Quarantine Kaleidoscope

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a week since I was in my classroom, working away at teaching my kids to write the perfect essay, and now I’m sitting on my bed watching the rain fall from the heavily clouded sky while receiving messages from students in Google Hangouts wanting to know about this or that aspect of their newly minted online schooling.

While, to be honest, the magnitude of this colossal shift has yet to hit me (it just feels like an early spring break), there are already some truths that have sprung up over the past several days that I thought were worth dwelling on.

  1. The earth is infinitely better when there is less human activity. If you’ve been keeping up on the news surrounding the corona-virus, you may have seen the articles that cover what’s been happening in nature around the globe. Things like satellite images depicting a dramatic decrease in pollution, the canals in Venice flowing clear for the first time in decades, and random animals popping up seemingly out of nowhere. If we all collectively as a human race picked a month, a week, or even a day every so often to stop everything but the essentials and stay home, what a big difference we could make! Humans, collectively, are the largest destroyers when blindly following the rat race, but also the biggest creators of change when we work together with purpose.
  2. Adversity does nothing but ramp up human creativity. I have loved seeing the videos that have popped up from over in Italy and elsewhere that show people singing together from balconies, leading others through rooftop workouts, and playing various instruments across the way with each other to pass the time. Here in America, where things are still in the early stages, we have celebrities giving free Instagram live concerts, comedians hosting solo shows from their bathtubs, and a whole ton of quarantine comedy bombarding social media. Instead of hunkering down and feeling scared, paranoid, or worse, the majority of humanity is embracing this time and letting their creativity shine, which is a beautiful thing.
  3. When fear is cast out of the human heart, a lot of goodness remains. While there have been a few stories highlighting the dark side of human nature in these trying times, I have seen more examples of human good come out of these past few days then I have seen in a while. People volunteering to run errands for the elderly or those in delicate health, people sharing stories of positivity and gratefulness for what they have during this time of reduced freedom, people offering to share some rolls of toilet paper to those of us (read: me) who didn’t get to the store in time. So many small yet mighty acts of good going on that are just amplified by the chaos surrounding them. It makes me want to step up my kindness game, and work on holding high levels of peace and love in my heart so that when I’m squeezed by life, only goodness comes out.
  4. Our daily routine makes a difference. While in this time of isolation, I have had ample time each morning to start the day slowly, and truly enjoy the new day energy that comes with the rising of the sun. I have a book of spiritual readings that I try to read daily, but truthfully, in my never-ending grind, it gets pushed to the wayside more often than not. Now that I have the time to focus each morning and start each day with a slow happy sigh rather than a rapid bang, I find that my sense of inner peace is much more easy to keep a hold of than it usually is. I am also much more easily able to identify when I make emotional choices that are not in the best interest of my highest self, as well as able to stand more firm in what I desire and deserve out of my life and relationships.

Overall, while having a disease sweep the entire world is never ideal (see: The Black Plague, The Spanish Flu, etc), I do feel that it is going to have a net positive impact once it goes away and things can resume with some normality. We never truly understand what we have until it is taken away, and the infusion of gratitude alone after this quarantine ends should be enough to catapult us into a collective better future.

While we are all still stuck in this quarantine, I would encourage you to make some serious time each day to work on your inner self: read spiritual or uplifting material, dedicate some time to solitude and reflection, and find ways to flex your growing ‘inner peace’ muscle whenever possible. This unexpected block of time, while delivered in a slimy garbage bag, could actually be the greatest gift of our generation and the start of a bright new future.

Much love to all,

-Hannah Elizabeth

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