This morning I found myself dancing around my house, semi-clad, Archie Archibald quick-stepping along. Yet this was a far cry from where I was just a week ago. It has been seven days of so much change my end. My hair being just the start…
As I sat in the hairdressers, bleach bleaching, face mask fixed and a slightly itching scalp, the wave of nausea consumed me. Surely not a full lockdown again. Another month alone, unwell, alone, alone, alone. The spiralling mind kicked in, I jumped on the top of the helter skelter and before I knew it was out of control, sliding down it into a black abyss of lockdown hell.
Take hold of yourself, I said to myself. Get some perspective here. Let’s grasp the positives. The most obvious of which at that moment in time seemed genuinely to be that I had got my hair in the diary just in the nick of time – I mean who wants lockdown roots that are no longer roots but the majority of your unwieldy crop?
I reasoned and reasoned again. Boris hadn’t even made the announcement, who knows what may come. But as last Saturday panned out, the inevitable became reality and we had only days to prepare.
Sunday, I woke, and the clouds were not just looming but enveloping me in a storm of darkness. I really needed some emergency action as my pain levels rose, almost, it felt, in line with my fear.
And that is when Hubbers, as you have often heard me say, one of my angels stepped in. My dear friend Sue – a healer and sweet, sweet soul – said quietly and kindly, let me give you some healing. And 3 hours later, after a magical and emotional ‘journey’, the fear had gone. Quite literally. The hope had returned. Thank you my special friend Sue.
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Being the pro-active type, I decided to take action from every angle I could. That meant internally and externally. It helped for sure that wonderful Sue’s session had supported an easing of my physical pain – but as is so often the way with me, it was my mind I needed to address. Why was I fearful? Where had my hope gone? Why would this lockdown be so different from the last that I had navigated so well it felt?
And so dear Hubbers, here are some tools I have embraced to completely transform, almost magically, my management of what at times has felt like the most challenging 7 days – personally and professionally.
- I have consciously changed my mindset to embrace hope and remove fear. Now this was not easy. I listened to Deepak Chopra’s meditations on hope, I had conversations with myself, I actively reframed thoughts in my head.
- I focused on love and kindnesses in my heart. How would love respond to every person I encountered, every challenge I felt consumed by, every situation that crossed my path?
- I reminded myself, sometimes literally moment by moment, that ‘I am OK’. Aware that I am one of the more fortunate ones in these challenging times, however difficult the future looked, the past felt, I did everything to remain focused on the present moment. And in that moment I knew I was OK.
- I kept my gratitudes regularly. Each night, but also during the day, I focused on things and people I am thankful for. Today alone the blue sky, sunshine and autumnal freshness was a glory to behold.
External (and personal to me!):
- I called my closest friends who make me feel safe and loved. I shared my joys, my sorrows, my fears, my hurts, my dreams. They listened and listened more and were there for me.
- I had lots of baths – as many of you know one of my very ‘happy things’ that is so easy to include in my life!
- I arranged and went on my daily permitted walks with one other person. Archie Archibald in tow of course. And today my ‘DogDaughter’, 5 month old Miniature Schnauzer Nelly, joined us with the wonderful Ilana, who has been such a backbone to both The Happynesshub and Bow-Wowza. I have planned walks with friends daily.
- I had a farewell fling with my family outside. That filled me with enough love fuel to last me the lockdown.
- And last, but by no means least, late on day one of lockdown I found myself clearing and cleaning my house. Woah, it felt good – as luck would have it again a load of ‘stuff’ was being taken away that day, so anything at all that gave me a sad or bad memory (particularly after the last 12 weeks with Mum’s fracture) was removed in some shape or form. As the house became massively de-cluttered, the cobwebs of unwanted memories discarded, an autumn freshness wafted through my home (even fixing a dimmer switch brought me such great joy, as did starting a new clean dish cloth – yes I am pretty strange!). And as I climbed into my crisp, white sheets awaiting Day 2 I was genuinely excited about what the next 4 weeks may hold.
To add to my upcoming lockdown plans, I am excited to be joining a new course with my wonderful friends from ServiceSpace – all about priceless pricing, asking questions such as: how do we circulate alternate forms of wealth such as time, community or attention? How do we ‘build a bigger pie’, that values the subtler gifts of our human experience as well as money? These questions, I hope, will help me explore a new approach to our lovely non-profit Bow-Wowza. Any thoughts or responses you might have are most welcome!
So Hubbers, I hope with all my heart that you find something in this week’s words that give you hope, support, ideas or inspiration to get you through the coming weeks. And if in doubt, be kind – to yourself, and others. And love, love and love some more.
I’m off to cuddle Archie!