“Welcome to another day in paradise everyone!”
This is the somewhat ironic good morning that my hubby greeted me with on Day 12 of the covid-19 pandemic self-isolation. You can’t knock the guy - he’s doing his best to keep things light.
As his words rolled around in my head for the rest of the day, I reflected that he may be onto something…in psychological terms his morning greeting would be known as reframing the narrative or cognitive reframing. With cognitive reframing, we can change the way we look at things and consequently change how we experience them. Transforming the more negative thoughts into positive ones. Like the thoughts we may hold when we experience the grim realities of a pandemic caused by fear, physical distancing, economic uncertainty, self-isolation, worry, and being quarantined in our homes for indefinite amounts of time.
With reframing the narrative, we challenge ourselves to illuminate positive sides of challenging situations, avoid seeing only the negative, and identify a brighter version of what is happening.
If you’d asked me 6 months ago for my definition of paradise, I can assure you that it would not have included being house-bound with my husband, and 2 teenagers; being limited to only virtual connections with colleagues, friends and family; while watching the world and society as we know it, temporarily unravel.
But if this version paradise includes being healthy and safe; feeling waves of gratitude for everything that we do have; witnessing world-wide acts of tenderness and kindness in the midst of chaos; spending more time with the people I love, doing things I would NEVER be doing, including: weekly Zoom calls with my mum and siblings; family workouts with a virtual personal trainer; binge-watching “How to get away with murder” with my kids, daily walks to the mailboxes and back; then I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. In this reframed narrative, I can access a smidge more optimism and hope, which helps me wake up every day, feel the unsettled angst that sits in the bottom of my belly and know that we’re going to be ok.
How could you be reframing your pandemic narrative? What stories are you holding onto that are keeping you in scarcity or in fear and anxiety? What new ways could you reframe your experience to be able to access some of that optimism, hope and gratitude that we all need to amplify and nurture right now?
Oh, now I get it!
Have you ever found yourself having one of those Oh-now-I-get-it-moments? They just seem to kind of happen, and then you realize, “oh…so this is what all the fuss was about, I get it now.” It’s like you finally tap into this deep wisdom that’s been lurking under your nose all along, but that you’ve just been unable to see. It’s a combination of the obvious with a dash of Oprah-level “aha”. In this blog, I will be sharing some of my experiences with these kinds of moments as they show up in my life on a pretty regular basis! Enjoy!