Image photographed by: @Carlosavilagonzalez.

Greetings from the Bay Area. We are now in our sixth week of sheltering in place. 

We are living in a new reality. The struggle to adjust to this very unfamiliar situation is tiring. We need to find ways to put our minds, hearts, and souls at ease. Even just for a few hours. We don’t understand the toll this is taking. My husband flops down on the couch asking “Why am I so tired?” Why, indeed.

This new state of affairs is hard! I am finding it hard to fully ease up. I keep looking for a new article or a new point of view. I keep wanting things to be different. I feel as if I am in a horror movie where the adversary is invisible. The adversary will attack, will dig into my body, and perhaps kill me, but I don’t know when, where, or how. My unseen enemy is lurking. Even perhaps in the hugs I gratefully share with my son. This feeling of dread is exhausting.

We often don’t rest and restore ourselves because we don’t know how. I wonder if many of us are mildly depressed because we’re tired. We have to be alert. We can’t stop. We don’t value rest.

So how can we sink into savoring the moment? How can we disconnect from our screens and the news to fully connect to the Source of all Life? We each have ways to find our way back to ease and joy. We can ask – what is it for me to rest? How do I rest? What restores me? 

What do we know about restoring a sense of the sacred to our broken, crazy world? Perhaps a familiar ritual of lighting a candle, blessing the wine or breaking bread consciously – now only with our own household – will help us back into timeless peace.  

We can put our phones down. We can still create time out of time. What renewal can emerge after a few long deep breaths, a quiet neighborhood walk or a long look towards the sky – it’s still there. Can we stop and be deeply grateful? Can we notice this beautiful planet of ours, sky and trees, earth and bodies of water? Can we rest into the blessing that is still offered? We must slow down because this is a marathon, not a sprint. We must rest more deeply than ever. This will take practice. This feeling of unease and fear will probably last for far longer than we think.

May we be aware of the suffering of others, may we not forget those in need. Perhaps this extreme disruption will show us that we can change. We know we need to live very differently so that our planet can support us. Maybe this is the peculiar, unwanted gateway into that new reality.

In Good Health,

Marilyn Paul