Sunday School in Lock-Down.
Happy gray and drizzly Sunday afternoon from Cumberland County, Darling! (The hub of "viral activity" here in Vacationland. Which is why I'm not venturing into any store until I have eaten my last dried bean and Amazon has stopped delivering cat food! )
How are your spirits holding up? (And no, that's not a polite way of asking if you've run out of gin yet!)
I mean, how is your soul doing? How is your heart doing? How are your emotions
This is a difficult time for so many of us...for all of us really. However, those of us who are fortunate enough to *just* be dealing with being sequestered, and not on the "front line" (as in, we are NOT saving lives in hospitals or makeshift hospitals in convention centers or putting our lives in danger every minute and working double shifts to save our fellow human beings kind of front line!) need to be making the most of this free time. Not wasting it away on one big self-indulgent-goofing-off -pity-party..
I really don't feel it's a choice. I feel it's our duty.
I'm certainly watching my share of Netflix, etc...and watching Pluto-the-Talking-Schnauzer videos on YouTube (and late last night I somehow found myself watching short videos of chimpanzees and other furry primates hugging people they'd bonded with...and I ended up in tears at the sweetness of it all, and am clearly missing human hugs. I'm a big hugger, and this separation is rough on me, too!).
My point is, I think we owe it not only to ourselves, but to all of our citizens who DO NOT have a choice to stay home. To honor THEM, we are obliged to make the most of this time. And not waste it.
Please don't piddle it away.
(Piddle? Hmmm. Perhaps I've been watching a few too many Pluto videos!)
It's a wonderful time for existential questioning and inner exploration. A wonderful time to get deep.
To listen to people (via the wonders of technology and from the comfort of your couch) who have fascinating and uplifting and wise things to say. To contemplate and maybe find comfort in their words. To take what works for you and leave the rest behind.
To focus on the bigger picture and the larger meaning in life.
And maybe to once and for all figure out what you KNOW about existence. Not what you BELIEVE, but what you KNOW, based on your life experience. And if you don't KNOW anything yet because you haven't experienced anything in life dark enough to force you to delve into the depths of it all, then keep kicking around the beliefs of other people (and religions), and see what resonates. And maybe use that as a starting point.
We don't need to be religious, but I know from personal experience that having a spiritual base and solid connection to the wondrousness of existence can help us get through life's cr*p.
A candle I couldn't resist purchasing at a discount store last fall...to use for a video. As it burns down, Jesus is revealed. Kind of like one of those glasses that reveals a woman's naked breasts after you pour in a frosty beverage. Thankfully, Jesus is at least partially clothed. None of us need any further trauma during this time of crisis!
I've spent countless hours listening to and reading the words of many different spiritually "enlightened" (or at least spiritually interesting!) people since experiencing my own deep losses and changes in life. And every once in a while there's a word or sentence or particular person or entire hour of conversation that really clicks with me. And has sometimes brought me from the depths of despair to a calm and peaceful place. A more grateful place. A more solid place inside of myself.
My motto regarding spiritual material is this (adopt it if you'd like): "I don't care what anyone else thinks of what the person is saying, if it resonates with my heart and soul...if it makes sense to me and/or feels like a positive notion, that's all that matters."
So last year I discovered a lovely, gentle-voiced and gentle-souled English gentleman named John Butler. He's in his eighties and spent the bulk of his life growing organic veggies. In fact, I believe he was the first person to bring organic produce into London to sell at markets. There were already numerous interviews with him I'd enjoyed, but during this global crisis "of the body and the spirit," he's
been putting out a short video each day for the past week or so.
Although he sometimes quotes from the Bible and mentions God and Jesus...don't let it put you off (if, like me, you have nothing against God or Jesus or the Bible...but are not interested in being labeled a Christian and have a "broader and more open-ended" view of spirituality). If you listen to enough of his stuff you'll realize he is very broad and open-minded and is really about meditation, the realm of spirit, the miracles of nature and of life in general, and finding our own center and our connection with The Divine in everything.
Anyway, I simply adore him. For me, he's amazing medicine and should get some award for being a Global Treasure.
If you need to hear words of comfort from the sweet and smart and very wise grandfather you don't have...or never had!...check him out. You can find him on YouTube by looking up his name, John Butler (the spiritual guy, not the musician!) or "Spiritual Unfoldment with John Butler."
(If nothing else, listen to him if you're having trouble falling asleep at night. Put away the sleeping pills. His voice will knock you right out. It's unintentional ASMR. We can get into the ASMR thing in more depth another day!)
In an effort to get through all of the death that's been part of my life, I've sampled a whole lot of material put out by a whole lot of teachers/ gurus and sometimes, total kooks. I've sampled a LOT.
I've listened to people who claim they are "channeling" entities from the great beyond. Do I generally believe this to be true? No. I'm not totally on board with it. But I also don't discount it, because who the heck knows. It could be true. But even if it's a gigantic hoax to get people to buy products or read books or go to seminars with a bunch of other kooky humans, who cares! Most of this stuff is available for free nowadays on the internet...you don't even have to spend a penny.
My feeling is, if something I listen to or watch for free makes me smile or feel more grounded or more hopeful or just makes me more spiritually tuned in and happy about being alive...and does no harm to anyone else on the planet...who cares if they're really channeling some genius named Norman from the afterlife? It doesn't matter. All that matters is that what they're saying is making my life happier and/or more peaceful. And that is a blessing. And also, no small feat!
So...Breathe. Now is the time to go within. Soon enough you'll be running around again, with a calendar full of stuff to do, and you'll be able to use that as an excuse to once again fail to examine the meaning of existence...and the meaning you want to give to your life.
Right now, most of us have no valid excuse for not becoming more comfy with our soul.
So turn off Netflix, put down the gin and tonic (ok now I'm craving a gin and tonic...too bad I have neither of the two imperative ingredients in the house with me. I do have lime wedges, however!) and instead, consider listening to some words of wisdom and possibly even sitting on your ass and meditating. It cannot hurt. And quite possibly, could help your heart and soul immeasurably. And maybe even change your life. Forever.
Sending love and hugs and sunshine from afar ~
*As always, thank you for welcoming my words into your world. Please feel free to share this post with wild abandon...and spread the love, support and laughter. (But not the virus!!!)