Posts

Finding Beauty is Hard Sometimes: 7 ways to find Doorways of light amid a crisis

Image
It's been almost a month since my last post, and in reflecting on the reason, I discovered a truth.

Sometimes it's difficult to find Doorways.

Doorways are moments of beauty, joy, or emotion that connect us to Something Bigger. Moments that make us smile or reveal the Divine at work in our world.

But I've been struggling to find Doorways each day, let alone moments significant enough to write about.

Like many around the country, I've been staying home since the middle of March. Nine weeks (and counting) of isolation from the community. Though I'm a practiced homebody who loves a good routine, my routine is becoming a rut.

And it shows up each night when I sit down to write my DTH (Doorway, Thankful, Help) prayerfor the day.

In the past, I'd noticed occasional challenges in searching for Doorways, and they usually coincided with "bad days," but it didn't bother me. In fact, I enjoyed the work of looking for a tiny sliver of beauty among the pain, sadness…

Rooted Feet, Rooted Soul: What makes you feel grounded?

Image
Like most churches in the country, our local Methodist church is live-streaming its worship services due to the pandemic. So, every Sunday morning at 9:30, I login to Facebook and "go to church."
This morning, we sang an original song written by one of our music leaders. Its lyrics were contemplative and centering, and I was mesmerized by the lilting tune.(Listen here at the 21:00 mark)
Rooted feet, rooted soul. I am here. I am whole.
I took a deep, healing breath and felt connected to something bigger.
The pastor asked, “What makes you feel grounded?” I had a vague feeling about my answer, but I didn’t have time to think it through because Shawn and I had plans for the day.
After church ended, we packed a lunch, loaded up our new remote control cars, and drove west. Shawn had one place in mind and I had another. We ended up doing a bit of both as we made spontaneous choices along the way. We followed the road where it led, trusting the path we chose would be exactly where we need…

The New Normal: A Global Concert

Image
It's not a new concept to bring celebrities and musical artists together in one event to raise funds and awareness for a global issue. Just look at the music festivals like Farm Aid, Band Aid, and Live Aid.

These events bring people together in a swell of goodwill and celebration to support an important cause.

But what happens when concerts are cancelled? When large group gatherings are prohibited?

This week, Global Citizen had an answer. As an established organization that brings the world's biggest challenges to the forefront, they were in the perfect position to create a virtual concert to say thanks to the frontline workers & ask people to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And I almost missed it.

My sister called during the first part of the eight-hour event and told me, "You should turn on the TV. We've been watching this concert and dancing around the house. It's been great!" She sounded so joyful, I was intrigued.

I could have ignored her recommend…

The New Normal: Game Night

Image
I've written before about the value of connecting with friends over board games or other group activities. This practice has become a routine and needed outlet for laughter and enjoyment.

So, like everyone else, when the stay-at-home order came, we found ourselves missing this connection.

Enter the Internet and a webcam.

My husband, an electronics and computer-savvy technician, had a solution in mind. He set up a webcam on a tripod and placed it facing the couch in the living room. Then he wired it to his laptop which was sitting nearby on a TV tray. Finally, he plugged in an AV cable to the side of our television.




He called me in from the kitchen. "Honey, come here for a minute, and sit on the couch." I followed his request, and when I looked at the TV, I saw what he had done. The webcam was displayed on the big screen! "Want to call your sister?"

Using Google Duo, he called Kara and her family with video, and when they answered, we could see their smiling faces on…

The New Normal: Grocery shopping

Image
Since beginning my Gratitude Practice several years ago, I've listed "abundant food" dozens of times. But in my mind, I was comparing my situation to either a country with a limited food supply, the various "food deserts" in urban America, or those who lived in or on the edge of poverty. 

Though I was aware and grateful that my local grocery store's shelves were fully stocked, I never imagined a time when they wouldn't be.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

We had just bought food in bulk in preparation for our annual camping trip to Moab, Utah. We went on our planned vacation, staying socially distant in our self-contained camp trailer, and I suspended my worry for thirteen days.

But when we got home, I knew I needed to face the grocery challenge. We were out of milk. We needed fresh veggies. And I longed for some canned pineapple, my go-to indulgence for a snack or dessert (we'd been out for a month and had yet to find it).

Researching my options, my…

An Invitation to Beauty: What's calling you during the pandemic?

Image
A local author and writing coach, Molly Caro May, recently offered a month-long daily writing experience titled In the Middle of It. Her intention is to help you uncover and write your story during this time of Coronavirus and its impact.

I joined immediately, eager for a structured outlet and time to journal.

In the weeks leading up to yesterday, I was still processing my fear and anxiety (see my last blog post). But as yesterday dawned, I could see a light in the darkness. I was in that state of consciousness that's between deep sleep and being fully awake, a half-dreaming-half-reality sense of being - the place where you feel confident, content, and hopeful.

For the first time in two weeks, fear was not on my mind. It felt like I was being lifted up and over my worries to see a larger picture. I could see a path winding across the landscape and a rush of energy and motivation urged me to follow it.

I smiled and got out of bed, stepping lighter than I had in days. As I sat down to b…

Beauty on the Bad Days: Anxiety and Joy

Image
I've never labeled myself as one who experiences anxiety. Sure, I've worried about and ruminated on life's challenges, but I've always considered it a mild, temporary state of being.

Until Friday, March 13.

As news of COVID-19 permeated our world that week, I'd done my best to distance myself, both literally and figuratively, from the crisis. I knew I was in the "vulnerable" category with my muscle disease, but felt pretty safe. This strategy of avoiding the drama had worked in the past for me, and I was content to stay in my optimistic bubble.

Until I clicked on a link which was shared from a trusted organization. It was an opinion article from a doctor in Italy, and it shattered my little panic-free world. From its hyperbolic headline (Stop Killing People) to its dire claims of long-lasting effects if you even were to survive the coronavirus, the essay flipped a switch in the most ancient part of my brain that said, "You're in danger!"

My hear…