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Finding Ourselves During Times of Chaos

1024 238 Dr. David Kantra

By David Kantra

I recently saw this meme making the rounds among my social media friends:

WORLD: “There is NO way we can shut down everything in order to lower emissions, slow climate change, & protect the environment.”
MOTHER NATURE: “Hold my beer.”

I don’t know to whom this meme should be credited, but in addition to being just downright hilarious, it is such a profound statement! I love the comment made by Mother Nature… the implied calmness with which she says it… the idea that to perform such an inconceivable action will only take a moment… and that it’s within her power to do so with ease. In reading the meme, we don’t need to hear exactly what Mother Nature does to make the difference… we just know that she can make it happen.

We sometimes forget that we are all a part of Mother Nature, just as Mother Nature is a part of all of us. We forget that we have the choice–and the power—to transform what appears to be chaos into something more. Our view of what can be often becomes obscured by the chaos we see in front of us. When this happens… when our perspectives become obscured by life events… the way to regain our footing and transform an unfortunate situation into one of opportunity and growth is by refocusing our attention.

Wonderful stories are appearing everywhere of how people have found opportunities for growth in the current chaos of the Coronavirus:

  • Families who are preparing and eating meals together every day, and watching movies and recorded TV series together.
  • Couples and families of all ages taking walks together (I bet you’ve seen this).
  • People working outside in their yards.
  • Introverts, who had always thought of themselves as being in a one-down position to their more outgoing counterparts, now discovering they are strong, calm, and well-equipped to handle this crisis of isolation.
  • Individuals viewing this imposed quarantine as an opportunity to explore new entrepreneurial ideas.

11 Simple Ways to Create Peace in a Time of Chaos

People, like Mother Nature in the meme, are demonstrating an “I’ve got this!” attitude. Life, by its very nature, is chaotic and reminds us again and again that we are merely passengers on this trip, not drivers. With this in mind, here are some things you CAN do while Mother Nature is doing what she’s doing:

  1. Begin every day with an intention of how you wish to be that day.
  2. Smile more.
  3. Listen more
  4. Practice kindness.
  5. Make your bed.
  6. Call or FaceTime someone to connect and perhaps reassure.
  7. Begin an online study course they have free ones!
  8. Declutter. (Do you really need that storage rental garage?)
  9. Slowly brush your dog (cats may not take kindly to this).
  10. Turn off the TV and hang out with your family.
  11. Call your parents (if you’re fortunate enough to still have them). They’re vulnerable and maybe scared.

There’s so much we have little control over right now… work, the financial market, the virus, etc., and it’s completely normal to have your feelings about it all. But, there’s also much we can do to reestablish a sense of balance in our disrupted lives. Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, who is faced with the daunting task of taking care of the citizens currently at the epicenter of the Coronavirus, recently said two quotes that hit for me, “It will be hard, but it will be OK,” and, “Life is not about avoiding challenges… it’s about overcoming challenges!”

So… here’s to making this a time for transformation, a time for taking a big step toward discovering and embracing who we (really) are, a time of preparing for the new growth that can result after Mother Nature takes back her beer.

Dr. David Kantra is a Clinical Psychologist at the Center for Calm Living in Fairhope, AL. (www.centerforcalmliving.com). Dr. Kantra can be contacted at david@centerfrocalmliving.com

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Dr. David Kantra

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6 comments
  • Sasi Wilkins
    REPLY

    Love this David!! I start to get scared as of today governor Ivey order to shutdown every nonessential business ? I understand the practice of following guidelines to protect us and others but when this come out I really lost my balance. Is that true of we can’t control the outbreak??? Is this apocalypse??? I have never feel fear or scared of corona virus until today because all my connections is shutdown.
    No yoga, no work, no get together with my girlfriends. I can golf but then everyone go straight home. Has to drop off food for friends instead of going for visit.
    Mainly those are my family and friends who keep me alive and have meaningful of living for others. Now I’m feeling alone, isolated and lost. Hope I still being mindful of what I feel at any given moments. We shall see and hope I can grow from this situation.
    Love and Namaste.
    Sasi

    • Sherilyn
      REPLY

      Thank you David, for the wise words of wisdom. The silver lining seems to be thickening!
      I Love my backyard and all the beautiful trees and birds songs, and soiled hands as I replant little seedlings which pop up. The sun feels so nice and the breezes are gentle across my skin. Sigh.
      My grandson is loving my puppet show which has now turned into a regular series of impromptu stories on the fly. The head of one of the characters fell off by accident and turned into his favorite event where the puppet looks around asking “where is my head. I can’t see anything.”
      Sigh. Greg and I have many wonderful patio meals (don’t get me started about the meals!) and many talks and walks around the yard. The leaves to be raked were especially colorful and beautiful. We are more kind to one other as we know life can be especially precarious right now. Coffee mornings are a favorite as we linger slowly and no time clock is barking telling us when go to work or be anywhere particular. And so forth and so on…as I write I realize even more…daily doodling and thoughts in my journal have revived. Thank you to you and Augusta for all you do for others to make us breathe, notice then feel a smile coming on.

      • David K
        REPLY

        Thank you, Sherilyn! I love hearing of the creative, connected ways you (and Greg) are using this downtime we’ve all been asked to take! Your reflections always bring a smile to my face! 🙂

    • David K
      REPLY

      Thank you, Sasi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I have no doubt that we will recover from this crisis, and we’ll get back to our lives in a timely manner. It’s quite understandable to feel alone and scared during such an experience as this, but I think we…a connected world…will come out on the other side of this stronger and more united.

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