This episode is about successfully re-entering society after sheltering in place. The tips and tricks in this episode also apply to re-entry after a trauma.
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Today I want to talk about getting back on the horse. That’s cowgirl spek for getting back into what passes for a normal life after life has been decidedly abnormal.
But first, allow me to do my little intro here:
Welcome to Fearlessly Feral Living! Broadcasting to you from the Woogie Ranch, out here in the back 40 of northwestern Nevada, where I’m a half hour away from the nearest gas station and grocery store! This is a podcast devoted to using New Thought principles to ensure successful creative living. Fearlessly Feral is a focus ministry of Centers for Spiritual Living and is devoted to the vision of a world in which everyone lives Fearlessly Feral, or - wild and free.
We blend spirituality and psychology to work from the inside out to promote successful wild and free living.
Our MISSION is to provide a strong and unshakeable inner foundation that works for long term successful living.
Our PURPOSE is activating inner self awareness to live unlimited lives. We do this by talking about spiritual principles in practical ways so they are applicable to every day living.
As I mentioned earlier, this episode is about getting back on the horse. Now, if you’ve ever gone off a horse, you might know that wisdom says to get right back on, for a whole bunch of reasons. I’ve gone off my horse before, and I’ve gotten right back on. I haven’t ever not gotten back on, so I don’t know what happens if one doesn’t get back on. But for me, getting back on is necessary. It tells the horse I’m not going to take that shit if the horse was naughty. It tells the horse I forgive him if it was just a plain and simple accident. It tells me I can still ride, even if I’ve gone off.
I’ve found that life is a bit like riding a horse, if you go off, you have to get right back on again. And we went off, big time, when we sheltered in place for two years. And getting back on has turned out to be easier said than done for a few of us. They even have names for it.
Folks who like to name such things are calling this re-integration. Or social re-integration.
And there are some problems cropping up with that re-entry. Those same folks are calling it post intensive care syndrome and post isolation syndrome and re-entry anxiety.
It’s a real thing. If you have been feeling anxious, fatigued or depressed, take heart. So are a lot of others. Which means you are not alone. And the plethora of names for this thing means a lot of folks have studied this and that means there is a solution. These same folks are recommending some practical things for managing this: pace your activities, in other words don’t try to do too much too soon. Re-establish routines that were disrupted because you were working from home or sheltering in place. And of course, if there are physical things going on, see your doctor.
But I want to talk about this thing from a spiritual point of view. Because inherent in the anxiety, depression, uncertainty and all those other unpleasant things you may be experiencing, there is a beautiful opportunity to create a new normal. And creating something new in our lives is what spirituality is all about. In Science of Mind, we teach that if you are thinking you are creating. Now before you push back and explain to me how that simply isn’t true, let me add this: it is more accurate to say that it is the patterns of our thinking that do the creating, it’s the thoughts that have strong feelings attached to them that do the creating, it’s the thoughts that have deep seated beliefs behind them that do the creating. And the point is that in looking at a thing like post covid shelter in place re-entry as an opportunity to create something new, the first place we need to look is at the level of our thoughts, particularly the patterns of our thoughts.
And if you are thinking that you don’t want to create a new normal, you just want to go back to the way it was before, get ready for a disappointment, because it is simply not possible to go back. Because let’s face it, we can’t go back to the way it was before. Because things are different. We are different.
Look at it from a technical point of view: the sheltering in place that resulted from covid forced us to come up with ways to work without leaving the house. Enter technology. There’s Zoom and FaceTime and YouTube and all sorts of things we did not have before.
I know many people who are only attending AA meetings online now, and they are very happy doing it. Personally, I’m doing both. For churches, Zoom has allowed them to invite people from all over the world to attend their activities. And there are so many online classes now! This is the new normal for our world. Personally, I’ve been looking at the offerings of classes out there and am fascinated and overjoyed at what is being taught. And I’m teaching a ten week online only class right now. And in my interim ministry work, all the Centers I have worked with have embraced the new technology, which in turn has resulted in growth for them.
And just like there is a new normal technologically, there can be a new normal for us emotionally and spiritually.
I consider myself lucky. During shelter in place I was able to work online for the most part. The only exception to that was weddings. I never figured out how to get my hands on the wedding license and sign it unless I was there in person to do so. I specialize in elopements, and in 2020, I had a record breaking year for elopements. They were all outside, we were able to socially distance, I made liberal use of hand sanitizer and sanitized pens for signing of the license, we wore masks if we couldn’t social distance, we refrained from touching, and I changed the ring exchange part of the ceremony so the couple didn’t hand their rings to me during the ceremony, but instead hung onto them while I talked about the rings, then did their ring exchange. So the weddings worked out great.
The other thing I was able to do during shelter in place was study and learn. Not only did I study and learn new tools, tips, tricks and cool things, but I was able to study and learn more about myself. I had many awarenesses during and after shelter in place.
But I’m still in the process of creating a new normal for myself in my life. Yep, I didn’t know it was suggested to pace oneself upon re-entry, but I am. I am considering how I want to live post covid, and what I want to do, and how I want to show up in the world. I’ve done some soul searching about the kinds of people I want to associate with. I’ve come to realize that I simply am a changed person. Much of my naïveté is gone, much of my child like wonder is gone. In fact, I’ve been depressed, anxious and in no small amount of shock at the behavior of many of my fellow humans. I have not come out of this unscathed. In many ways, shelter in place created a dark night of the soul for many people, including me. Coming out of that isn’t always easy, but again, I still say this is an opportunity to create great and wonderful things. The truth is, we can either create something new and great and wonderful, or we can go on living in darkness. For me the choice is very clear.
And here is where the spirituality comes in. Because it has been both tempting and easy to think about and focus on the anxiety and the depression. I’ve experienced the fatigue and lack of energy. And while it would be easy to take some meds, I don’t consider that a long term solution. Therapy could work, but there’s a better way. A more efficient way. A way that I believe in absolutely, because this thing I’m about to introduce to you has worked for me before to bring me out of any doldrums I happen to find myself in. Now, before someone goes and takes this a bit too far and starts thinking that I’m advocating not using what we call outside help, nothing could be further from the truth. Use the therapy if it is needed. Use the meds if they are indicated. Use whatever you feel like you need to use. It’s all good. What I’m saying is that spiritual tools are helpful, extremely so. And powerful. Very powerful. So, ready to see what some of these tools are? OK!
I live eat and breath this teaching called science of mind. It isn’t a religion, it has been described by founder Ernest Holmes as a philosophy and way of life. This teaching called science of mind says that if we change our thinking, our outcomes will change. It says that there is a thing called the law of attraction which means what we focus on is what we attract into our lives. This teaching says that we can use our connection with that spirit, that force, that god thing, to give us strength, power, wisdom and clarity, and to treat ourselves with loving kindness as we navigate creating a new normal. All that is spirituality. Or, as Ernest Holmes puts it, spiritual psychology. My favorite thing in life.
So here’s my list of things to do to navigate re-integration into a post covid world:
Ok, that’s the deal folks. That’s how to successfully re-enter life in a post covid world that has gone crazy. Hang in there. It gets better. I promise.
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