“Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” This question, slightly changed, could be asked to each of us about 2020. Other than THAT [Covid-19; daily infection and death counts; nursing home, hospital and healthcare overload; closed schools, restaurants, and businesses; political turmoil; natural disasters, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes; police shootings; protests, riots, and looting; conspiracy theories; killer hornet invasion (what???)…], how was your 2020?
Thinking of the millions of people world-wide affected by Covid and all that is 2020 leaves me feeling dazed and overwhelmed. How can I honor the gravity of 2020 with my Silver Lining Moments practice? In a brief pause of typing, I realize this is what it is all about. Acknowledging the clouds and seeing the sunlight resets you. It is a practice.
Acknowledging the clouds in my 2020, I acknowledge my unsettling feelings as my world and the whole world was disrupted and the fear I had from not having health insurance. My husband and I were scheduled to teach in China in March 2020. After starting what I call my PAUSE & RESET Journey in 2016, I finally had clarity of purpose. Teaching in China would have allowed us to get insurance and save money toward our dream of buying a home, while also giving me time to work on purposeful projects. I was ready to press PLAY on my RESET!
But 2020 disrupted our plans. It pressed PAUSE, demanding the whole world to reset the way we live and think. With our plans disrupted, my husband and I were engulfed by uncertainty as to where and how we would live. He is a UK citizen and I am US citizen. We don’t have our own home; there are time limits on how long we can stay in each other’s home country. We were unsettled in every sense of the word.
We found ourselves living with my in-laws in England. They live in a nice terrace home, spacious for two people but a little tight for four. For some perspective, one night, my stomach got upset and one of my in-laws was in the only bathroom. I had no choice but to run in the garden and throw-up, projectile vomit style. Loud heaving and vomit-retching sounds filled the air as I crumbled over and cried. (A bit melodramatic, but who doesn’t cry when they throw-up?)
There were also Sunday dinners, tea with my mother-in-law, and my father-in-law’s stories. While we all did our best to give each other space, our feet got slightly bruised from stepping on each other’s toes. Years from now, I will look back at this time fondly. In an unsettled time, they provided us a home filled with a stable and calming energy.
In October, my visa for the UK expired. We needed to leave and going to the US was not a viable option. We traveled to Albania where we could afford to rent our own apartment overlooking the Adriatic Sea and self-isolate. Albania was unexpected but as our PAUSE continues, we are safe and in a good place to press PLAY.
It is in Albania where I first saw my Silver Lining Moment for 2020. I completed a 30-Day Yoga series. I started it in England and it took me 60 days to complete, but I completed it! This was the first time that I completed such a series, despite starting many over many years. There was the:
- 21 days of meditation with Deepak Chopra and Oprah, about five of these — so calming and grounding that I never made it past 11;
- 50–day Daily Om course — learning so much that I stopped at day 12;
- 30 days of good karma — filling myself with much needed good karma when I thought I had none that I stopped at day 17;
- And, many, many, many MORE!
Each #-Day Challenge was aimed at empowering with self-love. While I got plenty of good from the parts that I completed, there was a sneaky undercurrent of failure for not completing them. This undercurrent met with its Not-Good-Enough buddy and the two of them subtly ran through my veins and seemed to clog my path to completion.
So, when I finished the 30 Days of Yoga, it felt as if I was standing in front of the Failure and Not-Good-Enough buddies in my veins and declaring, “NOT anymore! It’s time for you both to be on your way….with love and kindness be transformed!” As I told my husband I completed this series, I was beaming so much you would have thought I climbed Mount Everest. Perhaps, not Mount Everest but I felt like a new height had been reached. And, from this vantage point, I could see a clear path to completion. Later that week, I completed two projects that I started years ago.
For me, 2020 has two major themes: disruption and completion. As the saying goes, life happens while you are busy making other plans.* In 2020, my ability to make any plans was disrupted. In this disruption, life happened and I completed things.
From 2020, I realize how a moment of DISRUPTION is lined by COMPLETION.
What’s your 2020 Silver Lining Moment?
A moment of _______ is lined by _________.
*This saying is attributed to Allen Saunders and others. John Lennon used it in his song, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”.