Do One New Thing
Poet David Whyte invites us to think of one very small thing that we could start doing every day while we’re in confinement – that would lead us to a better life after the confinement is over. In other words, I think he is asking us to create a habit of doing something that we value – that we would intend to keep doing after the quarantine has ended. Maybe you read one poem every day. Or, you could write a haiku, or you could call, email or write one friend just to say hello, or you send a joke to a friend, or you drink a full glass of water before breakfast, or you do 10 push-ups, or maybe you read one article in the paper or go for a walk before breakfast or, say a small prayer before getting out of bed, or bring to mind 5 people you care about and take a breath for each one or, or, or…. Think of a small thing you would like to add into your life, and begin doing it daily.
He talks about how this is making a ground for your future self – a decision about how you want to spend your life that you will look back on and thank yourself for creating. Right now we are all so aware of how thin the line is between life and death and, how we could make this a pivotal point for ourselves. Not something too huge, but a small change in the way we live each day that might be possible for us to start today.
I leave you with this anonymous piece that seems to be making the rounds on the internet. I am grateful for the reminder of how lucky I am to have so much in my life – even at this time when life can feel so stripped bare. Obviously, for most of us, our life is not bare at all.
I wish you a healthy and safe week…. Here are things to be grateful for...
1. There are no bombs raining on our heads.
2. I am not a prisoner held in solitary confinement, as millions are.
3. I am not a refugee trying to escape with my life.
4. I am not standing in line waiting to fill a pot of water.
5. I have access to fresh food and I'm not starving.
6. I have hot running water.
7. My country has not been ruined by years of war.
8. I can reach my friends by phone and check in on them.
9. My friends check in on me because they care about me.
10. Any whiplash I feel about this strange turn of events is itself a sign of privilege.
11. More than half of the world would gladly trade their everyday problems for the modest inconveniences I am experiencing.
12. I may have anxious dreams but I'm dreaming them on a proper bed and I'm not sleeping on the sidewalk.
13. By staying at home, I'm helping the planet rest.
14. As long as I have my mind I can create, imagine, dream and not be lonely.
15. This global crisis connects me to people around the world and reminds me of our common humanity. This is a good thing.
16. When something tragic happens to another country next time, I will respond to it not with superiority, but humility and recognition.
17. I will fight for positive changes and economically just policies in my own country.
18. I am surrounded by books.
19. I am surrounded by love.
20. The trees have already begun to bloom.