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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Coronavirus as a Calling

Sep 30, 2020 06:30AM ● By Gregg Levoy
Staying Connected Virtually During the Pandemic


Not to diminish the fact that we’re dealing with a serious and worldwide epidemiological threat, the pandemic can be transmuted into golden opportunities, especially if we follow the sometimes blind spiritual instinct that tells us this crisis—indeed each of our individual lives—has purpose and meaning, and that we need to act on this impulse despite the temptation to back down and run for cover. Here are four ways to respond to the call of these turbulent times:

Use it as a reset. For months, it has been impossible to conduct busyness-as-usual, and we may be left with unaccustomed time on our hands. But like the asteroid that ushered out the dinosaurs and gave the mammals underfoot a shot at prominence, once the thunder lizards of everyday busyness and distraction are sidelined, parts of us that are normally overshadowed may be given an entrance cue—not just projects we’ve back-burnered in deference to the daily grind, but deeper thoughts and feelings about our priorities, the status quo, work/life (im)balance or our inner life. The better part of valor and wisdom may lie in asking, “What can I learn here?” rather than, “How can I overcome this?”

Consider it a powerful meditation. Meditation teachers tell us that distractions aren’t obstacles, they are the meditation, so that we say to ourselves, “Ah, the dog-bark meditation,” or “Ah, the weed-whacker meditation.” The same with the coronavirus. Approach it not just as a distraction from our goals and how it can block our intentions, but as a vehicle of meditation itself: How do we feel, what wants to emerge and what do we truly know?

Appreciate it as connective tissue in society. We’re seeing firsthand how our individual actions can affect those around us, for better and for worse, and that we depend on one another for survival. Washing our hands and sheltering in place are acts of both self-care and community care. In the weeks following 9/11 when the fiction of our invulnerability was so shockingly revealed, many of us began holding doors open for strangers, spending more time with our kids, honking less and listening more. Life’s fragility, our fragility, woke us up to our need for each other. Now that social isolation is suddenly forced on us, it reminds us how precious those connections are.

Approach it as a reminder of mortality. The pandemic is a perfect opportunity to practice the fine and fearsome art of non-attachment, because life will ultimately ask us to surrender everything. “We all owe God a death,” Shakespeare wrote. We can use this time to clarify what’s important and how to best use our precious nick of time. When we strip ourselves of any illusions of immortality, we are thus free to live our lives to the fullest.

Gregg Levoy is the author of Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life and Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion, and a regular blogger for Psychology Today.
5 Top Tips to Finding Your Next Doctor

1 Keep an Open Mind! Healthcare has come a long way. Today, you have access to practitioners that branch outside of traditional medicine and aim to identify the root causes of conditions while using alternative treatments that may help you get the relief you need. Just because it’s not a pill, doesn’t make it pseudoscience.

2 Build Your Health Care Team. There is no one doctor that can be the be-all-end-all for your health needs. Be sure to have a team of practitioners with different “lenses” and areas of expertise who will treat the root cause and not just the symptom(s).

3   Environment Influences Healing. Health is multi-factorial. Your mental and emotional environment plays a pivotal role in your healing potential. Your doctors and their staff should create an office atmosphere filled with positivity so you can get the most out of your care.

4 Your Story Matters.  Before you begin any treatment, be sure to have a comprehensive consultation to discuss your health concerns. Find practitioners who welcome questions and will take the time to listen and treat you with respect.

5 Report of Findings. When it comes to our health, we often make decisions without understanding the risk versus benefits. Knowledge is an important part of the healing process and is essential to make conscious, informed health decisions. Find practitioners who take the time to explain their exam findings and the recommendations for treatment in ways that make sense to you.

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