‘Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop’
This week as we all begin to slowly adapt to our new world, the challenge for many of us seems to be how to find a structure, a routine that somehow ‘holds’ us in place in this world of uncertainty. So many clients are cleaning out drawers, closets, garages, desks, cars, gardens, pantrys… I was wondering about what we were really doing and guess it is something about gaining some control and order in our lives amidst the chaos. Maybe it is like the Rumi poem above – we are trying to prune ourselves, our lives, maybe we are looking for those tasks that distract us and keep us away from other anxieties and worries. I have never had cleaner cupboards than when i was studying – a perfect diversion. I imagine we are also trying to clean out our nests that for many of us have become a little overwhelmed with people – for others the opposite there is a cavernous feel to being totally alone. When in doubt there is always a cupboard to clean out! It gives us pleasure, satisfaction, joy and there is a feeling of accomplishment in a Covid world that seems to be pulling everything away from us that we know and love.
I think the one drawer at a time approach is also a way to develop a routine, to set achievable goals. Imagine if we all cleaned our one drawer/closet/pantry etc for the next six months how open and spacious our worlds would be. It seemed like a beautiful metaphor post Covid to arise from this with less clutter, less noise, less dust and more openeness not only in our drawers and closets but in our hearts.
Opening up to new routines early in our lockdown is important. Just to start with a few simple ones and build up gently. At this stage it is important that we all focus on the basic building block which I call the baby foundation of sleep, exercise, food and connection. I have been suggesting to my clients this week that doing a progressive relaxation for 10 minutes a day over the next 90 days would have a profound influence on whether we survive or thrive. Pre Covid world I talked about this often to clients and the main thing holding them back was time. We now have much more flexibility in how we use and design our time and perhaps giving our body and mind a break once a day would be a great gift…. a like cleaning out the drawers and closets in our minds.
There are many progressive relaxation links available – often called yoga nidra. The one I find easy and effective is called Yoga Nidra Deep Relaxation. Other websites with a wider range of meditations and relaxation are Headspace and Insight Timer