and that is right now. When I am ruminating on the past or anxiously thinking about the future, I am not available in the moment. Give the gift of present to yourself, your family, and your friends. Life will immensely improve.
- Be open. When things fall apart, so many times we quickly try to recalibrate and rebuild. We want our self-conception to return to stability fast. As an experiment, play with the opportunity to be open and inquire about what has occurred. When difficult emotions arise practice more self-compassion. Suffering is apart of the human experience. Be open to what the experience is to embrace the life that is actually occurring.
- Practice joy. Connect with inspiration and joy daily. Make it a practice. This is not something that just happens to you. Open your heart, relax into it, and feel feelings you’ve avoided for years. Recognize your safe behaviors that keep you in avoidance and stop doing them. Stop avoiding the pain that comes up so you can fully access the joy.
Want more details? Check out https://drnicolemcguffin.com for ways to regulate, integrate in heal in these uncertain times. See you there!