Right Now, I Choose Love

Right Now, I Choose Love
What I've Learned from the 'Pandemic'

When you realize that every stressful moment you experience is a gift that points you to your own freedom, life becomes very kind. – Byron Katie

The Coronavirus, or Covid-19, is having the most unprecedented domino effect on every aspect of our daily and interconnected lives. We are uniting in varying ideas and actions around global care. We all find ourselves in this unfolding ‘reality’ — in this unfolding immediacy, in this spontaneous NOW.

Whether we engage in the waves of hysteria or simply surrender to the reality before us is really our choice. Naturally, we do not have a choice about everything. I did not have a choice about my flights being cancelled this morning or the federal government travel restrictions or the money I have most probably lost. But I do have a choice about how I respond to it all. Whether I reside in complaint or graceful acceptance.

Byron Katie speaks the stern truth for those of us who want to live in the freedom of the Now; to recognise the mechanics of ‘voluntary’ suffering and drama and put a peaceful spanner in those works. I deliberately chose the contentious word ‘voluntary’, as arguably, most of our suffering is just that. Even with ‘imposed’ suffering, the truism that most of our suffering is actually voluntary, can still serve us enormously. We might just have to dig deeper and work harder for our flight to Freedom.

A lover of what is looks forward to everything: life, death, disease, loss, earthquakes, bombs, anything the mind might be tempted to call ‘bad.’ Life will bring us everything we need, to show us what we haven’t undone yet. Nothing outside ourselves can make us suffer. Except for our unquestioned thoughts, every place is paradise. – Byron Katie

Like many of you, I find myself challenged by all sorts of notions and perceptions of my freedom. It’s something that I have never had to think about with regards to travel and borders. I have both Australian and U.K. passports, so for the most part I am one of the lucky ones, I go where I please. But not now. I am curtailed with imposed restrictions. I have to experience the annoyance of being denied the rights I have taken for granted for so long. I notice how this sheds light on otherwise unseen rooms within myself. I enjoy this challenge. I love to explore all my false identities in the pursuit of liberating the truth of who I am: it’s not always easy but it’s always worth it.

Alt text hereAccepting what is and counting my blessings helps me carry the love. Image: Jarrod Lovekamp

Lemons to Lemonade

I have to accept what is — to count my losses and then my blessings.

And that’s what I am using this time to do; to take the lemons and make lemonade. I’m curious how the current paradigm or operating system is being asked to re-calibrate, re-strategize and respond with solution-focused dexterity. World governments are working on the fly, working for national and global wellbeing. There seems an aliveness, a waking up, a call to action, and a lot of it motivated by Love. The internet is abuzz with the best of humanity, the rise of unified dignity and care. Humans excel in crisis – when a single purpose is collectively embraced, humans are spectacular, creative and resourceful.

I am using my imposed/cancelled travel plans as a time for self-reflection and recalibration. I am meditating on and contemplating all sorts of assumptions and ‘givens’ in my life. I am sharing them with you below; some are light and playful and some have genuinely made me rethink who I truly am and what truly matters.

Fear has only two causes: the thought of losing what you have or the thought of not getting what you want. – Byron Katie

The pandemic is really shaking my brain from left to right and asking me to think about what is truly important. My value systems are being upgraded. I am asked to think about all that I take for granted. This can truly amplify my gratitude. I just assume there will always be food, toilet rolls, and medicine for me, thanks to all the invisible systems and worker bees. I am taking a moment now to thank the whole supply chain for giving me everything I need. And of course, I land right back to Mother Earth – Thank You.

I’m experiencing this strange paradox where I feel the Earth quieten. Even in all the seemingly accelerated uncertainty. Time to let the Earth breathe and just take some space – we can all join in. I am practising breathing into all the space created by less travel, less rushing, less action. It feels good to flow with acceptance and surrender. Some people have doomsday-shopped and have hoarded a lot of food, medicines and toilet paper. So, my usual choices and options aren’t available. Maybe it’s time to fast or cut down on overeating (that should cut down on the need for toilet rolls too!) Seriously, this is a great time to look at my consumption and the noise I contribute.

Alt text hereI feel the Earth quieten and I join in. Image: Irene Strong

I am writing creative lists of what I can do if I am home a lot more in the coming weeks or months. I am looking around my home, my garden, my little world: I might plant some food in my garden; connect with a neighbour via letters or notes under their doors; take the time to think about how much more neighbourly I could be without overriding my boundaries and personal needs. I’m surprised at the resources that are surfacing for me to share.

I am actually looking forward to spending more time with my family, the children around me and my pets. I imagine at some stage we will all be in pockets of isolation. It’s a perfect opportunity to reach for quality connections. I’m already having interesting and refreshing conversations about what’s happening right now and sharing what helps soothe my anxiety and learning what my loved ones need too. I pulled out the deck of playing cards and the dusty board games … I’ve wanted to do this for so long. It felt like some nostalgic connection circuit was fired up. I thought of my late Nana and Grandad. So much laughter and connection before the screen time domination snuck up on us.

Meditation and stillness are still soothing and necessary practices for my daily life. But now I am focusing more on infusing the unified field with Love, Trust, and Tranquility. I am just being quiet and asking nothing from Existence, but rather asking what I can contribute. This feels so satisfying and participatory. I feel like there is an expansion in my whole perception of my life and purpose. And at the same time, I am reacquainting myself with dusty old parts of me while exploring the difference between feeling alone and the contented state of aloneness. I am making friends with my aloneness and remembering who I am beneath the noise of habit and responsibility. I feel echoes of myself resurfacing, carrying forgotten or lost dreams and passions, hopes and aspirations.

Even with social distancing I can still get outdoors and into nature. So far, there are no quarantine restrictions where I live. So I am making sure I am in nature at least once a day. It’s a great panacea for stress and futile worry. I have a favourite tree and I have learned so much about myself from her silence and unwavering presence. I know that nature also boosts my immune system – I’m drinking in the nourishing pulse of her life-force. I have taken the time to explore new walks in the forest, different beach tracks and really paying attention to the array of flora and fauna. Slowing down, resting and taking it all in at a gentler speed feels natural and healing.

I had no idea that in choosing Love and Contemplation during this pandemic that I’d feel so much more authentic connection — deep exhale of gratitude.

~

These are just a few of my contemplations. Do you have any to share? What could you do to make this unprecedented situation a time for community sharing and spiritual growth? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Let’s shine together while caring for one another.

Much love

Team UPLIFT

BY Paul C Pritchard
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Jonas Avelin
Jonas Avelin
11 months ago

Thank you. Great post. I love Byron Katie’s work and wisdom! Thanks:)

AHMED
AHMED
1 year ago

Thank you very much

TITA
TITA
1 year ago

Thank you very much

bahi
bahi
1 year ago

Thank you very much for the information!

kamir bouchareb st
kamir bouchareb st
1 year ago

good article

TITA
TITA
1 year ago

Very beautiful article. Thanks

Elaine
Elaine
1 year ago

Thank you for this. So many wise perceptions. Voluntary suffering, contented aloneness and graceful acceptance resonated powerfully with me. My dog Jax and I will go for our walk today in the woods to find our favourite tree. Very grateful to have found your article. Just what I needed to read this morning.

Lynn
Lynn
1 year ago

Thank you all for being there.
I look around me and see/hear most people only concerned with how this will affect them personally. No-one seems to be looking deeper…………..except you. This is Mother Earth shaking herself free of all the pollution we have caused as a race, like a dog shakes itself when it comes out of water. She has had enough and is now letting us know who really is in charge.
Already the canals of Venice are running clean, the pollution over China has reduced by a huge amount. And this in just a few shorts weeks. What an amazing planet we have been lent to play out our lives on. This pandemic/quarantine will go on until we have learnt to care for our Mother and when life returns to “normal” let us never cause this to happen again. The next one will be far worse. Thank you all for being such evolved souls.

Coffebreakblog
Coffebreakblog
1 year ago

Anyone can be part of the solution for a happier, more loving and more peaceful world take our interactive Pledge to Choose Love to turn an angry thought into a loving thought.

manas0
manas0
1 year ago

A Garland of Love.

Circling round our infinite power;
Now,
Pure and simple;
Self aware and self-evident.
Life itself,
A whorl of nothing.
Dreaming up all awakened things,
Eternally becoming.
All and nothing, both,
Sweet Love.

Radiant in this,
Our truth,
We do become
All ways free ,

Absolutely nothing at all –
but Love,
I am.

zoulikha
zoulikha
1 year ago

Thank you very much.

Shelley Kenigsberg
Shelley Kenigsberg
1 year ago

I’m truly moved and inspired by these words, Paul and send my thanks. I’m feeling the calm that comes from this isolation.. (is there another, more positive way to name it?). Thank you for helping me feel an approaching happiness about practising the things you mention… thinking about and experiencing the goodness that is around us, the small and big ways that locals are helping each other and the sweetness of just breathing out more slowly. Thank you.

RT
RT
1 year ago

Beautifully thoughts behind connected writing. Indeed nature nourishes our soul and fills us with new hope and optimism. Nature helps us to connect with our own inner soul.

Bea
Bea
1 year ago

Thank you. Your sharing and revelations opened up in me what was already happening: taking fully responsebility for me in this situation. And since I cannot contribute as I thought I would the New Way apeared to me as The Way of the Heart. And who is more helpfull in finding love and peace then Byron Katie? much Love and Light for all

Saran
Saran
1 year ago

Like the Sky this gift gave clarity on all. Myself, my friends, my chiefs, my politiciens. Are they in LOVE and LIGHT or in fear?! And the fact, that there is money now for the BGE, makes me feel very happy. Thank me.

MaryJo Radosevich
MaryJo Radosevich
1 year ago

Concur with so many of your reflections and I , too, am finding much needed time to just “be” rather than the perpetual “doing”. It is a refreshing change supported by daily walks along the nearby river and among the new growth of Spring… Mother Nature’s reminder that the dark days of winter will see new life just as these uncertain and ominous days of Covid19 will bring new life in ways we least expect!

Penelope Kirk
Penelope Kirk
1 year ago

So appreciate your writing! I had the great fortune to do a 2 week intensive with Byron Katie 20 years ago and it left an indelible imprint. Blessings.

Jerri
Jerri
1 year ago

Be You ti full ! ✨ JerriHeart filled Reflections ♥️ MUchas Gracias from the end of a dirt road in Costa Rica!

Andrew O'Connell
Andrew O'Connell
1 year ago

I’ve been reading UPLIFT for a while now without commenting. I’d just like to say you have curated a beautiful space here. Congratulations and thank you.

Homedika
Homedika
1 year ago

Weber noted that the counselors in the room no doubt wanted to do more to help students, but their ability as one person is limited. The Choose Love curriculum helps cast a wide social emotional learning net, he said, and can help ease the burden they feel to help a large student body.

Vivie
Vivie
1 year ago

What a great inside, full of heart wisdom

Kirsten Buxton
Kirsten Buxton
1 year ago

Thank you, I deeply appreciate Uplift as a source of helpful messages being shared in the world. They are much needed at this time!
I too find myself sharing a lot of social media, supporting the direction of thinking, and the one decision that we always have the freedom to make. For inner peace. Blessings

Linda Whitehead Carter
Linda Whitehead Carter
1 year ago

Thank you. I am nearly 80 years old. Thankfulness and reflection are part of my daily routine. I welcome you new site.

Lin

Manuela Meier
Manuela Meier
1 year ago

wonderful blog, Paul. Thank you

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