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Thank you for the emails and texts over the past few weeks. I am honored to hear how my weekly blog is bringing more calm into your world these days. I’ve read your words of heartbreaking loss, beautiful chaos, genius ideas, and the most beautiful words of appreciation. Thank you for opening up your hearts and confidence to me. I hold your joy and pain preciously in my own heart. I do appreciate you.
I’d like to begin today’s blog with a member spotlight from our community. Last week, I had asked for your ideas on how to create more intention each day.
I thought Pat’s idea was interesting, fun, and educational. Here is what she wrote:
“Thank you for your messages….I am having some fun with my family . i have found some things in my “sorting” time that I saved for a very very long time…I am 76….So I post a picture and see if anyone knows what it was used for. Funny responses….if no one gets it, at 5:00 I will share what it is and perhaps the why of saving it!. Also am finding other things my family sees all the time…but in the future will wonder why that has been around too….So i will take a picture of that and ask if anyone knows why it is still with me…and usually not….so i will share the history/memory of it!…It is fun….but also since i have a captive audience to share with…reminds me of people and moments that were enjoyable from the past. I have invited them to share stuff they find as well.
Thank you for being one of the motivating companions during this time of transition.”
Thank you Pat for taking the time to share your idea. I’m sure it will create a ripple effect to other families!
I love hearing from you so don’t forget to hit “reply” after reading today’s blog with any ideas or thoughts I can share next week.
So happy to share I’ve expanded the content this week to include more “tranquility treats” along with a daily devotion (thanks for the inspiration Jerry!) and even homework! I hope you enjoy today’s post.
Here we go..
A recent conversation reminded me of two things to hold on to during this time in our world:
1. Do the best you can… and realize everyone else is as well. It may not feel like it when you witness other people’s actions so different from yours but remember that they, like you, know what they know. Everyone operates out of the scope of their perception, knowledge, and history.
2. Yes it’s key to look within… as well as looking around. While you practice the art of self-care and self-love also be aware of the care and love needed right outside your doorstep, within your family, neighborhood, and community. When this is over and you look back on this time, how do you want to feel regarding your contribution?
The thing is, we all need each other to get through this. We need the healthcare workers, the grocery store staff, the pharmacists, the police men and women, …. and they need us to give what we have to give while adhering to the guidelines of isolation for the greater good.
So this week, let’s all contemplate what gifts, time, energy, and resources we have available to us to offer our fellow human beings. Not sure where to begin? Start by asking yourself “what brings me to tears?” I realize this is not that fun of an exercise but it transports you immediately to what moves you deeply and a clue to where you could have the most impact in giving back.
For example, what moves me to tears is the thought of people alone in nursing homes day in and day out. What moves me to tears even more are my fellow human beings in hospice spending their final moments without loved ones before transitioning over. So my work this week will involve writing to these people. My next step is inviting my friends, family, and yes this community (see below) to hop on board with me. If you’d like to join in, please email me back and I’ll explain the details.
In many ways, this isolation has created more feelings of connection. I feel closer to the people I love. My family, my friends, my clients, my colleagues. I have noticed a deeper sense of appreciation. A willingness to pick up the phone when it rings rather than thinking “I’ll call them back later.” Asking what I can do for my neighbors and being vulnerable enough to accept for their help as well.
Case in point. I was in New York for work the week of March 9. During that time, the governor started the containment area which was 15 miles away from where I work. Flying home on the 12th, I received a text from a colleague that explained anyone coming from New York back to Wisconsin was being asked to self quarantine for two weeks. I immediately felt a lack of control over the situation. For me, that’s scary!
Quickly my niece, who lives with me, gathered up her things, my dog Birdie, and headed out of town back to her parents before I got home. Of course before she left, she went to the grocery store and washed the floors! Yes she knows the way to my heart. Clean floors and clean sheets make me smile!
Within about four or five days I started having body aches, headache, and a stomach ache. I dismissed it as a minor flu bug and perhaps it was (and still is!)
Once the two weeks was up, I drove halfway to Waunakee to meet my sister in Johnson Creek to pick up my dog Birdie, otherwise known as “Her Ladyship.” She’s an English Setter and I love Downton Abbey…. 🙂
On the way, I started feeling ill again. It was frustrating because I felt I had turned a corner and finally able to actually go to the grocery store or the pharmacy. As we sat in the McDonald’s parking lot both talking on our phones but of course in our respective cars, she offered to turn around and take Birdie back with her. We went back-and-forth discussing it and she finally said to me, “Meg what does your gut say to do?”
I knew the answer was that she had to take Birdie back. Let me tell you, that was really hard for me to do. It’s not easy for me to ask for help… especially to ask someone to turn around and drive back and make the entire trip a mute point! But I peeled back the layers of my surface “stuff” and asked a deeper question of “what is the right thing to do?”
Yes I am not feeling well and yes I could take care of my dog and take her out on walks but the question is “how can I live with myself going up and down the elevator in my building five times a day possibly infecting someone else?” Is it the coronavirus or not? Who knows? I’m not sick enough to warrant a test but I know enough to stay put. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
So my sister and Her Ladyship turned around and drove back. Here’s the best part. There wasn’t one moment of her acting annoyed or frustrated with me. She had every right to be … But instead she laughed and said “don’t worry about it. At least I got some fries… and the kids are going to laugh as I walk back in with Birdie!”
This is what I’m talking about. We all are being faced with decisions on where to go, where not to go, what to do, what not to do. We are also faced with situations of having to ask for help as well as offering it. Thank you Molly.
I guess the bottom line is, we are all in this together. I hope you enjoy the extras below. Have a safe and happy week and remember you are never alone.
This week’s “Tranquility Treats” are ideas on what we can give to others to alleviate emotional suffering. Let’s be over the top in our generosity and pass on as much serenity and love as possible….
Zoom Rooms: This app is wonderful. It’s a virtual way to connect to others similar to FaceTime but with the ability to host numerous people in your “room.” The free option allows you to have a virtual get together for 40 minutes with up to three people. Above that there are fees. Click here to learn more.
Dear God/Divine/Higher Power,
Give me the strength to see beyond my own pain and worries. Help me open my eyes, my heart, and my front door to witness the collective needs of my fellow human beings. Support me in taking exquisite care of my body, mind, and soul while also using my gifts, resources, and time to extend this love to others.
WORD OF THE WEEK
Definition of altruism
1 : unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
charitable acts motivated purely by altruism
Recent Examples on the Web
Maintaining social distance and voluntarily quarantining yourself is part self-interest, part altruism.
— Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, “What If You Can’t Avoid the Hospital as Covid-19 Spreads?,” 16 Mar. 2020
“Your Million Dollar Idea”
First, imagine you are given one million dollars today. The guidelines, however, are that you may not spend it on yourself or give it away to charity. Instead, you are tasked with creating something. A project, movement, foundation, or event that will decrease a certain aspect of suffering in the world. What would you do?
Next, scale your project down to current day reality and implement something on a more realistic level… something you can even do today.