When life gets most challenging, you can respond a few different ways. You can choose a state of fear, try to cling to control and make sure you are safe. You can wait for someone or something external to come and protect you: government assistance, growth in the economy, support from a partner. You can choose to accept you have no control over external challenges and focus your mind on the internal landscape you can control.
I don’t always get this right, I’m human like everyone else, but I try to always go with the last of these three options…trusting that everything is working in divine timing and that all I can control are my thoughts, my actions, and therefore my individual experience. With this being my philosophy, I put it into active practice by seeking out silver linings where life gets cloudy. And by all means, 2020 has been cloudy. By all means, people are going through it in 2020, facing very real and serious challenges. I acknowledge the pain felt throughout the world right now, but at the same time, I can acknowledge silver linings that are present for growth. What is the point of years like 2020, afterall, if we don’t view them as a prompt to grow and evolve? Some may say there is no point, but that philosophy brings me no peace.
Many individuals have spoken about the call to slow down, and with all of us experiencing stay at home/quarantine orders in some capacity, we’ve all felt this deceleration in our lives. Covid-19, for better or worse, slammed the brakes on our lives. We’ve been forced to confront the realities of how we spend and honor our time. For me this has meant realizing I’ve spent years convincing myself I HAVE to move fast, when really I don’t, and really it feels so much better to slow down. I’ve become aware of parts of my life, of habits, that were like slow leaks in a tire, over time adding up to major loss of my most precious resource.
For many years, I have been called out for my high maintenance habits. It is nearly troubling to think about how many hours of my life have been spent on my hair routine (wash, mousse, blow dry, add anti-friz product, straighten out the frizz, curl to appropriate volume, hairspray, tease, hairspray). It’s insane how many hours and how much money I’ve spent on manicures and pedicures. It’s amazing how much time I’ve spent doing makeup without even having a deep appreciation or knowledge of makeup. All of these habits became very unnecessary a few months ago. I could still count on my two hands how many times I’ve left the house in three months. There has been no need to do my hair, no one to impress with makeup, and no way to even get a mani/pedi.
These days, I’m a low maintenance, dry shampoo, mascara, lip gloss, nail sticker loving lady. As the months of stay at home have progressed, I’ve realized I don’t need or want any of the other things. Which is crazy, because not long ago it was all extremely necessary. Where did I pick up the idea that I needed to spend so much time on hair, nails, and makeup? Maybe society, maybe my upbringing. I really don’t know for sure, but I do know I’m leaving it behind. Instead of spending HOURS of my week looking in a mirror, I’m having morning coffee with my girlfriends. I’m doing yoga with my daughters. I’m going for 5 mile walks around my neighborhood. I’m doing things that fill me up rather than things that drain my time.
2020 has been tough. What keeps me moving forward is focusing on the silver linings. I only have 24 hours in a day, and no one really knows how many days they have. But I know I’m getting more out of my days now than ever before. We are living in discomfort right now, whether we want to or not, so we might as well take advantage of this time to make uncomfortable changes in our lives. If something doesn’t feel aligned with who you are now…change it. Even if it is a hairspray habit that’s been with you since the 80’s. Our individual evolution gives us purpose moving through uncertain times.
I would love to hear from you!