By Theresa Puskar
It’s been over three months since the quarantine began. While some of us are working from home, some are slowly starting to return to their workplaces, and others still have been laid off. While some of us have taken to the streets to protest on behalf of our African American brothers and sisters, others have remained in solitude, sending loving prayers and energetic healing to the masses. Whatever your situation may be, we are all facing a new normal.
As I reflect on the past 12 weeks, I see that I am navigating my emotional ship through very foreign waters. To tell you the truth, I sometimes feel troubled and trapped, while other times I feel helpless, healing and hopeful! In 40+ years, I have never had an opportunity to experience my career without a multitude of responsibilities, devoid of stressful deadlines and draining workplace drama, until now. As I reflect on my life, I realize that I have not experienced such freedom since pre-high school—literally. I’ve been a driven and overzealous workhorse throughout most of my life. Existing without a mile-high to-do list or the need to multi-task my way through several projects simultaneously is both foreign and freeing. Perhaps you have been in the same boat?
So, I ask you: “Do you miss the old ways or has this shift created an itch inside of you that longs to embrace a new normal—a work environment that is reflected in the self-nurturing that you have been experiencing during the quarantine? Do you long to work in a place that is calm, soothing and encouraging a place where there are no deadlines, only action plans that sail you easily and effortlessly along a current of delightfully deep curiosity, creativity and inspiration?”
You might ask if such a workplace exists? I believe that it does. In fact, I am so convinced of this that I wrote a book to support business leaders and employees alike in making the necessary shifts to ensure such success. In my book, The Good Morning Mind: 9 Essential Mindfulness Habits for the Workplace, I share the nine habits that when cultivated with a commitment to mindfulness support you in finding joy in your career, whatever it might be.
Self-compassion truly takes courage.
This morning during a meditation session I was in, the presenter reminded us that self-compassion needs to be our priority as we work towards further raising our consciousness. I realized that as of late—with all of the pressures by the powers that be to get my books sold and to grow my platform as a speaker—the most powerful thing I can do is not to push but to blast myself with compassion and appreciation. When I allowed myself to fully experience self-compassion during the meditation today, the message I received was this: “All that you have done in your life is enough. There is nothing more that you need to do.” I got an overwhelming realization that if I were to die tomorrow, I am enough. My life, my contributions, my efforts are all enough. What if you were emphatically told by your divine, in no uncertain terms that “You are done. No more need to ‘try’ to accomplish anything in your life. As a soul, you extended well beyond your soul’s commitment for this lifetime. You can stop now and simply enjoy your life. No more need to grow. Just relax into being you.” How freeing!
Another realization I had was that I have been misguided. All that I had been perceiving as the most courageous actions I’ve taken in my life were not. The most courageous thing I can do in this life is to totally and unconditionally love myself. I realized that it takes more courage to do that than any other feat I’ve deemed as truly courageous. It takes courage to fall in love with ourselves. Doing so is truly living courageously.
Transformation comes from within!
While on the topic of courage, I have been asking myself what would be the best way to support the movement towards justice for all, especially my African American brothers and sisters. As we battle not spreading the Coronavirus, I have been struggling with the idea of joining the masses in their marches. As I sat and contemplated how I might best serve during these trying times, I got a very clear answer: “True transformation comes from within!” I spent one day in particular, really feeling into the grief and shame that I felt. I cried a great deal and found myself heavy with the injustice. But as I looked deeper, I also saw the perpetrator within me. While I don’t claim to be prejudiced, I had to admit to myself that there were times when I was overly critical, angry and judgmental of others. At times, I have made assumptions about people based on their culture, ethnicity or belief-system. My worst offenses were judging the judgmental nature of critical people and closing my heart to closed-minded individuals. The list doesn’t stop there. In my book, 8 Ways to DeClutter Your Brain, I write about countless cycles of negativity in which I find my cluttered brain spiraling. I have felt ashamed of my shame and angry about my anger. I struggled with being impatient with my impatience and intolerant of my intolerance. The ego is tricky and the more we commit to our consciousness, the more it can weave us into its tangled web of nonstop negative mind-chatter. It will trap us if we are not willing to see those cluttered thoughts for what they are and deal with them head-on.
What can we do to create greater harmony?
Like me, you might be asking yourself how you move beyond the mind traps and best support this movement towards greater peace and wellbeing in the world? Kasia and I were talking, and we decided that the most empowering thing we could do is bring our Conscious Community together. It is for this reason that we will be holding a Conscious Community Connection virtual meeting each week. We will provide you with practices and tools to support your continued efforts to raise your consciousness, but even more importantly, we want to hear from you. I believe you are all heroes on the epic journeys of your lives. You each have a story to tell and a message to share. So, we want to get to know you more. We want you to share your stories and shower us with your wisdom on how you are raising your consciousness and that of others during these hugely volatile and highly transformative times. So, mark your calendars. Starting Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 7-8 pm, we will be having weekly Zoom Virtual Meeting calls to support listening and learning from you. You must sign up in order to attend, as tickets are limited. To sign up, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/conscious-community-virtual-connection-gathering-tickets-110048999520. Once you sign up, prior to the event, the Zoom ID and Password will be emailed to you. (Don’t forget to check your junk mail.) These gatherings will be ongoing and we encourage you to join us every week! I can’t begin to tell you how powerful my journey through the quarantine was when I was virtually uplifted by communities that were focused on experiencing and spreading goodness in the world!
Theresa Puskar is a highly-skilled transformation leader, author, performer and keynote speaker. As an unabashed truth speaker and inspirational teacher, she is delighted to spread causeless joy throughout the world. Her most recent books, 8 Ways to De-Clutter Your Brain and The Good Morning Mind: 9 Essential Mindfulness Habits for the Workplace are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. To learn more about Theresa, visit www.TheresaPuskar.com.