Let me start with a story:
I’m 18, nearly bedridden. Pain pierces my abdomen and I hobble to the bathroom multiple times an hour to flush blood down the toilet. I’ve just dropped out of my dream college due to my autoimmune disease, and medications wreak havoc on my body.
I believe I have lost my only sources of power: my prettiness, my academics, my chance at enoughness.
At this point in my life, I didn’t know how to be myself. I only knew how to be a pretty, straight-A people-pleaser. Having lost the ability to be that person, and being in such pain, I’ve lost my will to live.
There is a book of devotions beside my bed. I pick it up, without knowing why. Although I believe in a divine power, religion has been performative for me — something I do because people are watching and I need to look like a good person.
Now, however, nobody is here to see me and still I pick up the book. It opens to a verse: “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” My body, tensed in pain, softens. I read it over and over.
Believing this doesn’t feel like the cognitive dissonance of trying to believe the other parts of religion. It feels like a relief. It feels like a reason to stay alive.
Until then, I had mostly asked, “What if everything goes wrong? What if I lose what’s most important to me?”
At that moment, however, I started asking a new question: “What if something can go right?”
A week later, a book will jump off a bookshelf at me. It outlines a diet that has helped people with my disease. I hold the book and hear a faint but audible voice within me say, I have to try this.
I do, and things begin to go right.
Moral of the Story
This is not the part of the story where I tell you that if you just have faith then you will not get the corona virus! Nor is this the point where I evangelize about how superfoods can heal the virus.
Good grief, no.
This is the part of the story where I ask you something: What if we change our questions?
Instead of asking, “What’s the worse that could happen?” can we ask, “What could go right?”
In place of, “What if we’re losing everything we’ve worked for?” could we try, “What if there is a small voice in each of us that can show us a new, unimagined outcome?”
And for those of us who have extra, what if we replace, “why is this so emotionally overwhelming?” to, “What is one small way I can help today?”
It may seem irresponsible to not ask, “What’s the worse-case scenario?” That question allows us to best prepare. But it’s similarly irresponsible to not ask, “What’s the best-case scenario?” That question allows us to make it, at least, a possibility.
New questions open new doors. Entertaining the possibility of safety creates a safer world.
Crisis is a learning opportunity. Panic is a symptom of not wanting it to be.
Spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, in an Instagram post, said the following:
Every problem comes bearing its own solution. The coronavirus carries a critical message: ‘Put taking care of everyone before all else, or none of you will be safe.’ Humanity will now learn that lesson, either through wisdom or through pain.
For far too long, too many people have been voting for only their own economic good. In the final analysis there’s no public issue that won’t make its way to your private door. Only by caring for others do we ultimately care for ourselves. This is a teachable moment if we allow it to be.
Since many of us face personal crisis with panic instead of curiosity, we’re seeing global panic response. As within, so without.
But our individual mental and emotional response — the response that is wholly within our control — that can change things. Each one of us can change the questions that we’re asking, so we can imagine unforeseen solutions and hear the voice of wisdom within each of us.
Without a doubt, we need global medical support and interventions. And our curiosity, imagination, and tuning-in is also necessary global medicine.
Symptoms or Problems
“I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change,” said environmental lawyer Gus Speth. “But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy…and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation — and we scientists don’t know how to do that.”
In the same way, we might think that the top health problem right now is an infectious disease. That may be one of the top symptoms. Symptoms are often severe and life-threatening. On an individual level, for example, autoimmune disease can be a life-threatening symptom. But it’s not the top problem.
The top problems are selfishness, greed and apathy. Those qualities are responsible for the rush toilet paper on an individual level, and the inequity of our healthcare system on a global level. Those qualities are the reason that people who work paycheck-to-paycheck struggle the most right now.
We need to deal with those problems in our hearts, minds, voting booths, communities, schools, religious groups, medical system, and families.
The world is presenting us with the lesson that the only way to truly love ourselves is to love other people.
All of Nature knows this. Have you read The Hidden Life of Trees? Through complex root systems, trees shuttle nutrients to those who need it. When the environment seems most challenging, they give more instead of take more. They know their survival is in making the forest stronger.
We are all on this earthship together. And right now, it might feel like we’re on the Titanic and the first class passengers are the ones getting the lifeboats.
This is because we’ve all built a world, through our actions and beliefs and votes and internalized biases, where we didn’t make enough lifeboats for everyone.
Let us remember the parable of that children’s story, Stone Soup: when the whole community gives what it can, we can turn little into nourishment and connection for all.
Here’s what I’m doing to add a few ingredients to our stone soup:
- Donating money to my local food bank (I did this online, by googling my state’s food banks)
- Donating money to Black Fairy Godmother, a grassroots movement to provide medical support and food to the most vulnerable (click the link in her Instagram profile to donate)
- Signed up for the COVID-19 Help Squad as someone who can provide help. If you are in need of assistance or support, you can sign up to request help. This just got off the ground and more information will be provided to those who sign up.
Mindset + Emotional Support
We can’t change healthcare systems, community support systems, and governmental policies until we change at the individual level.
The same thing happens with personal growth. First we have to change our fear-based mindsets and unconscious belief patterns. Then, as we start acting from new beliefs and positive emotions, the physical aspects of our lives (our jobs, relationships, finances) level up.
The inside changes first, then the outside.
There are a couple things I’m doing right now to ensure I’m asking “What could go right?” questions and acting from a mindset of “we’re all in this together.”
The first is EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique, is a FREE research-based modality that supports mental health. It’s backed by over 100 clinical studies. 10 minute video on EFT for Fear and Panic.
Check out Brad Yate’s other EFT videos for specific concerns you’re facing right now. You might find yourself yawning during the process, crying, or feeling tired afterward. This indicates that energy and trapped emotions are moving.
Second, I watched this insightful video from Dr. Thomas Cowan, sharing his theory of viruses. You may not resonate with all of it but I encourage you to watch with an open mind.
Third, I am using flower essences. **If you do not want to be offered any products for immune/mental help right now, then just skip this part.** I am using supplements, essential oils, and herbal medicine to support my immune system right now. If you are as well, then this is for you.
I created Floral Song flower essences to help my clients release stress and anxiety naturally. Within a week of using the essences, they feel happier and calmer.
I work with many highly sensitive and anxiety-prone clients, and for them, the results are extremely powerful. With this support, my clients make monumentally healing life changes and overcome chronic emotional states.
These essences are also helping my family, friends, and friends’ kiddos stay calm. I feel profoundly grateful that I have this tool to help my mental and emotional health right now.
I want to make these remedies as accessible as possible right now so I’m offering a buy one, get one discount on all Floral Song infusions. You can give the bonus remedy to someone who needs it but isn’t in a place to afford supplements.
Use coupon code GIFTONE (This discount is available through March 22nd and excludes already-discounted products and our flower essence spray).
What Questions Are You Asking?
Someone dear to me once said, “I used to think that love was A, B and C. Turns out, it’s green.”
At 18, sick and bedridden, I thought that success, enoughness, and my future was A, B, and C.
Then, my chance at A, B, and C became impossible. I thought I was losing everything.
Instead, I gained the opportunity to realize all those things were different than I ever could have imagined.
Let’s start asking new questions.
Let’s discover green love.
In love and wholeness,