The Inward Journey of Social Distancing: the Self-Nesting Sabbatical
This is a Season of our Lives
The season of the COVID-19 virus is here, we are experiencing it, and it will pass. In the meantime we all have to deal with it and try to unite to save ourselves, our loved ones, and those we don’t know. We also have the opportunity to use our social distancing and self-isolation for our advancement.
I am self-nesting (my own word!) at home. I hope you do the same. Because I am an optimistic person, I am considering this to be a bit of a sabbatical for myself. As much as I want to see my friends and clients in person, I am switching to video conferencing or teletherapy and use of my iPhone. I’m creating a bubble for myself, only leaving the house when absolutely necessary, because I want to live. I want you to live. And I want to help as many people I don’t know to live.
Taking a Life Season and Making it Purposeful
Today, besides listening to the American Folk Rock group the Byrds and thanking Pete Seeger for taking Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and turning it into a beautiful college-hit of my liking, I have been self-nesting by contemplating how we can take this season of our lives and make it purposeful.
Before I go into writing about a glorious sabbatical for all of us, I want to share what I can’t get out of my head today. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season).
For beautiful visual versions of it you can go to You Tube:
You can also read the original usually ascribed to the wise King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. (but other scholars date it later, in the third century B.C.). The lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the book of Ecclesiastes, as found in the King James Version of the Bible.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
The last phrase of the poem states that there is a time for peace. This leaves us with a sense of peace that is the effect of the entire poem. Although there is a time for everything, the poem ends in peace and gives the readers an overall sense of calm, and the ability to understand that every circumstance in life has its place and time.
These are words that speak to the many and complex seasons of our lives. They are words that bind us by our common human experience. They are words that capture a truth that at times is hard to embrace. They are words that capture a truth that at times we eagerly await. They are words that perhaps frame much of the journey of human life.
These seasons of our lives are the changes we experience. All of them are necessary for us to learn, grow, and evolve as spiritual beings. Their appearance is not by accident. If we look closely enough, each experience reveals a loving, divine purpose that we can learn to trust.
So without getting into scholarly conversation about free will and predestination, let’s understand that we are given opportunities, like them or not, within which we can find the deeper meaning and use it for our growth. We have choices within our struggles and adversities.
Find the Gift
Each major transition in our lives requires our undivided time and attention for successful passage. Each one also presents a gift—if we’re open to receiving it.
Some of these gifts are easy to identify: the spring moments of new beginnings; the summer moments of easy, carefree living; and the autumn moments of bountiful harvest.
Other gifts are not so easy to identify, such as the transitional storms that often usher in a new season, the oppressive heat of summer, or the bitter cold of winter. These other gifts require us to look beyond the appearances and peer much deeper for their significance.
Even the transitional storms of our lives are necessary to clear old ways of thinking that keep us from fully experiencing the next seasons of our lives.
If we accept the change of season, accept the change and go with the flow, we can adjust. We are going to have to anyway. Once we accept it and stop bargaining, we are able to focus through the dark tunnels and see the light at the end – that is the gift. This is what we are to learn, to heal, to change, to improve, to share.
How to Go with the Flow
The flow of life is a process of change. We are in a current and there is a course to run, walk or drift. We must learn to accept the process and go with it. There’s no stopping it anyway.
If we remember that there is a gift in every crisis or challenge—in every transition of life—we will be able to go with the flow more easily. As we discover the gift in every season, we learn to trust the loving purpose within which it is delivered. Then our resilience and the current of life can carry us off to new adventures, more rewarding and exciting than any we may have chosen in a resistant state of mind.
What Steps to Take
While we are pressed into social isolation or self-nesting we have the time and opportunity to expand our capabilities and share them with the world.
As we embrace this experience fully, we can let it go.
As we don’t “push the river” or try to rush our process, we accept each day as it comes.
As we pray and meditate, we receive inner guidance.
As we trust the process, we gain wisdom.
What to do in a Self-Nesting Sabbatical of Learning and Growth
There are limitless possibilities for self-discovery, learning, improvement, becoming more loving, personal transformation, and sharing joy with others. Get a journal and begin your Covid-19 self- nesting sabbatical.
As we take good care of ourselves, we take long baths, read voraciously, laugh a lot, binge-watch long forgotten series, walk the dogs, walk ourselves, learn yoga, listen to TED talks, scour YouTube, take on line classes, create a hobby, become a master, go to bed early, journal about our dreams, create a treasure map or vision board, make a creative bucket list, explore unknown reaches of our minds and character… or not.
As we connect with others, we share our concerns and solutions, ask for help, call our parents, do healthy acts of kindness for others, share our gratitude, discuss deep questions with our kids, play games, laugh together, give and receive massages, stretch our imaginations, share our dreams, develop family goals, explore the world’s museums, share family recipes, group chat with family and friends, deepen our relationship with our spouse, share lots of intimacy, share our love, contemplate each other’s’ insights, celebrate our successes, have gloriously loving conversations… or not.
As we become the loving beings that are our true natures, we discover ways to help others, to create family missions, to leave a legacy… or not.
Make the right choices and become a more loving person during these difficult times. Allow this pandemic to play a growthful and loving, significant role in the seasons of our lives.
If you want assistance in creating a magnificent individualized Self-nesting Sabbatical, please email, text or call me at 702-242-4222.