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Life Will Never Be The Same–What Do I Do About It?

Maude in fogMaude wrote this week: 

How am I coping? How are you coping? The information, the news, the images and statistics just keeping coming and changing, and my head is often swirling. As Phil shared last week, we always write from our direct experience of what is happening and how this affects us individually and in our relationships.

The ride has been very bumpy, pulsing with ups and downs and everything in between. For a few hours, I’m feeling grounded, balanced and calm about it all. I stand firmly planted and let it all wash over me, secure in my optimism that all will be well, that it is what it is, and all that matters is how we handle it. Then I’m reading the news and rage washes over me of such an extreme nature that I am shocked and shaken. How can I feel such spirit poison?

I get good results back from some medical test that had me shook up and I feel like the world is all shiny and filled with magic. I plant and stick my hands deep in the earth. I walk and take photos, and look at the beauty of the trees and the birds. I am so grateful. Then I get a text or a phone call that some beloved friend is not doing well, has had a seizure or is in great pain. My heart cries for all of us. Communications filter in on friends who lost their homes to the fires, are evacuated with nowhere to go, or who have passed on.

I breathe (don’t forget to do that!) and the air is much better today. I do beloved things that keep me present with what is. I stretch the time frame when looking at the world picture and I feel secure in the knowledge that big and very good and important changes are coming – not tomorrow, but out there not so distant that it is unimaginable. I know that progress is not linear and that, although we do our best to predict so we can act with knowledge, there are always curves and punctuated equilibrium in the forward motion.

In all of these ups and downs, there is the center that makes up my world and determines how I cope with my inner response to outer occurrences: my relationships.

Phil and I live in a circle of peace and love that we actively create continuously around us. We love and support each other, and accept each other as separate unique individuals.

We participate in several regular Zoom meetings together that uplift our spirits and give us hope.  An old friend runs a salon once a month on Zoom where people share about their concerns of the day and what is happening for each of them. There are many different approaches, but each person is actively doing things to effect change and I come away revitalized and full of good energy to sally forth after each salon.

We also attend a Zoom meeting where a larger group of people gather to share and empower each other. Guest speakers share their work and insights and then we break out into smaller groups to talk intimately and get to know each other more personally. I come away each week full of new ideas and renewed faith in the goodness of people.

My relationships are not all in Zoom meetings; there are social distanced one on ones in our little tea house. There are phone calls, emails, and visits with our small family pod of safety. I read an hour a day with each of my grandchildren through Face time and visit in person every few weeks.

Tuesday was our wedding anniversary. We usually go on a long trip together for a week or two. Last year we went up the Western Sierras and across a northern pass to Carson City; a few years ago we went to Yellowstone. This year we couldn’t really travel, certainly not north which is on fire. But we could and did celebrate anyway by taking a local drive into our mountains and setting aside time to be together.

So my relationships are how I cope. I am grateful. I celebrate as often as I can. I grieve for all of us, our sisters and brothers who have passed, those who are experiencing much greater hardships than I; for our planet, for our country, for the people of the world. I plant things, share caring and loving with many. I stay involved and active, and present.

Photo Credit: Phil Mayes

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 Headphone iconClick here to listen to Phil reading this blog.
I (Phil) have just put together a video about why political discussions are so intense. It's a hypothesis about the underlying emotions and how they determine our attitude towards other people. I really believe it identifies the roots of the problem and offers a vocabulary to talk about it.

It would be great if you could give it a like, comment and subscribe to my Youtube channel.

Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfIn this week's blog, Maude writes about how she is coping in these turbulent times. Here are some articles on how people around the world are doing, and some advice on handling life with the Coronavirus.

RESILIENCE: Coping During COVID-19 "Feeling apathetic and exhausted lately? Prefer to crawl into bed instead of getting on another video call? You’re not alone! Living through a mass event like COVID-19 means experiencing emotional highs and lows, and these don’t always remain consistent. Research shows that there is a pattern that emerges when communities experience a major disaster. The graphic below might look familiar. At the beginning of the pandemic we experienced moments of joy and heroism, as residents clapped for healthcare workers from their balconies and showed up in unprecedented ways for one another. We saw our community join forces to face this challenge head on. Physiologically, our bodies responded with an increase of endorphins as we came together urgently to fight a crisis. But six months later, it’s likely we’ve entered the disillusionment phase."

Coping with coronavirus around Colorado | Your personal stories "The coronavirus pandemic has left us all in uncharted waters, with no horizon in sight. But with businesses and schools closed, national pastimes on hold, and the traditional flow of life ground to a halt, one thing’s for sure: We’re carrying on. With new worries and “social distancing” habits, but also with new perspectives and priorities. We're sharing several of your personal stories."

Coronavirus: Your lockdown stories revisited "When the world began to shut down to try and control coronavirus, we interviewed many of you to see how you were coping. Now, we've gone back to ask: how did you change during lockdown, and what did you learn?"

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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