"During this "forced" retreat, what’s been coming up for you recently? Whether it’s busyness, drinking habits, anxiety, frustration at work…now could be the perfect time to recognize, become aware of, investigate and perhaps even take small steps to start nurturing any issues that you might now be seeing with enhanced clarity."
I’m several weeks in to my Coronavirus-related seclusion. Everyone in my family is either working from home or taking classes remotely. We wake up together, have breakfast, do our tasks and chores for the day per the usual – the only difference is we’re in the same space and indoors most of the time. We do collectively venture out for a nightly stroll to walk Moo, but it’s largely been a forced “retreat” for all of us.
Speaking of retreats, I love the opportunity to go on annual silent retreats. They function as a mental cleanse for me and regardless of how difficult or easy, how enjoyable or hard the retreat, I can always trust that I will leave with some valuable insights and clarity of thought. In talking to friends these days, I’m noticing that this forced retreat we’ve all been taking together is functioning in similar ways – with less stimulation and distractions around us, different bits of wisdom are coming up for different people.
Of course, there are common themes. Everyone is realizing again the importance of the core value of health, stability and community. Most people seem to be feeling interconnected to others more than ever as we go through this pandemic together – people are trying to do their part by abiding strictly by social distancing rules, we’re trying to support small businesses around us the best we can, rooting for the first responders, and we’re praying for the sick and others less unfortunate in our own unique ways.
Added to that, it’s interesting to see how various insights are manifesting within us. I have a friend who told me how this time has made him think more about his drinking habits. He’s naturally gravitating towards news articles on how at-home drinking has been increasing with people locked down with not much else to do. This is prompting him to actively re-examine and make adjustments to his own drinking habits. Another colleague mentioned how it’s given him an opportunity to explore his history with anxiety – stemming back to decades of self-reflection. Yet another friend is telling me it’s bringing up her frustrations at work – she might start looking for another job to follow her bliss once things settle down.
For me, it’s been my chronic busyness addiction. I’m becoming more and more aware of my continuous need to be doing something and checking things off my to-do list. Whether it’s working, house chores, exercising or doing stuff for my family members, I feel the constant need to do stuff and remain productive. I have a really hard time giving myself quality space – whenever I try, I easily become restless and move onto something else without even realizing it.
What’s been coming up for you recently? Whether it’s busyness, drinking habits, anxiety, frustration at work…now could be the perfect time to recognize, become aware of, investigate and perhaps even take small steps to start nurturing any issues that you might now be seeing with enhanced clarity.
I think for me, it might be that I disproportionately link busyness to my self value and worth. Maybe to the degree that despite feeling depleted and exhausted at times, I can't stop doing and just let myself enjoy being. I’m planning to put myself on a mini-busyness detox… step one will be to shut down all screen time starting at 7 pm every night and scheduling in a mandatory mid-afternoon tea break – beginning with today!