With our holidays cancelled, business trips postponed there are barely planes in the sky. It feels like after years of messing with nature she has grounded us. To protect health services and the people around us, our immediate world has shrunk to a handful of places: our homes and gardens (if we have them) the shop we can walk to, nearby parks and trails for daily exercise.
Thankfully I am lucky to be able to work from home. Not all of us can. So during this lockdown, I feel a sense of purpose. However, like grounded children, there’s a certain amount of “just waiting” to be done.
And yet I’ve noticed another opportunity: If I am grounded, maybe it’s time to get grounded through mindfulness. The mind is not a fan of uncertainty, especially when it’s global in scale with an unclear end date.
It’s easy to get lost down a rabbit hole of data on virus infection counts per country, daily infection stats, stories of people shaming each other for sitting in a park, or opinions on global leaders’ handling of the crisis.
I’ve done it a number of times, hanging my hopes on a lockdown 'end date' hoping we can get back to normal, while at the same time knowing that any ‘normal’ we do get back to will be new and different from the one we left.
On good days, I think “we’ll get through this” on bad days I think “are we going to find out that Cormac McCarthy, author of The Road, was some kind of modern-day Nostradamus?” Regardless of which day it is, reminding myself that all we have right now is 'now', so it’s best to deal with I see in front of me.
This can take shape in a number of ways, from noticing the weather is beautiful, how clear and blue the skies look while they are no longer choked up with the pollution created by our various travel plans, from checking in to see how colleagues and friends are on Zoom or spending quality time with loved ones at home. I remember how grateful I am to be married to someone I love, and have fulfilling work, and a home.
I’m in one place for now, but I’m choosing not to be ‘stuck’. I’m choosing to be grounded - in the present moment.
By Heleana Blackwell