Yesterday, day four of lockdown, was all about connection and communication with friends and loved ones. The timings in my schedule went out the window but when I checked through the list I realised I had honoured the components, apart from business affairs. On a Sunday? I wasn’t in the mood.
. I’ve decided I’m not going to be hard on myself if things are missed, or I don’t keep to a timetable. The intention was more about creating some structure and order in the midst of a new and very strange and uncertain landscape. I think self-compassion and flexibility are essential attitudes to cultivate and maintain throughout the lockdown. ***** My daughter, a play/child therapist sent me an excellent article ‘That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief’ by Scott Berinato, Harvard Business Review. It starts on the grief he and his colleagues were feeling as they met, virtually, to discuss the kind of content they will commission during this ‘harrowing time.’ They turned to David Kessler, the ’world’s foremost expert on grief‘ and questioned him. Kessler identified a number of different griefs: The realisation the world has changed and things will be different now; the loss of normalcy; the loss of intimate connection with those we love; anticipatory grief and imagined futures ‘our primitive mind knows something bad is happening’; the loss of a sense of safety. ‘We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.‘ It moves on to what we can do to manage the grief(s). Understanding and acknowledging how we are feeling right now is the starting point and moving through an awareness of the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness and finally acceptance. That is where your power lies. ‘I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.’ Read on. ***** What I’ve been noticing in my circle is our incredible capacity for creativity. Look at how quickly people are adapting to living now in a virtual reality. There’s so much potential for good through this new from of connection and sharing. ***** Two blessed moments yesterday in this realm. A reading session with my nine year old niece, via Skype. The book, the only physical book for a child currently in my possession, ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything,’ by Australian author, Karen Foxlee is an absolute joy to read. Her writing is enchantingly imaginative and skilful - the word pictures, the conversations between characters - note perfect. The content stimulates wider conversation around its themes. ***** One more blessed moment. A three way video chat on messenger with my daughter in South Auckland and son in Sydney, and occasionally a three year old boy nuzzling up to his mother and her pregnant bump. To see them like that was comforting and so, so good. My family. My loved ones right there one the screen. I can do this.