EP 30 Stop Surviving and Start Thriving – A Meditator’s look into what you might have missed in the middle of this COVID Pandemic

Episode #30

In today's episode, I am going to address a topic that might make you feel a bit uncomfortable. I like to call it, "Well, what the heck am I going to do now?" There is no way around it, life is going to look different soon, and like me, you may be rethinking life a bit. If you are working, maybe it doesn't feel right; if you are not working, perhaps you don't want to go back to the job you were in, or you want the way you live your daily life to look a bit different. How does meditation help you dig through all of this muck? There are many ways, and without meditation, I may be sitting here crying instead of plotting about how I can thrive and not just survive.  No meditation won't solve all of your problems, but it may help a lot more than you think.

Hey there, Alexa Z here. It's been a while since I sat down to write a podcast. One month and a few weeks to be not exact, and I was not happy about the break. Truthfully, I was pissed at myself because I vowed for one year not to miss a week, and well, crap happened. My husband told me I should stop being so hard on myself.  My Coach told me not to write until it was in me to write. Well here we are and it feels great! On March 16th my Spa closed due to COVID, my twenty employees were temporarily laid off and blah blah blah, life changed. The worst part is that at this moment I have NO idea what comes next. I know that we will reopen one day, but I don't know what day or even if clients will come back, but I can't just give up, right? Well, I guess I could, but according to my inner compass, that is not an option.

The inner compass, you ask? You know that part of you deep inside that knows the answer to just about everything. But you thought you just heard me say that I have no idea what will happen, so how can my inner self know the answer. Well, the quieter I become, the more it speaks to me. I have responsibilities to my family, my creditors, and my employees, I can't just rollover. But I can start imagining, without fear, but with a more playful attitude. What could change? Big things, little things, something I can control in a world that appears to be taking away all of my control?

Did you ever hear a friend say, "just put it out to the universe, the answer will come." I am here to say that it is a total bunch of BS unless you give the universe a bit of help. Don't be lazy, keep moving, drink from the fire hose of life, and see what new flavor may be in store for you.

Or perhaps George Bernard Shaw put it more eloquently,  "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

What have you learned during this quarantine? Or what have you learned by deciding not to learn? The easiest way to describe something is through a story, and mine is the one I know best, so maybe you can relate. I started thinking about another career, yup, because CPA, Massage Therapist, Spa Owner, Meditation Teacher wasn't quite enough right now. I was a bit forced since once we reopen, my paycheck will probably stay in the uncashed pile for quite a while. However, that wasn't really why. The real reason was I had the time to think about what I was missing in life, and I was shocked to find that I missed using my old brain. The part of my mind that used to crunch numbers and keep finances all nice and tidy for people. Now, wait, this isn't all about work and money; it's about how you want to spend your time.

PS - I am writing this from Maine, where my husband and I now realize that we want to grow old someday. See personal stuff for me, too, not all biz. But that will be another episode!

Take a moment and close your eyes, take a long, slow inhale, and a slow complete exhale. Do it two more times. Now breathe normally and bring to mind an experience or better yet a feeling that made you feel great, or perhaps made you say ah-ha, I forgot how good that felt. Once the world is back to the new normal, will these experiences/feelings end? Maybe, that is up to you.

Back to my story, which yes, is connected to work, but it is relating to my ah-ha.

Once we were mandated to close, I had to apply for disaster relief loans, grants, and anything else I could find, even before I understood it all. You can't let the grass grow under your feet in times like this. Get the money fast before it is gone. Then get it and wonder what to do with it, possibly give it back. The funniest thing was, I found myself enjoying applying for them. I enjoyed reading all the rules that changed every day, and it didn't even make me mad. I found the whole process quite fascinating. I loved explaining it to other small businesses. Then I would go back to the reality that I was filling them out for MY business that after 17 years might fail, and then I would cry a lot. Come on; this isn't all rainbows and unicorns.

How to stop crying and forge ahead with a clear mind and an open heart? Meditation. It balances our emotional and logical brains, our body, and our soul. If you can take away reaction and replace it with action, great things can happen.

Oh, the other essential thing I learned is that I love working from home. I was born to work alone or at least with just a small group. Over the years, my circle has gone from hundreds to dozens, to a bunch to a handful, and I handful is my happy place. I learned that I love, love, love teaching meditation, but not so much about its business side.  Sadly things cost money; this podcast costs money; my teaching platforms cost thousands; I have to charge money. I will never stop teaching, but I have to figure out not to make teaching meditation part of my career path. Meditation is as essential as food and water; I don't' want to start hating it because I have to talk about it more than practice it! I know there are people out there who know what I am talking about. Hmmm, will work for food and shelter? I digress.

What about meditation, you ask? It brings out courage. Sitting in stillness, listening to your inner wisdom is better than Netflix and Ben and Jerry's.  Courage is hard to find, but we must.

Now, does that mean I have it all figured out? Far from it. But I am getting closer. I learned so much, not just a new industry; I learned what I like. I learned what jazzes me even when others might find it boring, trite, weird, who cares! Now instead of fearing what comes next, I am excited to take all my spaghetti and start throwing it against the wall.

And when the tears or fears may yet arise, because you know they will, you find courage in asking for help, a hug or maybe just some Ben and Jerry's. It's all going to be ok. One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time.

Now please take some time. I am NOT saying get a Ph.D. or become a concert pianist; I am just saying open your heart and mind and dig deep. You are already amazing, but I am sure that underneath all that fantastic stuff is even another layer of amazing. Be the best version of yourself. Don't stop trying.

Get more sleep

Drink more water

Turn the TV off and find a book

Tell your kids you love them, again

Have a date night with someone you love (or better yet yourself)

Take a bath (unless you're quarantine dirty then go with a long shower) 

Know that life will continue even if the tennis and swim club is closed.

Eat all the leftovers in the fridge. Throw nothing away!

Be Present


Don't know how?

Well, golly, there's the thing you should learn.

The best time to learn to meditate is in the middle of a crisis, and I think we found one.