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Our New Normal

Dear friends, I hope this letter finds you heathy and well. I can’t believe only 4 weeks ago I was sharing thoughts on my Costa Rican getaway, just another reminder to take nothing for granted and that change really is the only constant.

Speaking of change, Lucas is turning 3 this month! As you can imagine, his birthday party this year will look a lot different than last. Luckily, he’s still young enough that he probably won’t miss a more traditional celebration, and maybe this whole thing will blow right over his head unnoticed.

Well, let me take that back. 

Even if he doesn’t fully understand what’s going on now, or ever remember living through it, how Dave and I respond to this pandemic could have lasting effects on the way in which he perceives the world and interacts with it one day. Similarly, wether we as a community turn towards each other with compassion during this crisis or retreat in fear with closed fists will determine the quality of life we’ll have once this is over.

I’ve realized that how we choose to live through this matters, but what we choose to take away from this matters even more. We may not be able to dictate when this will end, but we can control what we internalize and what we pass on.

I know these are scary times, y’all, and I admit I’ve been averaging about 60% keeping-it-together, 40% losing-my-shit. But in the moments when my anxiety’s in check and I can take in the wholeness of this experience (not just the terrible parts) I’m encouraged by the many examples of resiliency, courage, and beauty I see. I’m touched by the tremendous support and love from our loyal Yogaleena members who are sticking with us during our studio closure, and the many students who have reached out offering to help. I’m impressed by the adaptability of our teachers and yogis who have seamlessly transitioned to teaching and practicing online. I’m inspired by our yoga for seniors community who is regularly keeping in touch, sharing with each other both their hardships and the things that are bringing them joy each day. And I’m amazed by the dedication and perseverance of healthcare workers around the globe, tirelessly fighting this pandemic and risking their own well-being for you and I. 

None of this takes away from the fact that this is a painful time for humanity. I know there is no amount of “good” that will bring loved ones back or take away the economic stress thousands of people are facing. According to this article in the Harvard Business Review, what many of us are feeling right now is grief for the loss of normalcy. Hope and gratitude are not meant to replace these emotions, but they can offer the perspective and strength we need to move through them and start shaping our new normal.

And that new normal is already looking pretty good.

We’re taking care of ourselves, our families, and each other. We’re staying connected, spending time outside, slowing down, and taking stock of what’s truly important. We’re practicing patience and cultivating mindfulness. We’re rooting into our values and getting creative with our energy.

These are the things I hope stick around long after COVID-19, the things I want to share with my boys, and the things I hope to hang on to the next time fear shakes me up.

Darkness is defined as the absence of light. Although it may be hard to see right now, I promise that there is still light to be found if we know where to look.

Stay healthy and hopeful, my friends. 

Namaste,
Carolina

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