Last night I stayed up till 2 am reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching. This is a surefire sign that I am feeling panicky. Inherently I’m fine. Inherently I feel safe, secure, healthy, faithful in the ability of the world and those close to me to take care of themselves and each other, figure things out and grow.
Body and monkey mind beg to differ.
Body: Heart pound! Sweat! Don’t catch your breath! Back pain! Doom!
Mind: Yeah, doom! Totally! Doom and dismay! Panic! Totally!
Body: Yeah, panic! Awesome!
It can be a challenge to focus on the good stuff when we revel so much in bad. Man do we dig drama. (And toilet paper.)
The truth is that there is a lot of unknown. Unknown is scary. Unknown means we don’t know what’s next. When we don’t know what’s next the stock market tanks, we run out of vitamin c (and toilet paper), money streams slow to a trickle, bla bla bla.
Look, on the one hand I can look at this as a beautiful opportunity to reset, re-balance, create, spend time with my honey. I’m fortunate to be able to do this.
On the other hand, a lot of people I love depend on work that demands social closeness and that ain’t happening right now.
In the face of the unknown, here is what I do know:
I know humans are incredibly resilient. I know it feels good to think about the good of others and act accordingly. I know I love my dogs and my family. I know I’m having a good time thinking up new favorite songs to sing while washing my hands (update: “Sweet Caroline” is really fun, takes a while, and as a bonus it’s kind of ironic because it’s all about touching people).
I know it’s a good time to be kind, to remember that life is short no matter what, and we’re all in it together always.
Feel your feet in the grass. Doodle some hearts. Call somebody and tell them that you love them. Watch “I Love You Man”. Or the Food Network. Or whatever. Bake some cookies and listen to YoYo Ma play Bach on cello and weep. Whatever you need.
I’m here too. And I’ve got toilet paper if you need it.