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Acceptance, surrender & love in times of Covid-19

By Andrea Kartika Deierlein

Last week when this whole CoVid-19 crisis became more real for us here in New York and the air was full of anxiety and frantic energy, a dear and wise friend of mine reminded me to be still. To be silent. He recommended to go on standby and standstill, for at least a month. I was baffled.

These past two weeks as the uncertainty kept rising and I went into full plan-ahead and get-prepared mode, to make sure that we have all that we need for several weeks (which, when you live with 11 animals is a horse of a different color), I couldn’t understand what he meant by stillness. I was busier than before. From one day to the next, structures and routines were turned topsy-turvy, I had to learn new technology and set new infrastructures in place (pronto) to make sure that my business doesn’t become obsolete from one day to the next. At the same, I was on the phone, on the computer, more than ever, speaking to friends, family, clients, loved ones all over the world to check in on each other. According to my right hand, I haven’t typed as much as this in a long time.

Now as life slowly begins to find its new rhythm as we cocoon, huddle in, hunker down, I am also feeling a sense of relief. Despite the uncertainty, despite not knowing how long we need stay at home to ride this crazy viral invasion out, despite not knowing when I will be able to travel to Germany and Indonesia again to hold my loved ones tight. And believe me, I will hug them tighter than before and hold on onto these precious moments for however long they will let me.

For me, this whole situation is a BIG lesson in acceptance, surrender and love.

“If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry, and if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.”

- The Dalai Lama

As one of my mentors has been lovingly pounding into my head, since we started working together one year ago, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

We all have problems. Unresolved issues. Skeletons in our closets. And, up until now, we have conveniently been too busy to deal with people, things and emotions that need to be dealt with. For me, this is an opportunity to assess, take inventory of my life, personally and professionally, what has been working well and what not so much… so that I can adjust, improve, make better choices.

Maybe this is the time to go through all my contacts, strengthen the ones that resonate, fill me with love, joy, awe, wonder, inspiration. But, also, lovingly discern the ones that I don’t even remember anymore why and how we got connected in the first place. Maybe this is a beautiful opportunity to build new relationships, but if it’s time to part ways, then that’s o.k. too…. because life is fragile. Every moment matters. Our whole existence is so vulnerable, time is precious, attention is one of the most coveted inter-personal resources. This is our wake-up call to acknowledge and focus on who and what matters in our life.

Personally, I am determined to reclaim the joy in my life, wherever and however it shows up. And it does! Even in unprecedented times like these. The cuddles with my dogs are longer, my cats love having a lap to sit on, I am in daily contact with some of my nearest and dearest, I am not rushing from one to-do to the next. It’s o.k. to take a nap when tired, to dance to a song when my body feels stiff, and still be productive. This slowing down is bringing me gentleness and clarity. It is also bringing me stillness. Stillness to hear the birds singing, the raindrops falling, and my heart filling with love.

Nobody knows how long this pandemic is going to last, what will happen next, as the whole world is changing and transitioning… all this pain, all the fear, the sadness, misery and all the suffering that comes with it, may it all be for a reason. May it all be for greater purpose. Even if it is just a reminder to let each other know that each one of us matters. That we are in this together. And to tell the people in our lives that we appreciate them – and why.

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