Being here in Italy these past few weeks has been hard. Really, really, really hard. Witnessing this drama unfold real-time all around us, watching shops close and streets empty and people become increasingly fearful has been . . . heartbreaking.
But I heard once that hearts break so that they can open. And this also feels like an opening, a call to keep our hearts steady and our wits clear.
Today I’m reporting from the other side of a heart that’s been cracked open. And even if we’re still very much in the thick of it, what I want to stand tall and tell you is: IT’S GONNA BE OKAY.
And I want to share two miracles:
First, this week Italy announced the first decrease in the number of CV-related cases, which experts say could indicate the beginning of the end (in the good way). Medical pundits also seem to agree that it’s not the virus itself that is the cause of death; rather, the virus is a straw on the back of compromised immune systems. And, luckily, we can all do something about that (more below).
The second miracle happened in my home.
Three days ago I came running into my daughter’s room at the sound of her desperate cry. She stood facing her fish tank, her eyes wide and her face soaked in tears. One of two fish was lying on its side, immobile.
She searched my face for hope. My rational mind flashed to the toilet and the thought, “He’s a goner.” But my heart-mind spoke instead, “Let’s try to save him!”
Her dad rushed to get a fresh bowl of water to put him in, while Gaia and I gathered stones and other sacred objects to put around his new little tank. We also lit a candle, because we think her fish like candlelight, and we both prayed and sent intentions to him.
The similarity of our global situation hit home as I considered these two fish separated (“social isolation”) so that health could be restored, and how the other fish was staying close to the tank wall, keeping his friend in sight.
The next morning, my daughter woke and went straight to Terrence Hill (yes, that’s the almost-dead fish’s name), and he was swimming around like nothing ever happened. Gaia cried out again, in joy this time.
Terrence reunited with his friend (Bud Spencer), and the two fish have been swimming happily together since.
I have no idea how that fish survived the night, and I’m sure there’s a perfectly good scientific reason. But I’m choosing instead to believe it was a MIRACLE. And that miracles are something we can create.
Because here’s what I do know: We have a lot of power over our circumstances. Anger, aggression, frustration, and fear release stress hormones, like cortisol, and those same stress hormones lower our immune system and compromise our health.
That’s why I’m back this week with another MOVE-LAUGH-CRY digest, just a few resources to help us all move through the fear, anxiety, and stress of these tough times, reset our autonomic nervous systems, and restore our body-minds to homeostasis.
((If you want more move-laugh-cry resources, you can sign up for the free mini-meditation on my homepage.))
What’s making me MOVE: While I was typing away, I googled “best songs to dance to” and here’s what came up — Dancing in the Dark (check out Bruce’s moves!) and Love Shack (gotta respect fashion like that… vivre le “shaque d’amour”!). Hadn’t heard these tunes in forever and they both helped me shake off some of the despair. 😅
What’s making me LAUGH: I’ve been composing music lately (okay, maybe ‘composing’ is too fancy a word for sitting around with pen and paper, my guitar and a glass of wine). Actually, ‘composing’ is totally the wrong word, since it really just feels like PLAY… which reminded me of these guys. Soooo wish I could’ve been in that recording studio… mooooore cowbell!
What’s making me CRY (in the best possible way): A better question might be, “What’s not making me cry these days?” No idea if it’s just the natural consequence of all that’s going on right now, but just about anything will trigger a healing/happy tear at the moment — bunnies, pixar movies, unexpected smiles from strangers… so I’m probably an unreliable source… but a friend’s home video of dolphins jumping in the Venice Lagoon had my eyes all welled up this morning.
No matter where you’re at on the emotional scale today, know you are not alone. And that these waves of feeling are HUMAN and that you’re gonna make it through this.
Sending Love xx
Photo credit : Foad Memariaan