27 March 2020

So here I sit on DAY 1 of lockdown interesting how many feelings are pulsing through me –

My run, I have missed my morning run! How bloody selfish and one dimensional this sounds and best I dare whisper this to a soul, but yes the tightening of my chest, the battling to breathe, the feeling of claustrophobia that overcome me at the mere thought of 21 Days of confinement they are real. So real! No walking your dogs, no leaving your house, except for essentials. What about the kids? and Shelia, our crazy border collie who needs two walks a day, how are we going to get through this? How self-absorbed I am in my current reality?

Change is one of the most difficult things for humans and suddenly, within the space of a few days, everything has changed. The Muizenberg surf I had with the kids on Sunday, my forest run on Monday, our stroll to the park on Tuesday have gone, gone, gone - and I took these for granted! Yes, two days away from lockdown I STILL took them for granted.

Last night was different though, as we descended Table Mountain for our ‘last family walk’, I felt this overwhelming sense of pain and gratitude all mushed up into one. The raw pain of the sun setting on our freedom and on our known reality, yet the gratitude of the lessons Covid19 is gifting me and the world.

There is so much truth behind ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone‘ and how viscerally I feel it today. Why do we so often take for granted the very things that deserve our gratitude the most? From people to possessions, to our basic day to day experiences. We live in autopilot and have the assumption that whenever we need someone, something or someplace it will be there! …And today it no longer is!

LESSON TO SELF: What a bittersweet wake-up slap Covid-19 has given us….and it is here that we choose to either A: stay stuck in fear and numbness OR, B: embrace this change with gratitude.

EXERCISE: Every day for the next 21 Days (and into the future), write a list of 10 things you are grateful for. It may seem impossible at first, but once you start you will be surprised at how those small things jump out at you.

PRACTICE: When you find yourself wobbling in fear and uncertainty. Take a deep breath and say, ‘Even though it’s not ideal, in this moment it’s okay and in this moment I’m okay‘.

With love and gratitude.