Greetings to my wondrous and wild hearted creative clan,

Well, it’s been almost a week since we have been in voluntary quarantine and sheltering in place here in the San Francisco, Bay Area due to the Corona Virus. 

And among other things it still seems totally surreal. I KNOW it’s happening in my mind and I’m acting accordingly by staying home, stocking up on essential supplies and social distancing with Tim. But my heart and emotions are having a hard time coming to terms with this new way of being in the world. It’s just hard to believe on a feeling level that it’s actually real.

It’s confusing, because on some level, as long as I’m hunkered down at home, everything looks the same. But as soon as I leave the house for walks around the neighborhood or the one time I went to the grocery store, the difference in the outer world energy is palpable.

For those of you who don’t live in the San Francisco Bay Area, the pace of life here is intense and often frenetic. The traffic and the high cost of living is a source of constant stress, parking is a nightmare, and people are always SUPER busy. But now when I go outside there’s an almost eerie sense of calm. In my 44 years of living here I don’t know if it’s EVER been this quiet.

Now, I’m not really complaining about THAT part of it. I personally LIKE quiet. I’m really enjoying hearing things like birdsong again. And I also know that the Earth is getting a break from all of that human activity, which is allowing her and all of her creatures an opportunity to heal.

But there’s also a deep sense of loss for my life as it was just a few short days ago.

I’ve closed my Oakland studio until further notice and had to cancel a couple upcoming in-person retreats. I’m still able to offer some classes and other workshops in an online format… I’m even experimenting with an online weekend intuitive retreat! And I am deeply, deeply grateful that those options are available to me.

I held a couple of free Creative Courage webinars online this past week where we meditated and shared and made some soul art and it was really wonderful and hopeful to connect with so many courageous creatives in sacred digital space. And I plan on continuing to create digital spaces where we can meet and connect and create for free or very low cost in the coming weeks.

But I’m also scared for what the future is going to bring in the short term around my loved ones and my communities health. And I’m angry about the chaos that is being unleashed on the economic and healthcare level through the way this crisis has been so terribly mismanaged by certain people in positions of authority.

I worry about the folks who’s livelihoods are being impaired in serious ways during this shutdown and am also deeply grateful to people in healthcare, first responders, restaurant workers and people working in the grocery and hardware stores who are keeping essential services afloat while also putting themselves at risk to take care of the rest of us.

I trust that in the long run we will make it through this crisis transformed in so many ways. And my prayers are that this upheaval will ultimately lead to more conscious awareness for all the ways that we are connected and how much we absolutely need each other if we are going to not only survive but truly THRIVE on this gorgeous green planet. I’m also hoping that this period of social turmoil will force us to take a realistic look at certain systems of government and economics that are hurting us rather than helping so that they can be dismantled and more life affirming systems put in their place.

I want to remind all of us again, how important it is to take care of not only our physical health but our emotional and spiritual well being. This is a time of heightened anxiety and we all need to give ourselves time and space where our nervous systems can re-connect with a sense of calm. Some things that have been helping me are limiting my news consumption, taking time to pray, meditate and connect to spirit, talking with friends and family and of course, being creative in any way that I can.

Part of heartful hygiene is simply making space for all the varied emotions you are likely to be feeling during this time. Personally, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, careening from anger and irritation to panic and grief and then having moments of deep calm and acceptance and even joy. And simply walking my talk by trying to hold ALL of it with as much compassion and tenderness as possible.

Because of the social distancing protocols, try and stay mindful of your friends and family who might need some extra care and attention right now, especially for people who are older, dealing with health issues already and who are living alone. Virtual hugs are never as good as the real thing, but reaching out to let your people know that you love them goes a long way to helping folks feel less isolated during a time when all we want to do is hunker down and be together to weather the storm.

So pay attention to what you need and how you feel, and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help or a listening ear if you need one. And offer one if you’ve got the heart space  to spare.

 

From my wild heart to yours,

Chris

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