Spreading Compassion (not Coronavirus)
I want to send out some love during this incredibly chaotic and stressful time in our world. I know many of you are scrambling to deal with a lot right now, possibly more than any of us could ever imagine and health and safety always comes first. We’re shuffling jobs, taking care of children, elderly parents, facing possible economic hardships, and so many unknowns. So how do we not panic over things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer?
So here’s my recommendations:
Keep our emotions in check. Our emotion has gone airborne people, and it’s spreading with every encounter. Trust me, I got hip-checked by a lady at Hyvee over a bottle of hand-sanitizer this week—Yes, the virus is scary, but it’s the emotional people that are terrifying! So what do we do? How do we keep our emotions in check so we don’t fall apart? Well, we could try to build a bunker, and a perfect sterile environment for ourselves, a “containment field” so to speak. We could aggressively sterilize anyone who crosses our path (I tried that, but then my dog threw up on my sparkling clean floor).
Or we can be logical.
Just as we would respond to a hurricane or big storm headed our way, there are precautions we take, right? It’s not like we stand out in the middle of a storm and say, “Hey, come and get me!” We stay indoors, we take shelter. We take the advice of our local officials. We rally with our local community and do what we can to help one another.
Laugh. I met a guy at Target, and we made eye-contact amidst the panic around us. I said, “This is crazy, isn’t it?” He laughed and said, “No, this is insane!” We shared a moment of humor about the fear around us. We have to keep laughing, otherwise we’d be crying. I’m not saying to not take it seriously, but I would encourage us all to share a bit of lightheartedness about the situation with one another. A little bit of laughter goes a long way. Don’t spread fear- spread the fun of it. We’re in this together, like it or not.
Make a positive impact. Just as easily as we can spread the coronavirus, and panic, we can also spread good things. We have the ability to impact one another in very powerful and positive ways. I saw another woman in the store panicking about only having one box of toilet paper, I looked at her and smiled and said, “Wow! I’m so glad they had that box just for you.” In that moment, her face lit up, and she realized she did have a box. Instead of being in the panic-mode, it’s helping each other be in gratitude and seeing the gifts we all have.
Stay educated. If there’s anything I’ve learned in not panicking- it’s about keeping ourselves educated. There’s a lot of false information out there, so how do we sift through the noise? Don’t believe every single thing you hear or read on the internet. We have to fact-check, talk to our local resource centers. You might find that you’re actually in a location that’s at “low risk,” so it’s figuring out how to help keep it that way!
Be Proactive. When you do have to venture out, bring your own hand-sanitizer (or antibacterial solution) with you! Instead of relying on the stores to provide them for you, bring your own. That way, if they run out- you’re not panicking and in the driver’s seat.
Stay Mindful. I think for all of us it’s learning to be more mindful in not only what we’re doing (like washing our hands and social distancing), but it’s being equally as mindful in how we’re feeling. What energy are we putting into the things we are doing and our world? An energy of fear behind hand-washing will create a very different outcome than if I’m feeling empowered in my actions.
Lean into your Faith. If you’re in fear (and trust me, I’ve had my moments), now’s the time to lean into your faith (whatever it is you may believe in). I personally do not believe the universe has a big plan for me, I believe we’re the one’s with choices and the ability to co-create whatever it is we desire (but we also have to be willing to do the legwork to make it happen)!
For myself, when I’m searching for clarity, when things are “easy,” there’s a flow to it where all of the pieces seem to fall into place, I know I’m on my highest and greatest good path, the universe is nudging me and supporting me in a certain direction. My job is to just go forward in it, find resolution in it. The universe opens the doors, and I just have to be willing to walk through them.
Be compassionate. I’ve seen irate customers yelling at employees that there was no toilet paper in stock, and heard horror stories across the country. While it’s understandable that emotions are high during this time, people are afraid, realize that we’re all dealing with the same issues and fears (including employees) – and everyone is doing their best.
Support local businesses. Over the past few days, I’ve also been brainstorming ways I can spread compassion, and support those around me, especially small Minnesota businesses and organizations who are afraid and rely on foot traffic to survive. I’ve even heard stories of people stealing toilet paper from a local restaurant nearby. I thought I’d share some ideas with you, just in case you are interested and have extra resources to spare. If you don’t have the extra resources available right now, maybe it’s finding a way to creatively support the businesses and people in your life and local community.
Buy gift cards. If you have a local boutique you love (like Bellaluna Boutique), a restaurant that makes your favorite meal (for me that’s Lions Tap’s Famous Burgers in Shakopee, MN—consider purchasing a gift card. This is an excellent way to help small businesses stay afloat during this time.
Support service providers. Hairdressers, massage therapists (especially if you’re a client of Inspiring Massage in Minnetonka, MN) are dealing with many cancellations right now. If you need to cancel your service, or your service provider has to reschedule, consider showing them your support by sending a tip anyway. Or if you’re able to—pay for the entire service.
Tip generously. Delivery services make social distancing practices easier for all of us. Show your gratitude for those drivers who are working during the crisis with a healthy tip!
Order from local restaurants. Many restaurants are severely struggling and beginning to offer delivery services or amping safe practices for take-out. Ordering one meal can greatly help these establishments.
Write a note. If you don’t have the financial resources, send a hand-written note offering words of encouragement. Maybe your cheer will bring them the support they need.
Be open to change. As in-person events and workshops have been cancelled or postponed for the safety of everyone, try to be open to the alternatives. Many events are offering alternate ways to enjoy the experience, like virtual events, programs, classes. While they are certainly different than live ones, consider investing your support. Also, if you’re practicing social-distancing, now is an excellent time to binge on a value-packed virtual experience or online course (like my upcoming Soulful Journey online classes!)
Volunteer. Show support for those organizations and people you know were already struggling before this pandemic. If you can’t support financially, pay forward your time, make phone calls, send letters. Find a way to stay involved in causes that are greater than yourself.
While this doesn’t seem like the perfect time for much of anything, it is a great time to come together and support the small businesses you do love. The more we can send out compassion and gratitude into this world right now, the better off we all are.
For now, I'm home with my two adorable dogs and working to stay connected with close friends and family.
Remember, we’re all in this together.
Love & Light,
P.S. Share your ideas on ways to help spread compassion during this time on Facebook or shoot me an email. Would love to hear all the creative things people are coming up with.