With the coronavirus CoVid-19 spreading rapidly, folks have been gripped by a new level of fear.
The postman told me today no one opens the door for him any more. They gesture for him to leave the box outside. Presumably, they bring it inside and slosh it good with alcohol before they open it. “Everyone is terrified,” he said.
It’s hard not to be afraid. Many of us are out of work, our businesses closed by state order. Our friends or family are ill or high-risk, or far away. We frantically wash our hands, cringe from contact, and make masks at home.
Enough is enough.
I am all for safety. Kissing strangers on the subway is a nice idea, but not right now, thank you. Social Safety is paramount at this time. Keeping ourselves safe keeps thousands of other people safe, and that is a Good Thing.
But I am against being ruled by fear.
Fear makes everything harder. It freezes us in place. It cripples our minds and bodies. It bathes our cells in toxic stress hormones.
It’s time to stop.
This pandemic is what’s known as an “Inescapable Attack.” This means we are pretty much trapped and there is nothing we can do. I mean, yes, Social Safety, but the big picture is, well, rather big–and the constant barrage of apocalyptic news doesn’t help. So what can we do?
Um, that’s it?
Now, hear me out. I know, this sounds impossible. Plus the kids are home all day now, and the spouse/housemates, and it’s CHAOS AROUND HERE!!!! <cue hyperventilation>
Chill. I have faith in you. We can do this. And here are two ways to help.
ACT and DISTRACT
Both are part of fighting fear. Whatever keeps us out of the fear vortex is valid.
There are many many ways to act, some of which are not so obvious.
Focused Intention (essentially, prayer).
When I am afraid and there is nothing I can do, I visualize radiant beings (your deities of choice), holding the object of my concerns (myself, others, the world), in nourishment and protection. And whenever the fear arises, I go to that visualization. I focus all my energy on this outcome of safety and productive resolution. I highly recommend this practice. More about that is here. And this can be brought into the dance practice. so the whole dance becomes directed energy healing the world from fear and suffering. White Tara is my deity. She would be yours as well if you so wish it. Om Tare Tut Tare Ture Svaha. May all beings be free from suffering.
I’ve been dancing my 20 minutes most days, and that makes a world of difference. But even more fun lately, I’ve been making art! Every day, I draw a picture on my phone (I have a Note 3), and they are ridiculously cute. You can see most of the designs here (and the one above is one of these pictures).
I have also chosen to Act by offering dance classes focused on joyful relaxation and small group grounding sessions (coming soon–email me if interested), to fight fear. I have loaded my classes with somatic strategies to settle and ground the nervous system, so dancers come away feeling refreshed and relaxed. It works! The feeling lasts, and the strategies can be used at any time to help the body feel calmer and safer.
I know a lot of us are broke, though many still have jobs or unemployment, so I am offering these for April on a donation basis.
Which brings me to
If our major defense mechanisms are Fight and Flight, Distraction is the best kind of flight. Listen to music. Read a book (on your phone from the library). Daydream. Watch a virtual tour or a movie–there are SO MANY distractions available right now! Everyone and their granny is offering things to do from home, most of them free. I’ll be listing these (as well as more Act strategies), on the page AliaThabit.com/Fight-Fear. But here is
12 Virtual Museum Tours
And here is some music.
And here is a dance for you, from me.
We will get through this. Together.