At the end of last year and the beginning of this one, I was very sick with a violent upper respiratory that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia. When I got out and recovered, I was so happy to be healthy again! I made a list of all the fun things I wanted to do and places I wanted to go come the spring. Of course these things didn’t happen because the pandemic hit. So… in these unusual times things had to shift from what I wanted to do to what I wanted to learn. And I filled my time doing just that.

Life is like that. We have to adjust and go with the flow… but also be the creators in our lives and consciously decide what we desire our life experience to be.

There is such a fine line for me these days… staying informed without getting overwhelmed. Being empathetic and compassionate without letting the sorrow and turmoil of the world numb me or make me feel fearful or angry.

It is so important to be hopeful… to have faith, and to believe in the inherent goodness of human beings. Also… to keep my heart open, and to love deeply. Staying centered and connected to my Inner Spirit is vital to keep from being swept into the chaos!

We have to care for ourselves and our loved ones now in very special ways. We have to take the time to be quiet and reflect upon our thoughts and feelings… to nurture… to deepen our relationships and have intimate conversations and connection.

How do we create the well-being that we need so much in these unusual times? How do we care for ourselves, our family and friends and communities too… physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? How do we create enjoyment, well-being, and even fun? Laughter is so healing. How do we lighten up our days?

One way of course is counting our blessings… giving thanks that we and our loved ones are healthy. And then embracing this wonderful gift of life that we have been given.

Meditation, prayer, journaling… these things may help as well. They keep us close to our inner being and create peace and calm. Yoga, dance and exercise are also good. So are the arts… creating with paint or fabric, collage… color, texture, pattern. Or music! Sing, play your instruments, surround yourself with great music. I am reminded of all the singers serenading people in Italy during their lock down… and all the wonderful recording artists sharing their music and their gifts on social media and television. Anything that engages you creatively will make you feel good.

Another way is to decide to be happy. Yes… make that decision for yourself and then make choices that support your happiness. Be focused and aware of how you are creating your life… what you are saying yes to, and what you would prefer to say no to. Put your attention on every single good thing in your life… from the birds singing in the trees to the clean water coming out of your faucet. Shifting our attention to the good seems to bring more good! And it makes us feel better too.

Make a life list! All the things you would like to do and experience! Remember… keep the faith! Then figure out how you can give yourself the essence of the experience now, until the time comes when you could actually have it. For instance… I can’t go to Europe now but I can be an armchair traveler with videos. I am not ready to buy my home yet but I can design it and enjoy my decorating file. You get the idea. Plan your grand adventures. Plan your garden. Have fun thinking about your life and your dreams! Get creative!

Reaching out to family and friends is more important than ever now. So many people feel isolated and alone. A simple meet up outside for coffee or iced tea can be all it takes to lift our spirits and give us the connection and companionship we are yearning for. I have been having Zoom visits with friends too!

For those that are experiencing times of sorrow or ill health I pray that you find comfort and light and that you recover and heal swiftly and completely. These are unusual times and many lives have been impacted.

May all be well with you and yours, and may blessings abound in your lives.