Tim’s Two Principles
Apr 27, 2020
And now, a guest post by OS Instructor, Sarah Young:
“It feels good to feel good”. “Make the hard things easy”.
These are two of the principals my friend, Tim, lives by. And if you’ve spent any time at all in the OS-verse, then you probably know Tim. Sometimes he goes by Timmy.
Tim likes to refer to what we’re all living through now as “Corona Camp”. His jocularity is one of his superpowers. And calling life in this “new normal” of covid-19, “Corona Camp”, doesn’t mean to turn a blind eye to all the suffering. It’s just meant to take the edge off a bit. It helps to lighten the burden. It speaks to knowing that we’re all in this together. And to me, it offers a playful grounding and increased resilience to all the anxiety and fear.
And to be honest, I never went to camp as a kid. However, I’ve heard the stories. And this “Corona Camp” edition of the camp experience takes all the other crazy camp stories to a whole new level of intensity. It’s a whole new level of... Worst. Camp. Experience. Ever. But I also believe there’s some beauty inherent in the “Camp Corona” experience. We simply need to open our eyes and hearts to see it.
Getting back to Tim’s two principles... well, I believe both come in quite handy to help navigate “Corona Camp”. Take the first one for instance; “it feels good to feel good”. In these uncertain times I believe it’s important to find ways to feel good so as not to let the di-stress settle into our bones.
And here’s the thing, yes, the “quarantini” is one way to feel good. And it’s easy. But I’d recommend not going overboard with the adult beverages. After all, there’s nothing that feels good about a hangover. And hangovers can make easy things really, really hard. Been there. Done that. And making easy things hard doesn’t follow the principle of “make the hard things easy.”
So what are some ways to feel good while at “Corona Camp”? Let’s pick an easy one first. It’s something you were born to do, diaphragmatic breathing (aka d-breathing). D-breathing is simply breathing the way we’re designed to breathe. But when we’re stressed we can get out of our natural d-breathing rhythm. Pressing RESET by spending quality time reconnecting to your d-breathing leads to feeling all kinds of good.
To quote Tim again, “It is the way we breathe when we come into the world, the way we are programmed to breathe. It is peaceful and yet powerful, it is quiet and yet communicative, it is essential for rest and also essential for being. This natural state of breathing is a complete reset in and of itself. It can help strengthen the nervous system, it can soothe the emotions, quiet the mind, and awaken the heart when practiced deliberately.” This quote is from the blog, “The Natural State of Breathing”. That blog also offers a nice d-breathing practice.
And here’s the thing, d-breathing lends itself to feeling good and when you feel good it helps to make the hard things easy. So yes, mindful d-breathing can help to make life in “Corona Camp” easier.And here’s another idea for making “Corona Camp” more livable? As you d-breathe through your day you can also move your body more. Bodies like movement. We were all born to move... in glorious and amazing ways. Movement nourishes the body, the brain, and the spirit. Movement is an expression of life itself and it generates hope. So I invite you to allow your body time to play. To dance. To upward and downward dog. To run. To skip. To roll around on the floor. To move with your beautiful design in order to more fully embrace the miracle of being alive. Your body, brain, and spirit will be grateful. Which will lead to you feeling good. And yes, it feels good to feel good.
And while it sounds fun to sit around and binge watch Netflix or Hulu or cat videos on YouTube, too much watching and not enough movement leads to stagnation and stiffness. And stagnation and stiffness tend to make the easy things much harder. And it just doesn’t feel good. But the solution is simple. Just take some movement breaks and do some Movement Snax. OS has a lot of them.
And here’s another idea for making “Corona Camp” more livable. Get outside. Spend time in nature. But please be sure to keep your six foot perimeter secure from other people. You can even get a little crazy and take your shoes off to feel the earth under your feet. Notice the birds and all of God’s creatures. Take in the smells. In other words, allow Mother Nature to flood your senses with her beauty. It will feel good.
And please know that what you feed your body, brain, and spirit has an effect on whether you feel good or not. So eat your veggies. Hydrate. Go easy on the foods you know leave your body feeling sluggish. And please be sure to say some words of grace and gratitude as you prepare your meal and as you eat it. Farmers and truckers and grocery store workers put in a whole lot of energy so you can eat. Gratitude for their labor will aid your digestion. So will chewing your food. And maybe, just maybe, enjoy your meal without a device.
And speaking of devices, please be careful of the media diet you consume while using your devices. Maybe limit your news intake a bit. Find stories and movies and music and podcasts that inspire you. And turn off devices and screens at least one hour before bed. Be vigilant about what thoughts you take to bed with you. You don’t want di-stressed thoughts to interfere with your zzzzzzzs. Because a good night’s sleep leaves you feeling good and makes the hard things easier.
And please follow Mister Rogers advice of looking for the helpers. There are so many people serving others in small ways and in big ways. So smile. Speak words of gratitude. Thank the grocery store workers and the frontline responders. And know, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop. So practice kindness and compassion.
And last but not least, connect with the people who people your life. Zoom or FaceTime friends and family. Text, call, email, or Marco Polo the people you care about. Know that people are struggling right now. Just knowing someone cares can ease burdens. Listen to people without trying to fix them or their problems. Simply be willing to bear witness to their struggle while holding space for hope and healing. Allow people to be where they are. Allow people to move in their own time and rhythm to where they want to go. And if you’re struggling please reach out. Be gentle with others. Be gentle with yourself.
We will get through “Corona Camp”. And we will do so by finding ways to feel good in the face of the challenges of covid-19. We will rise and grow stronger in our ability to make the hard things easy. Maybe not right away. But we will.
So for now, in this moment, simply take a deep breath in and let it out. Reconnect to yourself with breathing. Ground yourself in the miracle of your design. Allow yourself to feel the goodness that comes with just being alive.