By Cha~zay Sandhriel, Ph.D.

A Time to Relax or Be Productive?

Today is Sunday, April 12, 2020 and I want to address a couple of issues and share some pictures with you from my morning stroll in the forest, here in Switzerland.

First, my last post entitled, Making Your Lockdown Days Highly Productive, made some of you write in to ask why this can't be a time to do nothing and to just relax. Let me address this.

We must first keep in mind that people in the medical field have anything but quiet time! They are working in over-drive and will most likely continue doing so for several months ahead. I take my hat off to anyone who is in the medical healing field! The article is geared towards those of you who are confined to your homes at this time. Some of you are able to work from home, while others of you cannot. Many have lost their jobs… In fact, CNN reports that 31% of all American renters were unable to pay their April rent.

The second thing to remember is that I live in Switzerland, right on the Italian border, and we have been on lockdown for several weeks, while people in the US, Canada and perhaps even Australia, have just started to get a feel for what it means to be on lockdown. So, when I created the article HERE I had already been in self-isolation for several weeks. After we were told to self-isolate as much as we can, my computer's hard drive crashed and suddenly I was also without the ability to tend to my work. Watching TV all day is not an option for me since I don't have a TV.

My first response was to be calm and equanimous and to take this time to go inward. I turned this initial time into a silent retreat. I stayed off my phone, didn't speak and just meditated and laid on the floor doing breath work for several days. I also noticed that I started to sleep deeper and longer. Feeling other people's pain and agony can make us respond to their heaviness by sleeping more.

If you need any help relaxing and healing, considering getting this 50-minute Meditation: Reduce Your Stress and Lower Your Blood Pressure

After a few days of this I decided to experiment baking different sorts of breads, making new soups and salads I hadn't tried before. Of course there was some cleaning and laundry too.

After a few weeks of this, still without a computer, the urge to be productive slowly began to percolate to the surface again. Humans are built to produce and accomplish, to do and to create. Whereas animals eat, sleep, produce and then they eventually die, humans need to fill those days by doing at least something productive. We can fight this urge to be productive but the alternative can turn us into lazy people. Not such an admirable trait when laziness becomes the norm.

I definitely recommend to take this time to go inward and to relax and to calm down – at least for a few days or a couple of weeks. This is a wonderful time to go inward and to reflect on what you want to do with your life.

  • Is your life, the way you lived it pre-COVID-19, exactly what you want it to be?
  • Are you proud of your accomplishment?
  • Do your accomplishments to date help others?
  • Or is this perhaps the time to reflect and do something different?

While doing some research on Youtube, the feed suggested the following video of a young woman (not sure she's even 21 yet), and how this period of COVID-19 gave her the courage to quit her job and move off grid to start a different life of her own. The comment section says it all!

So, back to you and getting through this time of self-isolation. Of course it is essential to go inward and to de-stress, to do nothing for a while because everyone (except the medical staff and those who work in farmacies and grocery stores (gas stations too), are politely (or not) asked to stay at home. This is very difficult for some people because they don't know how to calm down long enough to stay home and out of harm's way. Many also don't think of others and their health challenges. This is truly a time where the heroic acts of some come out, and at the same time the incredible selfishness of those who just don't give a darn about others.

Once your quiet time is over, it's time to become productive. That's what this article HERE is all about – how to find ways to stay productive while being in self-isolation.

The Healing Power of Trees

As many of you know, I injured my foot two years ago and have not been able to hike or even stand on my foot too long. I wanted to heal naturally and avoid surgery, and after all this time and custom shoe inserts, I thought I would take this time to go for leisurely strolls in the forest behind where I live. I generally get up after 2 am. I spend my first time meditating, then I begin my work. When I hear the first bird chirp I stop working and go back to meditate, but this time with the birds. I love tuning into their morning song – it has a most life-giving frequency that is uplifting and boosting my eagerness to go outside.

I live in a forest filled with chestnut and birch trees, which gives a completely different feel from a pine forest or an oak tree forest. I like getting out right before first light. Walking while it's still somewhat dark but close enough to the cusp of light so that I can see the light show of the sun reflected on the trees of the forest – ah, what delight! And of course, no one is out, except a few wild pigs that cross my path here and there.

The Song of Birds in the Morning

Today I walked for almost 45 minutes, one way. On my way back I stopped here and meditated some more, while listening to the delightful feathery inhabitants of this magical place.

By the time I got home it was a beautiful Sunday morning, quiet as usual. The Italian mountain in front of me still has snow on it (see picture at the top), although where I am (about 1800 feet), the snow is all gone. Spring has definitely set in.

Spring also makes it much, much harder for people to stay inside. South of the Equator people are preparing for winter, which may make it much easier to stay at home. However, did you know that 90% of the entire human population lives in the Northern Hemisphere (Source: Wikipedia)?

This means that 90% of the population is chomping at the bit to want to go outside, to hike and bike, to go to the beach and spend time eating outside with friends and loved ones. We are not there yet and perhaps this year's summer will be spent mainly indoors. The question is, can you do it? Can you spend the next 8-9 months indoors while leaving only for the grocery store once or twice a month?

It's a difficult time for all of us and we must choose how we show up during this time. We can be selfish and ignore the proposed rules, which are here to keep us and others safe. Or we can honker down, take this time to do other work, relax, rest and prepare ourselves to never, ever get into a situation like this – ever again. We may not be able to control what others do and a future virus pandemic is inevitable, we can make some changes in our lives so that should we face a similar issue again, we will be prepared in the best way possible.

I wish that you will find or strengthen your inner peace. It's the only way we can move forward in a sane and grounded way. Finding your inner tranquility and equanimity will allow you to discover your inner passion. Once you have discovered this spark it takes very little to bring it to fruition. All it takes is you dedicating your undivided attention to this inner spark, until it blazes into an inferno that can't do anything but positively influence others who come in touch with you.

If you need any help relaxing and healing, considering getting this 50-minute Meditation: Reduce Your Stress and Lower Your Blood Pressure

Sending you much love, wherever you are!

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