Sick & Tired | My Pandemic Practice

I honestly don’t know where to begin. This year has been challenging on many fronts and there is something soothing about the thought of moving further away from 2020 with each passing day. This is a year that non-attachment is being actively lived. There is no getting use to anything, all I have in me is “what’s good?”, meaning all I have is curiosity for what the day has to offer. Unlike 2019 where goal setting and getting controlled my life, 2020 did it’s own thing more so than any of my previously lived years.

New moves and a new mindset is a daily ritual. Seeing how my friends and family has been impacted is hard to watch. The new losers and new winners of the pandemic can leave me feeling less than calm. People are falling ill, and businesses are struggling to meet their financial goals…it seems as if all of our worlds have imploded leaving just the bits of most importance.

I do feel sometimes ill. I am a covid survivor and I was for the most part asymptomatic. My heart hurt mores for those people that I myself may have unknowingly passed it on to. The thought of causing harm is tiring, the idea that I am a vessel carrying something that could deeply impact a human life and hundreds more was illuminating.

I turned my attention away from negative thoughts about how horrible a person I am to have taken part in such a movement of this illness and towards the many other things I have passed on in my life that have been equally impactful and just as invisible but nonetheless easily transferable from one body to the next without even much effort.

Realizing I have in me the good parts of others makes me feel less weary about all of this. My practice has never been used in such a practical way and for that I really do need to step back and celebrate how I took care of myself and how when I crashed and burned brought myself back to wholeness with the help of my loving yoga community.

When I began to feel like I couldn’t breathe and the isolation with my 3 teenagers challenged my mental health I left the home and spent the day and evening at an Air BnB. Here I lounged on the rooftop deck, enjoyed a meal and had some good wine and alone time. I needed space that I felt guilty for wanting and on that rooftop is where I finally shared with my dear friend just how low I had sunk. Through my tears she listened and offered support, validating my feelings and opening up an opportunity for me to find a healing way forward. I accepted and in later weeks began tele therapy with Grounded Wellness.

Grounded Wellness LLC has been a life saver. My therapist whose name is Queenie has helped me find the light switches to turn back on. Every week I roll out of my bed with the goal of doing this work for myself and it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy seeing how my distractions or my challenges being a pandemic parent are causing others harm and distress. Facing those realities alone is tough, but I do feel good not dumping those things onto my friends and I feel good about taking control of my mental health because I do struggle with suicidal thoughts. Her support and full acknowledgement of how hard my life is emotionally at times is soothing. I’ve been suicidal thought free for going on 60 days. My longest time period had been 14 days prior. I was so disappointed in myself but I started over and I am still here.

Teaching yoga and mediation for Haji Healing Salon and teacher training for Chi-Town Shakti every week presents me with an informed choice. I have the option to scrape from an empty pot or I can practice for me and inspire my own teachings. Virtual yoga and meditation often have an alternative vibe that doesn’t meet everyone’s needs. I totally get that not being close changes things….but does it really? What if closeness and the need to be near is just an illusion? What if we could move beyond physical space and feel closeness in other ways? What if we found ways to be close that didn’t cause harm? No one is saying this isn’t hard…but it is all brand new for many of us. There are people who know what restricted movement feels like even before the pandemic. There are people who know what it feels like to live day by day on what provisions are close by. There are people separated from their loved ones for extended periods of time before reuniting. How do those communities make it through? What can we learn from them? Can we ease our suffering by seeing that they made it through and so can we? Teaching has been a blessing and I’m grateful I have the capacity to show up.

My physical trainer Trina of TWT LLC has given me a physical practice to honor my body and work on strengthening in my own time. I have learned a lot about my inconsistency and my excuses. I have fallen off a couple of times only to realize I have these goals that are unsustainable. I’ve injured myself and I have punished myself and it has forced me to have several seats. I think I am ready to listen to my body and work in a way that values the boundaries of my body which includes fueling it to do the amazing things I know I can do. But if I am not well rested, hydrated or fueled I am destined to begin again….and again….and again….and again.

Finally, Sista Afya‘s young woman’s Teen Support Group is just a Godsend. My 13 year old is nothing short of Fourth of July. Her fiery ways can destroy a day or light up the moment with fits of laughter. I haven’t had it in me to manage well while pandemic parenting. This monthly support while not for me directly fits right where I need it to be. I can’t do this alone and I am not my children’s all. This service has allowed me to breathe a little easier because sometimes I don’t have the words for her. I am grateful for this program and for the leaders of it.

I don’t know how you have been practicing but I invite you to take a look at how you’ve been surviving. Invest in increasing those practices or acknowledge what isn’t working for you right now. There are shifts in so many ways friends it’s ok to find what is right for right now.

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