I’m writing this post while sitting alone in my apartment in Rome. Yes, Rome—not the epicenter of the coronavirus that has licked Italy but close enough for the ancient city to feel it. I am one of millions on lockdown due to the pandemic, looking out my window to find the City of Light deserted. The number of fatalities from COVID-19 has jumped to 1,441 in Italy, rendering us the hardest-hit country in the EU and the hardest-hit country outside of China.
The streets below my apartment and across the city are empty, silent, and tense. Even without fear and death bombarding the media, this would be disturbing. This is not a quiet city. Where are the honking horns, the sirens? The laughter, the singing, the yelling, the mopeds whipping past? Right now I hear little more than the gawking of seagulls as they forage for food far away from the sea.
It’s easy to get caught up in the terror and sense of helplessness that has struck the globe. Presently, only pharmacies and grocery stores are open in Rome. My friends and family are staying close to home, practicing social distancing. My daughter is in Australia. Cinemas, restaurants, schools, museums, universities—all are closed. And all of this time alone—all of this time where the quiet is foisted upon me and not chosen—has made my mind jumpy. One minute I’m fueling awful thoughts and finding myself in tears; the next minute, I’m pondering the trip I’ll take when this is over and smiling.
Indeed, while Rome’s atmosphere is downright eerie, there’s something nearly magical about this slowing down of time; of this forced silence. Quiet is nothing if not inspiration for reflection, and it occurs to me that all is possible in this suddenly-surreal climate.
I don’t mean this in an apocalyptic way. No, it seems that this shuttering of life as we knew it is the perfect time to assess how far we can go when we put our minds to useful action.
After years of studying this topic, I have come to the realization that we can be and feel however we wish, if, and only if, we internalize three principles:
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Energy
Do not underestimate—I repeat, do not—underestimate the life force that runs through you. What do I mean by life force?
I mean your pure, intrinsic light. Call it your soul, your stardust, your vitality. However you might describe it, it’s the steady, knowing, kind Higher Self that exists deep within you, beyond distractions and away from anguish. It is the bright light you see when something in your gut tells you to take the next right to avoid a multiple-car pileup. It’s the feeling of peace when you operate from a place that feels right and true to your heart.
This life force is always whispering what you should be doing in your life, moment by moment, month by month, year by year—even if you ignore it. It’s your internal compass, your personal angel, who sees the truth of everything and can keep cool even in the worst times of our lives.
This is the same force that regulates nature and its perfect mechanisms, the same force that pushes you forward even in the most daunting of moments. This energy witnesses your life and your doings, knows the truth, and guides you.
Believe in it, honor it, and listen to it.
Select Your Thoughts as You Would Your Clothes—and Choose Your Actions Just as Wisely
I’m paraphrasing here but “select your thoughts as you would your clothes” was one of the most memorable lines I pulled from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love.
The book teems with fantastic sentences, but this one has always seemed particularly special. Why? Not just because I love clothes, but because it reinforces what we know so well: That we have the power to pick and choose how we feel and what we think, which determines how we process the good and bad around us.
But before we can cultivate this, we need to become aware of what we’re doing in the first place.
Think of your own life.
- Are you often running around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to avoid stillness and reflection?
- Are you thinking about the convictions you hold onto and how they may be limiting your ability to move forward?
- Do you hit reset once in a while and observe how you—the captain of your own boat (and how great is that?)—may be steering it towards massive, unmovable glaciers?
- If you do, stop what you’re doing, sit down, and take a minute to do nothing more than think and feel. A pandemic is a universal rallying cry for social and personal change, and you can capitalize on this rather than bemoan it (while also taking superb care of yourself and protecting those around you).
- Consider what you’re doing, where you are at the moment (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually), and reflect on where you want to go.
- Begin to visualize the destination you want to reach and start thinking about how you can match your thoughts and actions to this goal.
- What would you pack for this journey?
Make Beauty out of a Brick
For this third category I like to think of Michelangelo and how Il Davide came to be.
Here’s how the story goes: Michelangelo received a huge block of marble. He looked at it and while others saw nothing, he knew that inside of this blank slate was his sculpture, Il Davide.
How? He appealed to his Higher Self (that infinite source of light and energy I spoke of earlier), he examined the situation at hand, and thoughts began to flow through him about how to birth Il Davide.
Using his connection to the deepest, most spiritual part of his soul—a connection we all have—he received the inspiration he needed and used his mind to create the most famous sculpture in the world.
What does this story tell us?
It underscores that we already have what we need to create the highest possible manifestation of our aspirations: inward perspective, awareness (consciousness) of what is possible, and a well-functioning mind to put it into action.
As we face one of the most challenging predicaments the world has seen in recent years, we have two choices:
- We can paralyze ourselves with panic about something we have very little control over besides the precautions we can make within ourselves and our communities.
- Or we can embrace this time and space to pause in our frenzies to realize
the gifts we all possess: the connection to something tremendously powerful, and the ability to transform our dreams into realities through our minds and the awareness it can summon.
The mind is very handy, but only when we put it to use to create and to love. Everything else—even those morose or “I’m stuck!” thoughts—is basically non-existent.
Take this time to examine and understand the nature of your thoughts, hear the whispers you receive from above, and begin to visualize how you want your future to play out.
Let me help you experience how far you can go, no matter the circumstances, and book a free on-line session with me here,