by Cawood Fitzhugh
As I read and understand more about this new “normal” I am awestruck at the concept of impermanence. This exact time last year, I was on a plane for Quebec, Canada. In just 2 hours, I landed in the beautiful city of Montreal, where I found myself wandering around this French-Canadian wonderland in large crowds of people. We were dancing, singing, and enjoying the outdoor movie creations. It was a creative celebration of Old Montreal’s history through “Cite Memoire” with original footage of the city shown on the sides of buildings while sharing headsets in both English and French. There were open air markets, beautiful museums, delicious croissants with wild caught salmon in crowded cafes. There were people everywhere, touching, talking, singing, laughing.
I took a train afterwards from Montreal to Rhinebeck, NY to attend a conference. The train became more crowded with new people climbing aboard as it chugged closer and closer to NYC. There was much chatter and laughter as people conversed with one another. The concept of a pandemic was non-existent. We were all free to come and go as we wanted, when we wanted, and how we wanted.
Yes, “now” is a very different time from “then”. Now, I have a deeper, respect for the meaning of impermanence and how very real a concept it is. I realize now is the only moment I can really be sure of. “Then” no longer exists and “when” this pandemic will be over is unclear. How does the “new” normal look, feel, taste, act, in moving forward? It’s a sobering question and one fraught with a lot of emotion when I try to anticipate the future. What is a healthy way to show up to my life as it is now with this pandemic and whatever this “new” normal is?
A mindfulness attitude is Acceptance. Acceptance is seeing things as they actually are in the present moment. Another principle is Letting Be. In meditation practice, we intentionally put aside the tendency to elevate some aspects of our experience and to reject others. Instead we just let our experience be what it is and practice observing it from moment to moment. Letting go is a way of letting things be, of accepting them as they are. For me personally, when I accept things as they are, I find more resolve and peace. I have more resiliency to bounce back and thrive.
Here is a poem from Danna Faulds that seems appropriate as we all meander our way through this new normal.
Just for Now – Danna Faulds
Just for Now,
Without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.
Just for now, lay down the weight
You so patiently bear upon your shoulders.
Feel the earth receive you,
And the infinite expanse of the sky grow even wider,
as your awareness reaches up to meet it.
Just for now,
Allow a wave of breath to enliven your experience.
Breathe out whatever blocks you from the truth.
Just for now,
Be boundless, free,
with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet.
Drink in the possibility
Of being who and what you really are —
So fully alive that the world looks different,
Newly born and vibrant, just for now.
Filed Under: Monthly Musings