A D Ackerman
Your Creativity, Courage, and Curiosity Are Showing
I have not written a post in a long time.
I have not been sure about what to write during this unusual time, where nothing seems certain, except uncertainty.
How are you doing?
That is the question that we are all asking each other, aren’t we?
But the real question is, do we really want to know the truth or are we hoping that you will state that you are fine, so we can stop worrying, even if just for a few seconds?
And I suspect that most of us answer that question with some version of “I’m fine,” no matter what the reality is of our situation.
So, what is the REAL question we want to ask but don’t?
Maybe “How are you managing your fear?” or “What works best for you as you combat feelings of loneliness, boredom and overwhelm?”
We simultaneously want to know that we are not alone in feeling these uncomfortable feelings AND that we have reasons to hope—that maybe our friend has found THE key to staying calm and secure as the world changes rapidly around us. But also—and this is tremendously important—we want our feelings to be validated—we need to explore and feel our grief. We need to process it. We need to move through the multiple stages before we can emerge out of our hole into the final stage of ACCEPTANCE, where we will acknowledge the new normal and re-boot our lives.
But how are we supposed to do this?
It is hard.
And that is where your—our—creativity, courage and curiosity come in. Each one of us must discover what works best for us. I can tell you what I have seen some of my clients doing, I can show you what I and my family are doing, but I can NOT tell you what will work for you. The one thing that is certain is that you MUST find a way to share your story, to share your existence, with others who matter to you.
We, you and I together, are creating a new way of life. We are experimenting with just how much solitude we need, and how much we can tolerate. We are finding new ways to get our work done. We are discovering how to be productive even with young children vying for our attention, and despite intermittent loss of internet connectivity. You had better believe that these things require you to be creative as you approach each day, and manage to check one or twelve things off your task list by bedtime.
Courage is required every time you go get groceries or take a trip to the garden shop. You don a mask that was never intended to be worn in public, and which you may have made yourself, and you hope you made it right and that you are wearing it correctly. You need courage to stay six feet away from the postal delivery person as they bring you your mail. You need courage every morning when you look at the news to see how many more people have been infected and how many have succumbed from this infection, and when you explain one more time to your toddler why there will be no play dates this week. Again.
Curiosity may be what finally saves the day. The curiosity of scientists who will eventually find both a treatment and a vaccine to prevent this virus infection. But also the curiosity of one person who asks us how we REALLY are, and is interested in hearing the REAL answer, hearing about the emotions that we are experiencing, hearing about the trouble we are having sleeping, or the sadness that we just can’t seem to escape. Yes, curiosity. Genuine curiosity. It keeps us connected with each other. It helps us learn new things while we experience something we never imagined we would have to experience. Curiosity keeps our minds active. It allows us to dream while we are awake. It helps us escape reality while we are ever present in the here and now.
Altogether, creativity, courage and curiosity make us human. And right now, what we need most is to be human. And to see other humans. Stay well, my friends, and be safe.
Here is a list of a few of the things my family and I have found helpful as we traverse this new reality.
The first is that I have made sure I still feel useful and have volunteered my time to run coaching sessions for anyone who needs or wants coaching at no charge. It is one way for me to “give back” to my community. I am coaching both individuals and groups. Please reach out to me if you or someone you know would benefit from having someone hold a safe space in which you and/or they can explore their responses to the situation. Contact me at Alice@adackerman.com
I have also been running a guided meditation/visualization weekly on Tuesdays at noon (EDT), aimed at enhancement of health and immune function. I would be delighted if you would join me for this free activity via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/5402129545 There are other free activities (meditations, breathing exercises, even a dance party) made available through The Breathing Space, and you can access them here: http://rawzcoaching.com/the-breathing-space/
Every night when my husband and I sit down to dinner together, we ask each other: “What was the best part of your day?” The answer is often something we have done together, such as on our daily walk. But just as often, it is the sighting of an eastern bluebird on the deck at the same time as a northern cardinal, or the beauty of the bright green trees blowing in the breeze. Sometimes its just the gorgeous blue of the sky, or the sighting of a new bud on one of my houseplants, or the delicate first leaves of one of the vegetable plants sprouting in our garden. We try to be sure we can always see SOMETHING good. Because once you can see ONE THING, you will see more things that are good. And slowly you can be a bit more positive about the situation.
One of the other activities we have found fun and useful is to get together as a family (virtually) and do a cooperative crossword puzzle or play internet games. This allows us to spend time together, but also to laugh and just have a good time. And laughter is always good.
I will share more of the activities and attitudes that I find helpful in upcoming posts. In the meantime, I would be delighted if you would share what you have found to be helpful in the comments section, as they may be helpful to others.
Thanks for reading! I value your time and presence. Please come find me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Or send me an email at Alice@adackerman.com