This is now the third week of Quarantine due to the spread of Covid 19. During the first week, it seemed people panicked and scrambled to make sense of the changing economic, social, and physical landscape. There were so many questions and so few answers.
During the second week, many individuals found themselves laid off and struggling to file for unemployment – myself included. Individuals within my industry raced to quickly throw things on line in order to find a bit of stability, security, and perhaps sanity in a fear riddled climate.
Now, having begun the third week, people have settled a bit more into a routine of this being the “new normal.” And while there are aspects of this slower quiet life that I love and appreciate, I simultaneously find myself restless and anxious.
Well in short, my mind has been racing – afraid of what to do next and afraid of making the “wrong” choice.
What sparked this?
During the second week of quarantine, I too reached out and said that I would be offering online options that would provide a means by which I could have an income while also supporting individuals with whom I have come to know through their practice.
A lot of positivity from many individuals who were excited to have a means to support me as well as support themselves through this time of uncertainty and newness. And despite this positive feedback, I have been dragging my feet.
Honestly, I wish I had a better answer as to why. Yes, I have been attempting to figure things out with regards to hosting platforms and technology. I have read blogs about best practices and taken an online workshop on entrepreneurship. And well… I don’t think not knowing how to do something is the issue. I mean, I attempt to cook all the time and I make things up as I go.
So what’s the issue then?
In working with a client this week, I realized that I am scared to start and so haven’t really started. More specifically, I am afraid of the failure that is inevitable with the first few sessions that I am afraid to commit to Zoom or any of its competitors. I am afraid of doing it wrong or being unable to teach well using my own body. I am afraid that how I teach isn’t good enough, that who I am is not good enough. And I am afraid of getting hurt in a very public way. And so, I haven’t started, I haven’t committed. Instead I have the draft of an email sitting in my inbox waiting to be sent sharing all the specifics of my offerings.
And yet, the irony is that the anxiety I have around starting this project – and potentially failing at it – is worse than the stress I actually feel when I am engaged in some of the tasks necessary to get to work. Perhaps because the stress experienced when pushing myself to try something new is strengthening and empowering, whereas the stress experienced when avoiding the reality of any given moment is debilitating.
Worse yet, this latter type of stress has a multiplying effect whereby which it strengthen negative, self-defeating thoughts that then start to list all the other things that I “can’t” do or will probably bomb at.
Not wishing to continue to live in that manner any longer, I am working to take baby steps to face my fear, trusting that this situation has many new and wonderful gifts and lessons to teach.
The question I have for you, the one I am working to answer for myself this week, is: What are the things that scare you? What challenges or opportunities are present in your life? And is it possible that the fear that you have about starting that thing could be worse than the thing itself? For you, these questions might be applicable to your professional life where the new normal has completely changed how you earn income. Maybe these questions are applicable to your relationships, where the act of physical distancing has either led to a greater sense of physical intimacy with your loved ones or maybe a greater sense of physical distance. Or perhaps these questions apply to your physical health and wellbeing where the lack of information regarding the spread of Covid 19/Coronavirus has some worried, scared, or needlessly restricted.
Wherever these questions land for you, I encourage you to take a moment to consider posed by my senior teacher, Yogarupa: “Is the pain of not having what you want greater than the pain necessary to change.” And if your answer is yes, what small changes can you begin to make IN THIS MOMENT to begin to move you closer to that which you want? What small changes can you make in this moment to begin to lean into your discomfort and uncertainty and begin to live a little bit more fully, consciously, and courageously.