Can We Make America Grateful Again?
How can we thrive when everything is different now?
Start with gratitude. Can you be grateful for at least three things every day? We live in a free country, and yes you have a choice. Will you see this Covid-19 disruption as an opportunity or a disaster?
Be honest. What do you THINK about the pandemic that’s taken over the planet?
Stop. Write down what you just said to yourself. I’m not kidding.
How do you view this day, this month, the remainder 3 or so months of 2020, the next year 2021, 2025, 2030?
What are the words that you used to describe today and the coming decade? Write them down. Be honest. It’s ok. You won’t be graded.
YOU have the POWER to determine whether this decade and the disruption will make you and our planet better and stronger. You have the POWER to change how you think about crisis. You have the POWER to revise the words you chose to describe how you are feeling right now.
Fires destroyed my home town in 2018. These fires taught me one thing. No one is coming. We must be self-reliant. We are in charge of our destiny. If we have our health, some shelter, food and water, then we are doing great and we can be grateful. I have witnessed homes burn to the ground and friends lose literally everything. They have and are currently making lemonade from lemons and they continue to inspire me every day.
Covid- 19 has taken a toll on all. From the elderly to the young and the economy to the entire world. It is a worldwide defining moment.
Covid-19 killed my hero, my Mom Audrey in 9 days. Yes — she was 81 and in a nursing home, but she was in good health. I can look at this as a tragedy, but instead, it has become a calling. My Mom was filled with grace and given the gift of dying quickly. We got to have zoom calls with her. She opened her eyes to say good bye to us. She will live on in my heart and now I have a Guardian Angel with me every step of the way.
Every day since 5/5/20, I will honor my Mom and live as she would want me live this one precious life. With grace, grit, and I will give of myself to help others prepare for what’s next — no matter what that looks like.
All will be well when we have faith that all will be well. All will be well, but, in addition to being grateful, how can we stay calm and strong in this storm?
According to the father of positive psychology Dr. Marty Seligman there are two stages of this crisis. Namely, the “In the Present Moment” stage of the crisis and the “As we come out of the Pandemic” stage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po8ZP8FU7Pc&list=PLv8qC1Am9cePMLbI_6G91E2rm_igigJ2x&index=2&t=0s
During the phase 1 of the pandemic/crisis we need to “have fun”. That’s right HAVE FUN. How do we do this?
Get a puppy. Garden. Dance. Create. Write. Play. Listen to music. Watch Hamilton. How do you find joy? Do it.
During phase 2, as we come out of the pandemic/crisis we need to stay optimistic, but also be realistic. We must remember that bad events are temporary, local and not pervasive and we can do something to help.
We need to focus on the future and remember this too shall pass.
Now more than ever, we can decide to radiate and inspire hope!
What can we as teachers and parents do? This is going to be the formative time of life for young people. Show children what’s going on. Talk about hope.
We are hard wired from our ancestors. We have the mentality of “Catastrophe”. We inherited the fight or flight gene so we could survive. Our brains/DNA are wired because our ancestors survived with it.
Although we are wired to have the catastrophe mindset and look for the worst outcome, we can also consider some good outcomes realistically.
For example, when we consider what will happen in the coming year we can adapt the following type of thought process.
Sometime in next year I’ll get Covid.
In the meantime, I’ll build my immunity. I can take vitamins (C, D and Zinc Thank you Dr. Hazan), eat healthy, sleep more, have fun, build strength, practice yoga, lift weights, take walks and go on runs. I can also breath and tap into the source by staying: creative, curious, clear, calm, compassionate, courageous, confident and connected.
What does the science tell us? What really matters?
We are isolating alone, but altruism is one of the best ways to have a satisfied meaningful life. Turn off the tv. Find someone who needs help. Go out and help them. Wear a mask. Practice kindness.
To watch the entire Covid-19 interview visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po8ZP8FU7Pc&list=PLv8qC1Am9cePMLbI_6G91E2rm_igigJ2x&index=2&t=0s
According to the Harvard Men’s Study: We need to connect to each other to live a long and happy life. This is hard to do as we isolate, but we can do Zoom calls, text and reach out to our family and friends. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-secret-to-happiness-heressome-advice-from-the-longest-running-study-on-happiness-2017100512543
Marty Seligman also suggests that we become “PERMA people”.
What is PERMA? There are five core elements of psychological well-being and happiness. Seligman believes that these five elements can help people work towards a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning. The elements are:
Positive Emotion, engagement(flow), Relationships, Meaning (purpose), Achievements (accomplishments): See: https://positivepsychology.com/perma-model/#seligman-perma-model
For many, spirituality is also a source of comfort in these trying times. St. Francis prayers shed’s some light and asks that we become an instrument of Peace by sowing love, pardon, faith, hope, light, joy, consoling others, be understanding, and by giving.
Others practice the 8 Limbs of Yoga from ancient Sanskrit — Ashtanga which refers to Yama (attitudes toward our environment), Niyama (attitudes toward ourselves), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (restraint or expansion of the breath), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (complete integration).
To learn more about these 8 limbs visit: https://8limbsyoga.com/about-yoga/ There are more options to go to on-line classes than ever before. One fabulous class I love doing is offered by a local guru who is simply divine. Visit: https://katmcgee.com/ or better yet, ask your friends about yoga opportunities in your neighborhood.
No way. Some scientists believe now the answer to being healthy may also be in our SHI*?!?
Many believe that there is a mind/gut connection, or that the gut and all of the microbiomes that live in it can actually determine your health and longevity.
A recent case illustrated by Dr. Hazan-Steinberg and ProgenBiome scientists shows that fecal microbiota transplantation could help fight Alzheimbers and other ailments. To learn more about this case study, visit: https://apnews.com/press-release/send2press/virus-outbreak-science-business-genetics-product-testing-2427607ac8864bb1c27e9899f5855696
May we all be open to learning more about what can do every day to make our lives even better (and maybe longer).
Ultimately, we can open our minds and hearts, connect with each other, do our own due diligence and listen to both our brain and our gut.
This decade can define us. It can make us all grateful. The choice is yours. How will you live your one precious life?
Would love to hear back from you — — — please give us your feedback. What are you going to do today that helps make America grateful?
Love, light and courage,
Pamela Conley Ulich