By Dishna Karunarathna –
Our fast phase life has been put on pause. Almost all our adult life we have been complaining that we do not have enough time, but now we have so much time in our hands, we do not know what to do with it. So reflect for a second. Have I gone through motions of living in these seemingly endless days or have I made some effort do something for which my future self will be thankful for. If you have not done so far as Wordsworth said “to begin, begin”.
An old novelist has said that “one must not allow the clock and calendar to bind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery”. So there are few things we could do in this lockdown days which will have profound enriching impact on our lives.
We can practice an attitude of gratitude when we start our days. When you are thankful for the good, good gets better. No matter how confined you feel be thankful that you have a home and your essential needs are fulfilled. Be thankful that there is food on your table, may it not be the fancy meal you are served in a restaurant. Give thanks for your source of income, the sustenance and security it offers you at a difficult time like this. Be thankful that you and your loved ones are safe and well. Thousands of us are struggling for life and dying in solitude daily where their loved ones are yearning for unsaid Good byes and mourning their deaths. Attitude of gratitude can change our perspective from being ‘stuck’ at home to being ‘safe’ at home.
Second one is spend quality time with your family. Family is not an important thing, it’s everything. Sometimes we may not understand value of a moment until it becomes a memory. This is an ideal time to nourish your relationships with your family. Have meals together, laugh together and play together. Spend time with your parents, they are our first and best of blessings. Rekindle the spark and love in the relationship with your partner. Delight in spending uninterrupted time with your children and grandchildren .Your time is the best gift you can give your children.
Next allocate some time for personal mastery; renewal of your body and mind. Confucius has said “Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly”
Take care of your temple; your body. Build a disciplined rigours physical exercise regime. We all are witnessing real time that health is not only wealth but also the top most priority.
Quality of our life depends on quality of our thoughts. Mind is a wonderful servant and a tool, but a terrible master. Either you rule the mind or it rules you. It is said that we think sixty thousands thoughts per day and ninety percent of time it was what we thought the previous day possibly negative ones. Churchill has said that the “price of greatness is the responsibility over each thoughts”. Allocate one hour time in the morning for mind mastery; silent contemplation in solitude.
To start with you can practice deliberate and mindful breathing. This is an ancient but ageless practise to develop mental clarity and reduce stress. In each breath there is life.
Then think of your mind as a lush green garden, remove the toxic waste you have put in; worries over past and anxieties over the future. Be mindful of your thoughts and use Opposition Thinking so that you can prune out negative thoughts and replace them with a positive thought. At first you will be easily distracted with endless mental chatter as we are not used to value stillness and silence. But constant daily practice will help you to discipline your mind. Gradually you can introduce these practices to your daily life. Eventually positivity and mindfulness will be a habit and your way of life. As Robin Sharma notes “if there is lack of life that is because there is lack of thoughts”.
Next take time to rethink on your economies. The pandemic has introduced an unpredictable amount of uncertainty and an unprecedented period of turbulence to all economies from global to local; macro to micro and business to personal .We will have to forecast and plan our personal income and expenses. If you are a business owner you may have to revisit your business model and develop recovery strategies. If you are an employee, contribute to add value to those strategies. A leading CEO has said that “This is the time we realize that we can trust our people to get the work done wherever they are”. Be that employee.
Finally and most importantly please remember to pray and keep faith. Even the darkest night end in sunshine .Healing will come, slowly may be but surely it will.