Tuesday, March 24, 2020

#WhatIsThisMomentFor?

There is no avoiding or downplaying the enormity of the changes we have all experienced in the past three weeks. From the large-scale patterns of our movement from place to place, down to the number of seconds we spend at the sink scrubbing our hands, it seems like the very texture of our ordinary days has been altered, permanently ruptured.  

Trying to grapple with what is happening requires contemplating the possibility that the onset of COVID-19 across the globe constitutes a key moment in the history of our livesthat is, a turning point between a before and an after. And if we accept that possibility, then it seems right to ask, what is this moment for? 

This is not so much to ask “why,” in the  scientific sense, this pandemic is happening (though that’s certainly a valid question, too). But rather, in a more psychological and philosophical vein, it is to ask how we can process—and make meaning ofthis fundamental disruption we are experiencing. 

We posed this question to our team here at HNMCP and wwant to hear from you as well, using the hashtag, #whatisthismomentfor? Your answer doesn’t have to be “for” just one thing; indeed, it might change from hour to hour, so post daily if you wantThere is no such thing as a right or wrong answer. 

HNMCP staff answers #whatisthismomentfor?

“Facing fears; planning for lack or loss; staring at the abyss. But maybe also, breaking stubborn patterns; resetting our defaults of body or mind; appreciating the uniquely human; rediscovering strength. Thinking about the unthinkable, in every direction.”

~ Sara del Nido Budish

 

“Right now my thoughts are revolving around connection, resilience, and reflection.
Taking care of and connecting with my elderly parents, without infecting them. Reaching out to family and friends across my town, my region, and the country via technology—to keep our spirits up, to make sure the extroverts aren’t going too crazy, and to ensure that folks have what they need and no one feels alone in their hearts. And connecting with my local community—as I take a much-needed walk outdoors or do the shopping, meeting their eyes and smiling the smile that says, “This sucks, but we’re all in it together,” or making a joke about toilet paper —while keeping six feet between us, of course.

This moment is about practicing resilience, so that while I take sensible precautions I don’t spiral down into panic or despair. Listening to a little news, but not too much. Knitting crazy, multi-colored socks during the online staff meeting. Sitting at my home altar in prayer.

And this moment is about reflecting on how we got here. Reflecting on the world we’ve created and whether it’s really the best way to keep living. Reflecting on the role of government, and also, my own role as a citizen of a democracy—in everything from not hoarding toilet paper or getting into store-aisle brawls over sanitizing wipes to not hoarding or gulping down natural resources for my use and profit and hang everyone else. Reflecting, sometimes painfully, on how deeply, deeply connected all this is to the ways we’ve been treating the earth for hundreds of years, our work-til-there-is-no-separation-of-work-and-personal-time culture, the money-is-God theology we pray daily, and how all that has contributed to our lack of preparedness for such a crisis. This moment is for thinking about who and what is actually important for not just us, but also this pale blue dot we call home—not just to survive, but to thrive, body, heart, mind, and soul. If, when this passes, we just go on with business as usual, we will have learned nothing. Again. And this virus, or another one, will come back. Again and again. Coming to grips with that is what this moment is about.”

~ Tracy Blanchard

 

This moment is for slowing down. For taking a breath. For cultivating compassion and self-compassion. It is a moment for learning to breathe into the fear and anxiety that might be our regular companions these days and for having patience as we learn how to be with ourselves and each other in new ways. It is a moment for connecting with and supporting each other, however we can. It is a moment for walking outside. For reading. For jigsaw puzzles. For finding moments of joy in the midst of despair. And for helping us discern what nourishes us, as individuals and members of our global community, and what does not.

~ Rachel Viscomi

 

This moment is for embracing social connection and social nearness even as we implement physical distancing. It’s a moment for getting out of my own head by reaching out to someone else. It’s for helping, supporting, caring for a friend, neighbor, fellow traveler navigating this unfamiliar and unsettling landscape. And practicing gratitude for the people and moments and natural beauty that are sources of light and lightness in my life.

~ Neil McGaraghan