Pause and Reconnect in this time of crisis...

Wherever this finds you I pray that you, your family and your friends are well and safe! I’m sitting in my chair in our living room with our puppy Chirpa happily chewing on her stick. It’s a peanut butter flavored stick and she loves them. It’s my favorite time of the day – early, early morning before the birds wake up and all I can hear is the gentle hum of warm air as it’s pushed out of the heat register and the gnawing and smacking of Chripa and her stick. 

PAUSE…

…Okay I’m back after Chripa abruptly dropped her stick and turned her attention to my hands to replace the stick. We had a seven minute or so battle with her thinking my fingers were much more enticing – even the plush, long-necked yellow chicken toy I tried to distract her with didn’t work in this tussle. The attention of a puppy is fleeting.

Back to what I was sharing. It’s funny the moments in life that make you pause. We wake up one morning and by the time our heads hit the pillow life or some element of life has abruptly changed. It’s in these moments of forced pause that change either moves us forward or carries us backward like a rushing river’s momentum carrying a leaf away from the tree from which it fell. The beauty and messiness of life is that we, human beings, are in constant motion – moving either forward or back on this physical plane… 

In this very moment – you, me, all of our neighbors, family and friends are in a moment of forced pause. Whether you live in the U.S. or some other country, we are all hearing news and in the middle of a swirling pandemic. I’m in my seventh day of social distancing with my husband and dog in our home. Joey, and I spent last week working from home, leaving our house only to go on a daily walk with Chripa. We are working to be part of the solution to stop the spread of this horrific virus in the U.S. and around the world and be part of helping the healthcare system care for those already impacted. For extroverted people like me and countless others, this is an interesting exercise in learning how to connect and find new ways to replace the positive energy we find in being around other people. So many others around the world are doing the same – isolating to help stop the spread or have been directly impacted and have an entirely different set of fears they are facing. This is real and again I pray you and your family and friends are hunkering down and well. I pray for those personally fighting coronavirus (COVID-19) and the families and loved ones of those infected and the scientists, healthcare workers and policy makers around the globe working fervently to end this pandemic.

Humans, all of us, are involved in this pandemic and each of us with different perspectives and reactions to the stress created through our perspectives. Individually we each have valid concerns, reactions and emotions. My husband spent his last week largely focused on how to keep his team moving forward in an environment of so many unknowns – talking to business owners and sales leaders in various states of overwhelm and concern for the future of their companies, business units and team members. I’ve spent the last several weeks running point on communications, messaging and collaboration for the swift, proactive planning of a healthcare company that cares for seniors who are highly vulnerable to this virus. Working alongside colleagues to elevate and launch abundant proactive measures focused on supporting those we serve while running contingency planning and modeling of scenarios a,b,c as this disease poses a risk also to the employees and caregivers supporting the population we serve.

Everyone I’ve spoken with is experiencing varying degrees of struggle and fear around the unknowns…

…And that’s where the PAUSE comes in. As I sit here this morning that’s the opportunity (and yes I am always personally biased to the positive, but hear me out) – the PAUSE is our opportunity. 

We each can choose to look at this moment, the forced break in our abundantly busy lives as “a gift” or as “the event that’s taking us down.” We each naturally have a cognitive bias, a way we automatically see situations – fearfully, begrudgingly, from a place of scarcity or optimistically and positively, from a place of taking responsibility for how we feel and choosing to see things abundantly. It’s important to understand, there’s nothing wrong with either bias, it’s how we were taught as young children to see the world and how we now automatically view every situation. Cognitive bias is the way we think and process everything without even knowing it. The ongoing doomsday messages that have become prolific for the media in our modern life feeds off of the former bias as fear is a stronger motivation and sells more than the positive bias. In times like these where there is so much uncertainty the media just keeps feeding us fear, only briefly covering stories of people coming together to support one another. The focus on fear is largely because fear is what captures and holds the attention of humans, it’s the stronger motivator.

So, in this instant as travel is slowing to a trickle, people are asked to work from home where possible, normal distractions like restaurants and bars are largely offering take-out only options, schools are scrambling to offer online learning options and all group activities have been cancelled for you and I, kids and even pets… The world, humans, have a moment of pause.

I invite you to place fear of the future aside for just a moment, cast the what ifs and the uncertainty off your shoulders and out of your mind for just an instant… I invite you to consider intentionally choosing (because choice is always ours to make when we recognize that there is one) to see this pause as a gift, if only for today or tomorrow. Lean into this pause. I invite you to spend some time reconnecting. First with yourself… Are you happy? What would UnLOCK greater happiness for you? And then spend some time reconnecting with those you love – having real, meaningful conversations with them, UnLOCKing what makes them happy.

If you haven’t listened in to our podcast lately I invite you to come on over. We’ve had some really interesting guests join us and I’m guessing you’ll really love hearing their messages of hope and even gather some great tips on how to deeply, vulnerably connect!!

This moment of pause is not about the how, the how will come. This moment is about the what and the why behind your happiness and those around you. If only for a moment, let’s choose to see this as a gift that has totally stripped us of all distractions and excuses of distractions, stripped away the “I’m too busy” that was yesterday. 

Yes, as leaders in our house and in our work we will need to plan for tomorrow at some point. Yes, it’s prudent to create good, bad, worst scenarios in times of great uncertainty. But for this instance take my challenge to PAUSE and really RECONNECT with yourself and those around you. 

I don’t know what the future holds, but what I do know is that we will get through this as humankind and look back years from now, you and I either still on this earth or as beams of beautiful energetic love, either having PAUSED to reconnect or regretfully wishing we had in this forced pause. 

In this moment we can let panic and overwhelm and the craziness of the media’s fear frenzy suck us into a feeling of being paralyzed or we can choose to recognize the pause, see it as a brief gift and take a few moments to reconnect and let love guide us through.

Hop over to some of our older episodes and check out the nuggets of wisdom I know you’ll find!

The “Force” is Already with YOU. Start Realizing EPIC in Your Life Today with the Power of Intention, #83

Uplevel Your Relationships, #87

All the Love – Here’s to your PAUSE!

 

JK