Yesterday I talked to a nurse at the rehabilitation center where my father is staying. She is helping me arrange a visit for my mom to see my dad through a window.

On my morning walk today with my dog, Roxy, I ran into a mom and son who were “nature schooling” on the beach.

After that I was on the phone with a dear friend who was grocery shopping to support an elderly man she knows.

Then I spoke to a head of school who is trying to figure out how to support her faculty when she can’t see them face to face.

These situations serve as small reminders of our incredible human capacity to cope when things get tough.

The challenge of #COVID19 is real, but it does not define us. Our practice – how we take care of ourselves & each other, where we focus our attention & energy – this defines us. This wisdom has lasted for centuries – we can practice it now.

Of course fear is going to show up as we look out at the horizon of an unknown future. However, the only life we actually have is happening here and now.

Right here and now we can love deeply, serve generously, and connect consciously with the miracle of existence. We can practice living our lives fully and graciously – right in the midst of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm.

We can open our contracted and tense bodies, sense the ground beneath our feet, look up at the sky, feel the air on our face, listen for the sound birds and our own heartbeat, breathe deeply, and find gratitude for the opportunity to face something difficult with the full force of our love and humanity.

This is not the same as pretending that this is easy or “no big deal.” This practice does not make the challenge of our circumstances go away – it may not even make it more comfortable. But what and how we practice in the face of discomfort can reveal what we are really capable of.

To practice a hearty life is to meet whatever shows up wholeheartedly – with calm, compassion, confidence and courage. To practice a hearty life is to purposefully cultivate these internal resources throughout the day.

We can trust that we are up to whatever happens next. We can accept that discomfort and upset will be part of this journey. We can be aware that everyone is struggling in their own way. We can find a new level of understanding and kindness for ourselves and our fellow humans. We can keep returning our attention to what matters most and what is needed in this moment.

The big challenges have had different names and different characteristics throughout human existence, but the invitation is always the same – to show up with the willingness to find our full measure of tenderness and strength in the presence of life’s miracles and difficulties.

Blessings for a hearty life.

#mindfulness #compassion #heartylife #stressrelief #coping #anxiety #joy #love #grace