At the beginning of the pandemic, I worried that people would freak out. I thought we would all need new kinds of support and special self-care. But that’s not what I’m seeing. Turns out that the first principal of coaching really is true: “People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.”
On social media, I see people doing amazing things to reach out to each other. They check in with each other and offer help when possible. People are sharing tips and resources and support in unprecedented ways. They’re creating on-line networks of support – like the “My Friends Do Awesome Things – Let’s Learn from Them” page. Membership rapidly grew to 2500 users who offer opportunities to learn everything from languages, ballet, and quilting to how to install a bidet.
In my coaching practice, people continue to work toward their goals. Ok, the circumstances around them are different. They may have to accommodate trying to work from home, home-schooling kids, self-isolation, or risking their well-being to provide essential services. But they continue to move steadfastly toward their goals.
I don’t mean things are smooth or necessarily pleasant. These are challenging times, (isn’t that a nice understatement) and I imagine most of us are riding an emotional roller coaster at times. Last night, I had a moment of sadness/rage that came with an urge to knock over furniture and yell “Fuck” loudly. I do not usually feel that way. But, just like waves in the ocean, the feeling rose up and passed.
I’m not saying that we aren’t having a hard time. Good grief, of course we are. And I’m not saying that we’re all coping beautifully all the time. Some of us are still in denial. Some of us feel overwhelmed with grief. But in these times, it is OK to not be OK. We can re-define what “I’m OK” means.
One thing that’s been helpful for me is carving out the time and (mental) space to breathe and center myself. Of course, that’s not new, I always need that time and space. Sometimes, in that space, I think I can faintly discern some of the pathway in front of me.
What has been most helpful for you? What do you need right now?