For those of us that this rings true, what if we use this time as a forced rest in which to look at our habits of overconsumption and put them to bed?
Instead of running around in hopes of stockpiling toilet paper in fear that we may run out, as some millionaires do money, what if we slowed down, relaxed a bit and realized that we already have enough? That perhaps we need only use less, conserve, use more mindfully what we already have.
Interesting, the variance I glimpse in the grocery store, which portends to that which grows in minds across our country, I would daresay more than anywhere else in the world, for we are, in this country that I love so much, we are a country of extemes.
Some, carts piled high, pushing along with a frenzied rush and fearsome glances at others.
Others, just the necessities, an air of ease. While cautious, maintaining a respectful distance, these are the people who take the time to smile at you, perhaps more conciously now than ever. For in these fast changing, uncertain times, surely a smile can only help. That is how you can still touch someone.
Who took all the toilet paper, anyway? The anxiety, the fear, the unconcious greed that can push civility and common sense aside. That is one way. Or, as meditation teaches us, to step out of the rushing river, to stand on the bank, to sit on a warm rock and close our eyes and breath.
Breath in the energized air, breath out the bodily tensions. Let go that tightness in the throat, that constriction in the lungs, that ache in the chest and sickness in the belly. Again. Breath deeply in the scent of the water and trees and rocks and soil- even though this scent is only one in your imagination or one of remembrence- then breath out - open the mouth and sigh if it helps- breath out all worry. Let it dissolve into the water, let it wash down the river in your mind. Continue. Breath in the symphony of nature, breath out the rushing thoughts. Breath in. Breath out. Until there is nothing left but that breath and absorption into the beauty of nature that surrounds you and is you.
Starting a few days ago, everytime I take toilet paper, I cut it in half, sometimes in thirds. Usually 1/3rd of what I was using is still plenty. That means that a roll that may have lasted a week will now last 2 or 3 weeks. Do I really need to worry that the 4 rolls that I have aren’t enough, when I could make them last 12 weeks if need be?
Obviously, all of this is not meant for everybody. Certainly, there are those that do not have enough. There are those that do not have enough toilet paper, enough food, enough water, enough of the basics. This is true now and it was true before Covid 19. I do not downplay the seriousness of that and that is not to whom I speak. The question for you is the same I ask of myself, are you one of them? Do you have enough? Do you perhaps have even more than enough and perhaps even the faith and love and compassion to let some of it go?
If you are one of the lucky ones, who's refrigerator is stocked and clothes hang in your closets and towels in your bathroom, yet you are still feeling a bit frenzied, perhaps take some time to mindfully let that go. Perhaps even ask yourself, in a showing of faith and understanding, what can you share? Perhaps it is a calm breath, a smile, a kind phone call to someone in need.
Share your love. Share your light. Share what you have that is of benefit to you and to the world around you. We are One. That has always been true, will always be true, and we are slowing down now and grounding into that truth and awareness out of necessity. May we do this in love and in gratitude- making a conscious effort to send that out to the world, until that conscious effort becomes as natural as breathing.