EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here.
“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.” ~Sharon Salzberg
I came home from my doctor’s appointment last week and rambled off three to four different things that were happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus. By the fourth item my wife asked me to stop. She said please tell me something good.
I told her that my doctor said my pathology report came back negative. That the procedure on my neck had removed all cancerous cells. (A very good thing!) We shared a hug and a smile, and then I was back on my phone looking to see if anything else had changed in the world.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been glued to your phone the past couple of weeks, mesmerized by what’s going on. I’ve been swiping right (to get to the news) thirty to forty times per day, probably more, and it’s been making me crazy.
Many of us are now in isolation from a virus that is changing the world as we know it at incredible speed. That’s why I think it’s important to spend less time on our phones.
Yep, you heard me correct. Less time. Even if it’s just ten minutes less per day.
Now more than ever it’s important to spend time doing something that’s grounded in reality rather than fear and panic. I’m not saying that what’s happening isn’t real, it’s very real, but a lot of us are getting over amplified by the ridiculous amount of information at our fingertips, and it’s taking us to a place of stress and anxiety.
That’s why I want to challenge everyone to fourteen days of meditation. Because meditation is grounded in reality.
It’s just breathing. Breathing in and out like the waves of the ocean.
It’s you experiencing your thoughts for what they are—just thoughts—and then coming back to your breath. It’s you taking a break from the craziness of what’s going on and getting centered.
I present this challenge to you gently because I know a lot of us have been affected in one way or another. Heck, I just found out that a job I was supposed to start today has been pushed back for a month and a half. That’s money that my family was counting on.
I can get angry and I can scream and shout, but what good is that going to do me.? It is what it is. Instead, I can meditate. However scary it may be out there, we all have this beautiful opportunity to check in with ourselves and rise.
I’m not saying don’t inform yourself, but at the same time you don’t need to be glued to your phone. We have to remember to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. Then others. Hence this challenge.
Take this time for you. Ten minutes a day.
Put down your phone. Don’t swipe right and get sucked up into the news like I’ve been doing. Don’t turn on the TV and check out for an hour or two. Use this time, which we all have, to check in with yourself.
And who knows? Fourteen days might lead to a long-term habit—one that will make you a better person and make those around you better.
Imagine a world where all of us do this. Where we ground ourselves in reality, checking in with our bodies, and we breathe and let our bodies send safety messages to our minds rather than our minds hijacking our bodies with fear. This is the vision that kept me up most of last night.
Meditate and let your body remind you that everything is okay. Breathe in and breathe out knowing that right here, right now, just for this moment, everything is okay.
Remember, we are full organisms. Everything that we are thinking and think we are feeling has an associated physiological response. Sit with the knowing that despite whatever your mind is trying to tell you or whatever life stresses are coming your way you are completely safe in this moment right here in your body.
I’ve never asked this before but I’m asking it now. Please send this on to someone you know or share it on social media. I believe this is important to all of us right now.
Take this challenge. Give yourself this gift.