We live in a world full of so many distractions. Social distractions. Networking distractions. Money distractions. Work distractions. Social media distractions. Distraction by all the shiny gadgets, latest trends, vacations and the search for “experiences”. We want a bigger house. We want to make more money. We live in a world of entitlement and wanting what everyone else has. These distractions often take us away from ourselves and our loved ones. These distractions often cause us a lot of anxiety with the need to keep up with everything around us; professionally, financially and socially. Yet, now we are forced to let go.
Typically at this time of the year we are distracted by all the shopping, added prep and pressures we put on ourselves for Pesach. However, Pesach 2020, is going to be very very different.
You would be hard pressed to find a recent time in history having our priorities so transparent and clear. We are forced to focus on what's REALLY important and what really matters. We can use this unprecedented time to connect to the people closest to us and connect to OURSELVES.
We are writing probably one of the most important chapters in our lives. Choose the way you want to remember it.
We are at a cross road now: We can either make this a time of misery, wishing things would be different, or accept this new reality. How about we use this time to connect to our loved ones and get to know ourselves a little better?
Here are three tips to help us get through this time with a bit more inner peace:
Practice Radical Acceptance
Radical acceptance means accepting reality. It doesn't mean you approve of it. It means accepting the facts of reality. It’s saying “it is what is and what am I going to do about this?” It’s the opposite of placing blame and saying, “It shouldn’t be this way.” Radically accepting something is more than just acceptance, it's accepting something with your mind, body and soul. Radically accepting at this time would look like: “This is a really hard and challenging time and how am I going to get through this?” This would involve problem solving and strategizing such as, how to effectively manage working and watching your kids. This is the opposite of: “It’s ridiculous and shouldn’t be this way.” “The government is insane. I’m leaving my house.” “My boss should let me off the hook.” When we are stuck in this loop we get angry, bitter and judgmental. We don’t see reality as it is and it prevents us from making any changes.
One of my favorite definitions of mindfulness is from Marsha Linehan, the founder of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She explains “Mindfulness is intentionally living with awareness in the present moment, without judging or rejecting the moment and without attachment the moment.” It is turning off auto pilot to participate and be present in our lives. It is attending to each new moment rather than ignoring. This happens when we cling to the past and think about the future. Notice what is happening inside you, your thoughts, feelings and sensations and also what is happening around you, just the facts, without judgment.
Think about what is happening this very moment. You are probably sitting in front of a computer reading my article.
It's about taking a step back in a situation and asking yourself is this the most effective way to handle this? It’s as if you're watching yourself. It is becoming one with whatever you are doing. When you're with your kids, be with your kids. When you are preparing for the holiday, prepare for the holiday (and drop your phone). When you are working, work. There is so much uncertainty right now and if we keep focusing on the future this will cause us lots of anxiety. Practicing mindfulness will help us focus on the here and now. When you notice your mind wandering try to bring yourself back to the here and now. When you notice yourself worrying about what will be in the summer. Will my kids go to camp? Will I lose my job? Bring yourself back to what you are doing. During this time. Pay attention to your family, pay attention to your own thoughts and feelings. You might discover a lot about yourself.
Practice Living by Your Values
Suddenly all the things you loved doing and got caught up in are not at the forefront. The things that felt most important to us are no longer. Shopping, waiting on line in shoe stores , packing for vacation and spring cleaning are just not our top priority now. Take this time to reflect and think about what is really important and what really matters. Define who you really are, without the perfect outfits, closets and shoes?
With the use of these tools, I Hope you will find some inner tranquility and rest amidst the storm,