Let’s talk about COVID-19, Centering Prayer and how to cope during this pandemic.

It goes back to Friday, March 13. I work for a large financial services corporation. My building is home to some 800 people. On this day we were told we can finish the day or we can leave now and finish at home. We are to expect to work from home for 2-4 weeks.  

I chose to leave early. I packed up what I thought I might need for 2-4 weeks and left. My work can be done with a laptop. 

It is now June 19 as I write this. I still work from home. I was told do not expect to go back to the office until 2021 and we do not know what that will look like. 

Centering Prayer sustains me during this time. I begin my day with a 20-minute sit. It is the first thing I do to start my day. It prepares me for the day. It is my reset and restart button. I reconnect with God and partner with God as I move through the day. 

I take a second sit in the early afternoon. I stop what I do and sit. I need this sit! I am always amazed at how productive I am because of this second sit. Centering Prayer has a way of giving you back time. 

I also have discovered that I need more silent pauses during the day. What does this mean? It means I stop and take a 1-minute sit whenever needed. This sit calms me down and helps me to focus on my upcoming tasks. 

What else do I do to cope?

I take at least one if not two walks each day. I am a heavy metal contemplative. My walk begins with two Led Zeppelin songs: Black Dog and The Ocean. They get me pumped and excited. I then listen to a book on audible or the Libby app. I am currently listening to an old classic from 1936, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Its principles still apply today some 84 years later. 

I like to take these principles to my silent sits and let them go to God. After my sits if I have a peace about them, they excite me and do not harm me or others, I try to incorporate them into my life. I remind myself that fear is never a reason to not move out of my comfort zone. 

My wife and I enjoy to watch many, many series on Netflix and other media-services providers. We recently watched all 11 Star Wars movies. That was fun since I had only watched the first three in release order. We tried to interest our 12-year old son to watch with us. I told him I was about his age when the first one came out. He had no interest. My 19-year old daughter did join as we watched all 11 over a week or so. 

We are spending much time on Zoom. This is how we talk with my wife’s family. This is how we talk to my family. And we play board games. They are fun and they make us laugh.

This is the new normal for now. 

I feel compelled to say something about the George Floyd killing. I was shocked. This should not happen in the United States or for that matter in any country. I do not know what it is like being a black person in America. I can take the time to stop and listen. When I see an injustice, I can act. I can speak up. We are all equally loved by God and we need to love all people equally too.