Wow!! I am SUPER excited to be back in this space with you all on this platform that I missed tremendously!! Wow, where have we been?! Talk about an opportunity to use our tools! And hopefully you had the chance to listen, way back in July of 2020 when I produced that last, episode 48: “Healing Strategies to Help during Troubling Times”. I taught two mini-lessons there on the Peace Procedure and EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique. I wanted to teach you how to quickly shift yourself to a state where you can be free from anxiety and trauma. I also taught how you tap surrogately to help others while we were unable to share in the space of our loved ones. You can check it out by going to https://shiftforwellness.com/48 to learn more.
This pandemic, along with all the rest of the adversity that was mixed in with it, is the very reason we practice living a life of wellness. A life of wholeness. Other than facing death itself, or the death of a loved one, I can think of no other example on such an enormous scale, world-wide, that could have put our skills to the test. And here we are.
We are here with or without loved ones who started out on this journey with us. This is a very difficult and challenging place to be. A lot of trauma has occurred. Many of us went into this pandemic with unhealed trauma, with challenges that felt impossible to overcome. And then on top of all of that, got hit with this unthinkable tragedy; it’s difficult to digest the enormity of it, the rippling effect it has caused, the damage, the pain, the exhaustion, the oppressiveness.
My question to you all is, how’d ya do?
Our own stories
We’re all coming out of this mess with our own story, our own experiences. For some maybe this wasn’t a mess; there are many different perspectives out there. Some are sad, some are quite pleasurable. That’s to be noted. There are many beautiful and creative things that were born out of this time, like all of us finding new and innovative ways to help, to teach, to heal, to do our jobs differently and for some, even more successfully.
Companies discovered their workers were just as productive at home, and now many are affording their employees the opportunity to continue to work from home. Some parents realized their children learn so much better online that they’ve made the decision to change the mode of learning for their child moving forward.
I loved witnessing parents backing off. There was no other option for those parents who work, they had to back off and trust that their child could handle school on their own and THAT is something I’ve been waiting to see for a LONG TIME. Please understand what I’m talking about here are those students who were already of age to be able to handle school on their own. I’m not being judgy here, I am sincerely happy for those kids who were able to prove to their parents that they could be trusted to do it on their own.
My heart goes out to those parents who had multiple kids at home or even just one child, not able to do school on their own. They had to juggle work and school simultaneously and that put a lot of people in a super challenging place. That whole scenario is not lost on me.
What did that do for our students? They proved to themselves that they were enough. That they have the tools and the skills to do school without their parents leading the way or for some kids, getting in the way. I witnessed the pandemic giving the gift of coping skills to many students. Over the years, unfortunately, I’ve witnessed a major lack of coping skills in kids. Many parents out there insist on always DOING for their children, and this has become a major issue in the classroom because kids have been unconsciously taught from home that they can’t be trusted to do school on their own. For students who are more than capable, the message being sent to them by their parents is, they can’t be trusted to do the work on their own.
There is no doubt the kids had it tough, but I personally loved watching kids prove to themselves, their parents, and their teachers, locally, nationally, and world-wide, that they could rise above it all.
I was happy to see all teachers catching up to the world of technology. People had no choice but to step out of their comfort zone, no matter what their job, and when we step outside of what keeps us comfortable, we grow. There’s the magic. The magic is in the growth.
For some of us, we needed this reset. We needed this time to have the world stop so we could catch up, to pause so work could get done without us missing out on anything.
Many viewed the occurrences of this time as simply an inconvenience, a tragedy even, but not a major traumatic event.
Whatever your views, we’re all walking away from this experience differently. And no matter what your experience was, and I know we’re not out of the woods just yet, but I’m using the past tense here as I speak of what’s transpired since March 2020, no matter what your takeaway is, it’s yours.
Allow yourself to own it.
Just like we shouldn’t judge others, we shouldn’t allow the possible judgement from others about how we’ve managed or are managing through all of this, to shake us. Stand tall, stand strong in what you know is YOUR truth about what very well may have been the single most transformative, and I’m going to say “opportunity”, of your life.
For me, remember I’m a teacher, while much of the world came to a screeching halt, mine went into overdrive. There’s no need for me to elaborate on that. If you’re a teacher, you get it. If you’re a parent, you get it. If your partner is a teacher, you get it. If you’ve got a friend who’s a teacher you get it.
There are many other hats that I wear, and many of you know that. I’m a professional developer, graduate school instructor, and designer, which meant all those f2f courses I teach, in addition to what I teach in the classroom everyday, needed to be re-thought.
Much of my coaching & healing work and sadly, this podcast, needed to be put on hold. That was really tough, but at the end of the day, I had nothing left to give. My practice is wellness and I had to put my health and wellness first. Whatever energies I had left at the end of the day went into restoring ME.
The “Love Notes” I post regularly to Instagram served as mini blogging opportunities and helped to ease the disappointment I was feeling for having to put this form of communication with the Shift audience on hold.
Something fun that came out of that time was the creation of a card deck inspired by the “Love Notes”!! Those will be available for purchase soon, so keep an eye out for them!
All I kept asking myself was What are people doing who don’t have any tools?! I was very aware of my own struggles at times, and I was using EVERYTHING I HAD!! I was a meditating, yoga practicing, tapping crazed, breathwork nut on overdrive.
Self-Care Is Not a Luxury
It really wasn’t as dramatic as I’m making it out to be, I’m being a bit hyperbolic, but practicing a basic vinyasa sequence was too much on most days. It was just too much. My nervous system was in crisis, and restorative yoga became my lifeline for the last year. My legs were pretty much up the wall for 365 days.
So as we slowly emerge out of this cocoon we’ve been in, life is looking even more sweeter to me. It was such a relief when my students could take their masks off when playing outside or when we went for walks. Then came the permission to share materials in the classroom. YES! I gave hugs at the end of the year, and silently celebrated as I food shopped for the first time without a mask. Maybe it wasn’t too silent. I was sure to smile and say, “Hi!” to everyone I saw. I told strangers how great it was to see their faces not covered with a mask. And I took lots of pleasure in smiling and making eye contact with everyone I could to just simply make the slightest, celebratory connection.
We’ve since, very responsibly enjoyed dining out, attending weddings, visiting friends and family, and traveling across the country (Steve has, I haven’t been on a plane yet). I’ve excitedly shared some plans for the classroom for the coming year with my students before school let out, and I was happy to receive a thumbs up for all my collaborative ideas. Just the idea of running the classroom back to the workshop-y atmosphere I’m used to is so liberating. It created such a feeling of normalcy, which is super encouraging.
With these lighter energies that are emerging, I am happy to be back with you sharing strategies and stories for managing wellness with the intention to live brighter and lighter.
Interviews are becoming an integral part of podcast, and I’ve got the Sussex County Teacher’s Edition of mindful educators to thank for that. By the seat of my pants, I figured out how to make interviews happen when I couldn’t host them face to face at the very beginning of COVID. That hopped me right out of my comfort zone and opened me up to a whole new world of possibilities to grow this space even larger and connect with even more of you.
Check in with how you’re doing during this emergence. What is your body telling you? Has your breathing been steady? How has your digestion been? How about your heart rate? Are you noticing anything different in the way it’s been beating?
If so, are you making a note of it? Are you paying attention and noticing any patterns? Have you contacted a healthcare professional to speak about anything new that’s concerning you that wasn’t there before? Take care. Don’t blow anything off. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Being back in this space with you all feels amazing! Be sure to check back next week and if you haven’t already listened to the podcast version of this blog, I’d love for you to give it try! You can subscribe so you don’t miss an episode, and I would love it if you would please rate and review the show while you’re there.
It’s not about being perfect; it’s about being easy with the practice.
I wish for you peace, ease, joy, and love. You deserve to be well. xo