Covid-19 Pandemic … day number?? What day is it now? I’m not exactly sure.

But I have found a good way to start each day with an online morning meeting hosted by Glennon Doyle.

I LOVE Glennon’s morning meetings.

Glennon Doyle – as always – captures the real, the brutal, and the beautiful about every day situations – including situations that none of us (that’s right No One) has lived through before. Like this global pandemic, Covid-19.

The first thing she said that really made me STOP in my tracks was her statement about being in this place right now and being able to recognize that we’ve all been practicing our whole life for this moment. This, she says, has been her experience; as someone suffering with anxiety and depression for years, Glennon’s response to this pandemic crisis is something that she’s literally been practicing for her WHOLE LIFE. She knows anxiety, she knows stress – and she knows what to do.

That makes so much sense to me. And it doesn’t matter if you’re someone who has suffered from anxiety or depression. Whatever it is that you’ve been ‘doing’ and ‘practicing’ your whole life, the time is now for you to be confident in yourself, rely on yourself and your skills, to get you through these uncharted waters.

Can you figure out what it is that you’ve been practicing for?? I think that is such an important question. But I also see it as a positive question, a question to be considered and reflected upon and to be answered, in order to act as an impetus for thriving and surviving these unusual times.

Maybe you’ve been practicing to nurture? Console? Sew? Bake? Write? What experiences in your past have brought you to right now?

And maybe those experiences weren’t great ones. Maybe they were tough and raw and painful ones?  Yet, here you are. You did it then… you survived. You can do it now.

Yes. You. Can.

Don’t look back on those experiences with regret, shame, blame or anger. Take that learning and Know, Believe, Trust that you can transfer and apply those skills, use those skills, re-shape those skills for these uncertain times. You. Can. Do. It.

Another thing that really resonated with me me as I attended her ‘meeting’, was when she talked about the characters in the Titanic (the Hollywood version). I love to compare real life and literature and movies; after all, characters in books and screenplays have been based on some kind of truth somewhere. So this comparison really engaged me. I believe that even in the most outrageous and outlandish movie or book, the qualities of the characters are rooted in real personalities. Perhaps they’ve been exaggerated, perhaps they’re portrayed through a distorted or myopic lens… but there is truth in every character. I loved how Glennon spoke about the different characters in the movie and the gifts they each brought to the dire situation of a sinking ship.

So this got me thinking about different casts of characters, and how different characters might be handling the stresses, worries and complexities of the current Covid-19 crisis. I wondered briefly about the gang from Seinfeld? From Friends? What about the characters on The Office – okay, that thought made me pause and really made me smile. I might have to come back and explore that one further. Glennon had mentioned Tigger and Eyore, so I naturally thought about other Winnie the Pooh characters. And then my mind went to the Peanuts Gang.

Ah. The Peanuts Gang. I have always had a warm and comfortable relationship with the Peanuts gang. Not an obsessive relationship, where I could make quotes or specific references. (You followers of Seinfeld and Friends who can do that, you know who you are!!) My relationship with Peanuts has not been quite that extreme.

But I’ve always loved the cartoon strip, and felt that I could relate to each of the characters in some way. Some more than others. The characters that have always ‘spoken’ to me are Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Linus. And Lucy to a lesser extent.

I wonder how they might handle this global pandemic?

Linus – lover of his security blanket. Ah, the security blanket. I know he’d be grasping and clinging just a little tighter to that blanket right now. Who can blame him? We all need the comfort of something that gives us comfort right now. And physical distancing has pretty much eliminated most kinds of touch. A warm, fuzzy blanket is not a bad substitute right now. Linus is also seen in the Peanuts gang as a bit of a philosopher, often presenting the voice of reason to the escapades of the gang. His voice would be welcomed right now – seen as a calming influence on those around him. Linus is also kind-hearted to everyone – we need a lot of Linus right now.

Lucy – There has always been something about this bossy and mean girl that made me pay attention. She’s tough, driven, focused. She’s a feminist. Those aren’t bad qualities to have. Unfortunately they’re wrapped up in sarcasm and bullying. We don’t need a lot of Lucy right now. I think during a pandemic she would continue to show her extreme moods, getting angry that she can’t leave the house. Lucy would likely take out her anger on Linus with that loud booming voice of hers. I know she’d probably like to dispense advice to others from her “doctor is in” booth… but I’m not convinced that we need too much of Lucy right now.

Charlie Brown – He’s quite lovable – even if he is wracked with insecurity. He’s a worrier. He feels inadequate. I bet if he were living through a pandemic we’d hear a lot of “good griefs” coming from his mouth. At the best of times, he’s anxious. Even normal situations cause Charlie Brown to feel stress. He’d be having a hard time right now I’m sure. The funny thing is, I’ve always seen Charlie Brown as kind of an ‘average’ person, with only mild exaggerations. So is it safe to suggest we’re all a little like Charlie Brown right now, and all prone to a little stress and worry? I think he’d be working hard to keep calm, carry on and try to hold it together. Charlie Brown would be counting on his close friends to get him through these days. Not a bad idea, if you ask me.

Snoopy – probably my favourite Peanuts’ character. First let’s talk about his dancing – he can dance! And he dances for lots of different reasons. Right now, we should all turn on some music and dance a little every day. We should dance like no one’s watching. It will be good for our heart and good for our soul, good for our physical health and our mental health. Let’s be a little like the dancing Snoopy.

Snoopy is also a bit of  dreamer – you’ve seen his different personalities (animals, historic figures), and his adventures as a wartime ace pilot. It’s not necessarily a good time to get lost in dreams and fantasies like Snoopy does. But I’ll suggest that Snoopy is able to deal with the stuff that gets him down by looking at it in an alternative way.  Maybe that’s not a bad approach? Are we stuck at home or safe at home? Snoopy, I believe, would see it as safe at home. Snoopy was able to turn his dog house into a Sopwith camel airplane; maybe we can transform our home into something magical too? After all, it’s where we need to stay for sometime yet to come.

So back to Glennon’s meeting:

1. What skills have you been practicing for your whole life that will continue to serve you well now? Shine them up, dust them off, know that they’ve served you well in the past and can do so now. That’s the truth.

2.  What kind of character are you bringing to personal pandemic crisis management? Who can you most relate to? Are you a Tigger? A Snoopy? An Eyore? Charlie Brown? It doesn’t really matter WHO you are, and what kind of characteristics you hold – after all everyone has different characteristics. What does matter is that everyone has unique GIFTS to bring to any situation. What gifts do you have to offer??

To repeat – What gifts do you have to offer? Right now is the time to let them shine.

Keep well, stay connected, be kind.