A Matter of Choice
We got a dog yesterday. We’ve talked about it casually for years but, all of a sudden, it just seemed like the right thing to do. We’ve committed to doing all we can to stay healthy as we try to find our way forward in what feels like a strange new world, and this seemed like the next right thing. Plus, that face!!!
After walking Milo this morning, I opened Instagram to this invitation from Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian neuroscientist:
“It’s okay if all you did today was get up and watch Netflix. It’s ok if you did not workout. It’s ok if you didn’t de-clutter a room. It’s ok if you didn’t learn a new skill. It’s ok if you were “lazy.” What’s not ok is if you let a checklist, social media, or experts make you feel guilty for just trying to cope in a crisis. Don’t let other people’s definition of productivity keep you from enjoying your life!”
But along with Netflix, common grace, and finding a fur baby to love, what does it look like to enjoy life in the middle of a global pandemic? There’s so much we can’t control about this season; but here are five areas where our choices can make the difference between feelings of panic or feelings of peace.
1. What am I looking at? Anyone else find yourself compulsively scrolling social media or clicking on news article umpteen someone just shared on their feed? I don’t remember a time since 9-11 when FOMO (fear of missing out) stalked me this closely. But, I’ve learned that guarding my eyes is an important way to avoid panic and promote peace. So, right now I’m choosing to avoid things that produce stress and rather to focus on things like nature, other forms of beauty, and media that inspires hope.
2. What am I listening to? The loudest voice is the first we hear in a crowd. And, right now it seems like there are a heck of a lot of loud voices out there warning of chaos, catastrophe, and all manner of possibilities that are entirely out of our control. I don’t know about you, but that’s not helpful for me. That feeds panic rather than peace at the Vandermeer casa. So, I’m defaulting to a very few trusted voices (online and in person) to give me the summary of what I need to know week to week. While I’m intentionally dialing down the negative, I’m amping up the encouraging, humorous or soothing. Do you have a favorite podcast, YouTuber, or playlist right now? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
3. What’s going into and coming out of my mouth? I’m thinking of two different angles with this question. First, what am I feeding my body? Am I only reaching for comfort food and binging on sweets? Not that there isn’t a place for that in the short term. Pass the popcorn, lattes, and Blue Bell, please! But, I know there’s wisdom in eating mindfully, especially since refined sugar and processed carbs all but throw a party for the viruses, bacteria, and other germs on the prowl.
The second angle is … what’s coming out of my mouth? I’ve never been more aware of how my words reflect what I’m thinking, and it’s important to be mindful about what our minds are mulling over, yes? Our words are like clues; they reveal what we’re thinking. Are we focused on love and life or fear and death? There are enough voices preaching doom and gloom, friends. Let’s preach hope and peace!
4. What am I touching, or what’s touching me? Healthy physical touch soothes, doesn’t it? So bring on the soft, weighted blankets, cozy naps, warm baths, and extra snuggles with loved ones. Even if you’re forced to “shelter in” alone, you can still plan sensory experiences that feed a healthy sense of comfort and peace. This definitely played into our decision to adopt Milo this week!
5. What does my environment smell like? Lastly, you know that feeling of walking into a room, inhaling something amazing, and feeling your whole body relax as you exhale? It’s THAT feeling I’m going for with the essential oils I’m diffusing all the time these days.
Surround yourself with scents that signal your brain and body that there’s no need to panic and you serve your body well. In a relaxed state, our immune systems can do what they’re designed to do, including repairing and regrouping at night as we sleep. Eventually, everything is going to be okay; that’s what the right smells subconsciously tell your body. It’s the ultimately easy button day or night: just turn on the diffuser and breathe.
Some of our favorites are essential oil blends like Peace and Calming, Stress Away, Panaway, Valor and Thieves (all included in Young Living’s Premium Starter Kit). Orange, Joy, Purification, and Grounding are some other frequent guests in our home these days!
Friends, there’s relatively little we can control about the present, much less the future. If we weren’t aware of that before, our delusions have burst like cheap balloons over the past few weeks. But, we can promote peace, even in the midst of a pandemic, by exercising our ability to discern what gets to influence our senses. It’s all a matter of choice.
Bring Home the Happy!
If you haven’t invested in a Premium Starter Kit yet, I’d love to help you bring home some happy. This kit is how we got started and is, hands down, the best way to get started with Young Living. It has everything you need to take your wellness practice to the next level, including a friend (me!) to help flatten the learning curve. Contact me today to get some happy headed to your home!