Uncertainty’s Uncomfortable Distractions
Has COVID-19 halted your New Year’s Resolutions’ momentum? Or have you defaulted to procrastination and forgetfulness?
The detours of 2020
“There’s a huge difference between surviving and thriving. Survive means to “continue to live or exist, especially despite danger or hardship.” Thrive means to “prosper, be fortunate or successful, to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.”
Survive mode is characterized by:
Choosing the path with the least resistance
Experiencing lack rather than abundanceReacting rather than responding
Complaining and blaming others for your circumstances
Feeling inauthentic and stuck
Fearing failure and viewing it as a sign that things are going wrong instead of seeing it as a necessary part of success.
— Dr. Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., RDN, CD, CPHWC
The global crisis forces us to slow down our fast pace. Although choices are limited when it comes to socializing and planning vacations, the last thing on most people’s minds is how to bring their resolutions to life. Uncertainty powerfully holds our minds and hearts hostage to fear instead of flow.
Our sense of security and comfort is compromised as we stampede through the door named Survival. Resolution-keeping activities are postponed, even deemed irrelevant as a threat of pandemic illness looms and economic downturn threatens.
The senseless murder of Mr. Floyd ignites a worldwide conversation. The racial protests coincide to staying-at-home and looking for freshly purposeful ways to engage with others. Fundamental changes are possible by attuning our hearts to acceptance and compassion.
We question our country’s survival as it is torn asunder by unresolved wounds. The multiple choices are to hide, ignore, or advocate for lasting action. Unfortunately, New Year’s resolution activities are scuttled and forgotten.
Our sense of reality has questioned our ability to survive in a country torn by a long-time wound called racism. The choices we face are to hide, ignore, or advocate for lasting action. Resolution-keeping activities are filed away in the “miscellaneous” folder with all of the other resolutions we have conjured up over the years but lost their mojo for some reason.
Defining leadership is not simple these days. Some of us abhor and struggle with the actions of global leaders while others admire and appreciate their leadership. Speculation swirls around how people will vote. Will we cast our ballots out of fear and separation or based on empathy and trust?
Resolution-promoting activities are lost in the debates over power and influence. Our resolutions are suspended due to these precarious times. We proceed in our daily lives, unsure of how to express our opinions to family and friends. We become emotionally disturbed just listening to a brief TV or online broadcast discussing current events.
That now brings us to July 2020, the half-way point to crossing over to a new and awaiting threshold into New Year 2021! Do our resolutions have a fighting chance? Can we bring our resolutions back into the light and into our imaginations? Absolutely.
Thrive mode is an experience described as PERMA by positive psychologist Martin Seligman:
- Positive emotions
- Engagement and flow
- Positive Relationships
Gary’s 2020 resolution: To be more grateful
In 2019 Gary experienced a series of losses: the ending of his 15-year marriage to Sophie, the death of his best friend, and his daughter’s move out of state. His heart and mind took months to recover from the loneliness, depression, and lack of belonging.
Determined to write a new life chapter, Gary made his resolution to become grateful for what he has, instead of focusing on what is missing. He attends a live workshop and coaching to stay accountable. He notices results: a feeling of ease, a softer heart, and renewed confidence to stay true to his commitments.
Several months later with the onset of COVID-19, Gary reverts to his familiar sadness and grief patterns. He is sensitive to taking on more loss. News of racial tensions heightens other feelings of overwhelm. He can’t even begin to think about the upcoming presidential elections. He fears coming to the brink.
Gary’s recent 2020 resolutions recede in importance and seem like a waste of time. New priorities are to stay healthy, keep pace with virus protocol updates, and meet changing job demands. Yet his heart doesn’t let him off the resolution hook.
After a few weeks of ignoring daily gratitude, Gary notices his negative shift. He doesn’t like it. He imagines that his gratitude efforts have evaporated into nothing. These are signs he is in survival mode, living day by day without fulfillment.
Gary’s turning point comes when he reaches out to other attendees of his Resolution Workshop at year’s beginning. They encourage him to return to his daily 30-minute gratitude focus. Gary realizes that his gratitude teachings bring him to this awareness: mere survival is not a life he wants for himself or those whom he loves and affects.
Gary starts to feel better. He walks in the park and rises early for sunrises. He finds the courage to clear the wreckage churning in his mind and heart. Gary appreciates that changing his behavior and mindset is not easy and requires conscious effort.
He notices a change in his thinking and increased self-confidence. He attends another Resolution Workshop to join others who want the Year 2020 to be remembered from a positive perspective.
By enjoying the little things like walking in the park and watching sunrises Gary starts to feel better. He finds the courage to clear the wreckages of his mind and heart. He is clear that changing both behavior and mindset is not easy but it certainly is worth the effort.
Within a short time, he notices a change in his thinking and grain in his self-confidence. He attends another resolution workshop to be around others who want 2020 to be remembered with less stress and more meaning.
Would you like a Happy Ending to your year?
Join me and Yoga Teacher Tiffany Barbarine for an outdoor workshop. Together with you, we will focus on thriving through 2020.
Light Up 2020 includes guided meditation, yoga, and sound bowls in a private setting. This event is selling out quickly. Reward yourself with this relaxing and refreshing experience to invigorate your commitment to a healthy and memorable 2020.LIGHT UP 2020