Building community in a changing world

April 22, 2021

Be Aware of Your Growth During the Pandemic

So let me start by being embarrassed. I pulled these pearls of wisdom from a Jonathan Foust dharma talk a while ago – but I forgot which one! Anyway, Jonathan talked about the notion of post-traumatic growth. To find the resiliency inside and resist the urge to get over your pandemic trauma without taking in the lessons learned. Don’t just simply move on. Be that trapeze artist and sit with the trauma. Give yourself permission to grieve. Let it get big. Really big.

This is an analog of the idea that it isn’t wise to suppress anger, that’s what makes people sick. Emotions are energy waves. So take this experience – which likely is not a “happy place” – and allow it to be transformative. That is if you’re tired of own story. Use this as an opportunity to break the habit of being yourself.

So following up on this blog, here are five lessons I’ve learned from the pandemic that I am striving to keep in my life:

1. Walking the neighborhood – I’ve always walked the neighborhood since we have a dog. But during the pandemic, I really walked the neighborhood. I now appreciate the beauty of waving to strangers much more. Of just being outside.

2. Being with like-minded people – Lucky for me, I was in a “Year of Living Mindfully” program when the pandemic started. We moved our meetings online like everyone else, and that community became that much more important to me as a lifeline to sanity.

3. Enjoy the quiet moments with myself – Meditation makes you more aware.

4. The joys of pickleball – I resisted for a spell, but I’ve come to enjoy the competition that was so much a part of my life for decades. My hoops friends made the move outside and learned a new game.

5. My loving wife, boys, dog and family – My relationship with my wife only grew stronger during the pandemic. We didn’t miss a beat and I try to be aware of how special that is. Our boys were in far-flung places but the family stayed very connected. My side of the family conducted weekly Zoom calls for the year. And Willa, our dog, became a big part of the lessons learned. She didn’t know anything about the pandemic – I think – and watching her have that mindset was very informative…