Adapting to uncertainty
The expression, ‘May you live in interesting times’, Wikipedia tells me has been wrongly touted as a Chinese curse. Whatever the expression is supposed to mean, this particular period we are living through is undoubtably confusing and destabilising.
Moreover, this COVID period is not so much ‘interesting’ as it is devastating. It’s a worldwide phenomenon, but now it feels like raiders are circling around the safety of our tranquil semi-rural home and getting closer and closer.
Finally, COVID has landed on our doorstep, not that anyone in our household has the virus, but we are officially ‘close contacts’ of someone who stayed with us over the holidays.
Practising our required self-isolation wouldn’t be so terrible except that my housemate Michael and I have been running our annual yoga and meditation Intensive this week. As of today, we’ve had to step aside to allow Julie Spicer from Yoga at Wallabi to cover for us, hopefully just until the last day of our course.
Julie is hugely capable and we are so grateful for her willingness to lead in our absence, having had only a half days notice. I know that she is doing this for the love of the community that we’ve brought together. Ironically, one of the goals of our Intensive is ‘Getting Ourselves Together — as a community and in ourselves’.
Last year the theme of our Intensive was ‘Comfort in Uncertainty’. Our flyer said:
One thing is certain. 2020 has generated much uncertainty and trauma. But perhaps there are blessings and lessons for us in the crisis. Join us to explore this possibility. Begin your year, renew and reinvigorate with two hours of yoga and mindfulness practice. Create calm in the chaos!
Calm in the chaos, indeed!
When we heard the news about our ‘close contact’, I found it difficult to find the information that’s meant to be provided by our government that would tell us exactly how to proceed. Michael and I spent hours poring over NSW and National COVID websites and then trying to determine what was required of us in terms of isolation and PCR and RATS testing. We were determined to be compliant with the rules, as much as we could understand them, so we could have our Intensive cohort feel confident and safe.
After we figured out a plan, we devoted another few hours to phoning all participants to see if, with an understanding of the situation, people wanted to continue in the course. Every single person whom we contacted was in favour of staying the distance. It pays to be completely honest.
Living in the moment
It is breathtakingly beautiful on Mitchells Island today. We’ve had tropical rain, that is, downpours alternately with sunshine and rainbows. All the gardens and forests are verdant and lush, with that particular fresh, sweet after-rain smell. The Manning River is peaceful and luminous at 6 am as our intensive participants cross over the two bridges to get to the community hall.
There is much that we can be grateful for, even with the virus skulking in the background, but now moving more and more in the foreground.
It is my wish for myself and for you that we make it through these uncertain times holding each other in loving kindness. To me, this is the point of sitting in meditation and doing our yoga practices, isn’t it?