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Growing together during COVID19

Who do you want to be during COVID-19?

During challenging times, it is natural to react in a way that ensures our safety and the safety of those we care about. It is important to tend to our most immediate needs and address our most immediate challenge, which can be varied for everyone. One might be wondering where their next meal will come from, another concerned about their elderly parent, another what they will do with their kids all summer, or how you can keep your employees on payroll. Although we all differ, we are similar in that these are challenging and unprecedented times and we are all in this together, as one.

I've mentioned in previous letters, I see this as a tremendous opportunity to grow and support others in new and different ways. In times of great challenge, if our mindset is right, we can learn a great deal about ourselves, who we are and who we desire to become. Below is a graphic that was forwarded to me by Jo, our bookkeeper, nurse and friend who has an extremely positive outlook on life. You might find it helpful, as I did, in thinking through who you want to be during this difficult time for us all.

Please read the phrases in each zone before moving to the next zone.

When you read this, are there phrases you can identify with in the various zones? Where are you right now? Do you move back and forth between different zones, depending upon the hour, day or week? Are you comfortable there? Or is there a zone where you'd most often prefer to be? Can you see a way to get there? I know it is challenging to move out of the fear zone when you are wondering where you'll receive your next paycheck, however if you can embrace and recognize that emotion and learn from the experience, we can all get into the growth zone and come out of this pandemic stronger than ever. One way I find I can accelerate to the Growth Zone (believe me, I experience all zones!) is to have gratitude for what I do have. It can be small, such as your clothing, your teeth, your eyes, or your sense of smell (this can go away for a few weeks with some COVID patients and then one really feels grateful for it!).

It is a wonderful time to practice gratitude and it can help us live more consistently in a more grounded and joyful state.

Grateful people are more compassionate, generous and forgiving. They trust themselves more, they have more confidence and are more adaptable. Gratitude helps us stay positive, look forward to the future and stay hopeful. When we stay positive, we recognize how most of us are resilient, we are unified, we have ingenuity and we are resourceful.

I just went for a run today and every other step I said “thank you” in gratitude for what I do have and I felt amazing afterwards!

Please stay active right now, as this will help you not only stay healthier, but also clear any bottled-up energy you may be experiencing, both physically and emotionally. What a release!

Have you laughed today? Don’t forget to express all levels of emotion such as frustration, anger and happiness in healthy ways, such as crying, laughing or even screaming into a pillow if you need to, and don’t forget about dancing! It is also important to take time for quiet, meditation, self-care, self-compassion and meditation.

Most of all, please remember, especially when you are having a hard day, nothing is permanent and this too shall pass. And if you do put in some extra effort in your own personal growth process, you will be stronger, more positive and more helpful than ever. Wishing you and yours health, love, and joy, Carrie Ballas

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