“We are in this together” has never been so true. And so important.
It all felt so far away at first. As time passed and the closer COVID-19 approached home, the more we came together. Fear was creeping into all areas of our lives, but we held each other tightly. Until we couldn’t. It was literally one minute to another that our physical connection to the outside world disappeared. My husband was on his way out the door to meet with friends, when we received the news that some family members were ill and there was a chance we had been exposed to the virus. We canceled everything in that moment.
What I remember most about the first two days of isolation is the anxiety. The shortness of breath. The pain and weight I carried on my chest. Living, constantly, on the verge of tears. It was almost unbearable. But then, something shifted. I have still cried every single day and I live my entire day with tears in my eyes, but it is different now. And maybe not why you would expect.
On my last post, America can you hear me?, I promised there would be beauty and blessings. And there are.
We are all in this together.
My financial livelihood disappeared in a day. Retreats canceled. No chance of teaching yoga either indoors, nor outdoors. As you can imagine, as a yoga teacher, I don’t have many financial reserves stored away for a rainy (or quarantined) day. It has not mattered much in the past. For those of you who know me well, you have probably giggled at my personal mantra- “I live in abundance”. And with an empty bank account, this mantra has never been so true. How could that be? Let me share with you what has occured in the past week.
Social distancing can, in fact, bring you closer together.
Messages started pouring in from friends and students from around the world. Messages of encouragement, love, support and empathy.
“I just want to send love and thoughts to you, and to let you know that I, among many, am here to support you, personally as a friend and professionally as a business, in any way I can”.
“The universe always has a better plan for us once we align with our highest good and allow.”
“I see you and the light you shine.”
“Thank you for your time, energy and love.”
“I am here for you, whatever you need.”
“Hey guapa, I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing. We WILL get through this.”
“What do you need? How can I help?”
These are only a few of many, but I spent an entire day in tears of gratitude and an overwhelming sense of community. We are in this together.
I organized a LIVE yoga session last Sunday at 12:00- my regular class time. Within seconds of pressing, Go Live, we had 70 people joining the class and after 24 hours, more than 400 people who watched and practiced along with us. Once again, I was brought to tears. We are in this together.
I set up my donation-based online yoga platform, Find Your Zen in Quarantine, which offers 15 days of online yoga sessions. Within minutes, I received my first donation and spent the next 48 hours in tears because of your overwhelming generosity. From family to best friends to complete strangers… I felt held, loved and supported. We are in this together.
The wellness & fitness community bound together and stepped up. Promoting one another’s businesses, participating virtually in one another’s offerings, taking time to support each other to get content online and offering emotional support and encouragement on this side. Offering their services for free or donation-based to promote health and wellness during quarantine. Fear and competition went out the window. We are in this together.
Young neighbors are leaving notes in their buildings offering assistance to their more vulnerable neighbors, such as going to the market or pharamacy. One friend of mine crossed town to visit a complete stranger, an eldery man who lived alone. A friend of his asked if anyone may be able to go check on him, buy him some basics and pick up his medication. We are in this together.
Two weeks ago, I sent a message to my best friend sharing that I was struggling with how “time” was passing during the day. I felt as though I was grasping onto minutes I had with my family each day. Now, I wake up every morning with my husband and my son by my side. I spend my days cuddled up with Luca, listening to his giggle, watching him play and remembering that regardless how stressful this may be for us, he will remember this time together fondly. I never need to say, “see you later” or “have a good day, see you tonight” to the people I love the most. I get to spend my entire day with them. How amazing is that? We are in this together.
8:00 pm. I am sure everyone in the city would agree that these five minutes give us life. Everyone opens their windows or steps onto their balconies to applaud those on the front lines. The medical professionals, police officers, grocery store employees, pharmacists and more. We clap, we yell words of encouragement, we play music, and yes, we all do this with tears in our eyes. You can watch a video I posted of my little family applauding this week. We are in this together.
Other time, neighbors are playing “I Spy” and BINGO across the plaza or from their balconies. Others are playing live music to keep up the spirit and positivity. We are in this together.
Valencia is amazing. I see everyone listening and staying indoors. None of my friends in Valencia continued to have get togethers or go to parties or public places. We are all staying at home. And you know what that communicates? We are in this together. All of us. No exceptions.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, so does the feeling of community and comradery. It is no longer “just China” or our neighbors in Italy. It is here, at home. But the fear is lessening. Because we are not alone. None of us. We are literally, all in this together.
Please take a moment every day to find the beauty and the blessings in this strange time. They are plentiful. And surprising. And moving.
Other things I am grateful for:
The ability to prioritize my yoga practice.
The ability to share yoga virtually with you all.
Creativity. And the time to be creative.
Cooking at home.
Cozy couch time with my husband and not needing to share him 😉
Zoom conference calls with my family.
The ability to talk to my siblings every day rather than once or twice a month.
Luca’s English is finally improving now that we are together all day.
My cozy home.
Wifi, electricity, and running water.
Natural light- the sunshine is back today!
Essential oils. If I can’t have fresh air outside, this is the next best thing!
Friends and family I can call anytime I need some company.
My health and the health of my friends and family.