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It was just about a year ago that the quarantine started for me. I went out to Los Angeles from New Jersey for a week’s conference and the day I returned, March 16, was the day that California and the world seemed to have a complete change.
Being in New Jersey for the first bit of lockdown was intense. New York City is just on the other side of the river from where I was in New Jersey. In fact, within just a few blocks of where I was staying, you could see the Manhattan skyline. The virus was raging out of control in both New York and New Jersey and most people were frightened.
It seemed that we all had to stand in line for groceries then. People shrank back from each other in the grocery store. I was making a weekly grocery run for myself and my family. I’d go early in the morning, because at age 60 I qualified to go in the store with the older folks before the rest of the folks could enter.
The grocery stores were having a challenge because workers were being exposed to the virus and more and more were either calling in sick or simply quitting to protect themselves.
I remember crying grateful tears at the cash register as I thanked the cashier for being there, and choosing to do their job so I could help feed our family. I was so grateful to the folks who worked in the stores that made it possible for us to have some sense of normalcy – although little felt normal.
In the early days, I realized immediately that I live a quarantine lifestyle. I work from home, wherever that is. I interact with SO MANY people online, that I don’t have a huge need to socialize with a lot of people, so I adjusted easily to staying home, but not to all the fear that people had.
Still, like everyone else, I’ve missed the social interactions and the simple enjoyment that going out for breakfast or meeting a friend for coffee can bring.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten out the car to go to the grocery store, walked all the way to the door, and then turned around to go back for my mask. I’ve also not been able to break the habit of putting on lip gloss before I go to the store, and then having to wipe it off so I don’t get it all over my mask. I still do that every time I go to the store. Sigh.
I went to our families house in Maine in the spring and for the first two weeks I didn’t go anywhere. I never got in the car or even left the yard except to go for a walk. I wanted to respect the local community so I did a super strict quarantine.
From Maine I went to where I am now in a tiny town in Vermont. Here the businesses are mostly hanging in. I know of only one that’s closed and it was just hanging on before the pandemic. There’s only take-out at the restaurants and there’s not much variety.
I’m VERY tired of eating my own cooking, but I’m not complaining.
Winter has been long and gray, but with a constant snow on the ground the days are still bright because the snow is so reflective.
I’ve been focusing on establishing bird feeders and watching the blue jays and chickadees mingling. Just the other day red wing blackbirds have been showing up and that’s a sign of spring, although it snowed last night.
Last year the last snow was May 15.
What I’ve noticed is that my closest friends have come closer. My prayer partners and I used to meet monthly in person when we all lived in Los Angeles. Now, only one of us is still there. There are five left in our group and we’ve been prayer partners for 24 years now.
Around about 2006 we started meeting once per week on the phone, at my request, because I was on a long visit with my parents in Maine when my Mom was in radiation therapy for lung cancer.
We started these weekly phone meetings for 30 minutes a week. One of us starts off with a prayer, then each of us shares for about 4 or 5 minutes, and then one of us closes out with a prayer. We’d been doing that for about 14 years, and then last March I requested we move to zoom.
Our zoom meetings started out at 1 hour. We needed to connect more in depth with what we were feeling about the pandemic. To be able to see each other was a welcome relief. Within a couple of weeks we added a second meeting and that was an hour too.
We’ve kept up the two 1 hour sessions for nearly a year now and while we’ve been so close for so long, I don’t think we’re any closer now, but we’re all so very grateful for our decades of being nearest and dearest despite the distances in time and space. We’re 5 people in 4 time zones, and sometimes I’ve been on the other side of the planet.
After 6 years, yes, 6 years of traveling, I finally found a home last year, a lovely house that I’d hoped I’d be able to buy. It had been on the market for about 5 years with no offers at all. A few weeks after I moved in it sold above asking price – people from Boston looking for an escape during a plague. I had to move again three months after I moved in, sigh.
In September I moved into the home I’m in now. It’s the first time I’ve been in one place this long since I left Hawaii in early 2016. It’s been a great relief to me NOT to have to travel and go anywhere. Usually I’m off to somewhere to speak or teach fairly regularly and moving home from place to place frequently. People think it’s exciting and wonderful, but for me it’s been a distraction that I didn’t welcome.
However, I know the holy purposes of all that travel. First, I realized that many of the places I was called to go were completing past life karma. Second, I knew other places I was called to so I could simply be a prayerful presence doing energy clearing work by means of my spiritual practice. In all the places I went I was there to keep practicing the full release of my own attachments.
With all that travel, I had to give up attachments to things like when and what I ate and drank. Some places had what I liked and some didn’t. I learned to adapt to all the different beds, and sounds, the different finicky shower heads and lighting, to having a bath that was too small or none at all. Waking up and not knowing where I was was common.
Now, I’m so very content to be at home in a beautiful place and finally getting settled in.
At the beginning of the lockdown, I began adding more classes to my schedule to support our community as people were really emotional.
I noticed that in the evenings back in March and April last year I would feel a tightness of breath in the evening after 8:30pm and I start to wonder if perhaps I had the virus. My intuition was that it was my heart chakra, tuning into all the many people I’m connected with and feeling their fears as nightfall came.
A dear friend came very close to not making it through a 2 week hospital stay with Covid. One night an alarm went off inside of me telling me to PRAY! Which I did, intensely, and in the morning he’d had a turnaround. Phew!
This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing my goddaughter and her family. I’ve never gone this long without seeing my Dad, and I’m so glad we can do frequent zooms together.
Many days I’m on zoom for meetings and classes about 6 to 8 hours a day. Not kidding. Zoom fatigue is a real thing. Still, it doesn’t stop me from zooming with friends and family for hours on the weekends.
I’ve learned I can zoom with friends while I prepare food, bake cookies, make soup, and peel apples for apple crumble. It’s like we’re together having a cup of coffee in our different kitchens and I like it a lot since we cannot be together now.
My teacher, Venerable Dhyani Ywahoo lives only 1.5 miles away and I love being able to make sugar free, vegan, gluten free treats and take them to her.
Yes, like everyone else, I’m watching more television, but I really only watch what I’m interested in, and much of the time I’m multi-tasking, cooking, exercising and things like that.
I never thought I’d be taking online classes, but I’ve been continuing my kundalini yoga studies online and grateful for that option. Over 1,000 people have been inspired to participate in my free 40 Day Kundalini Meditation Challenge! (You can still join us!)
Last year, I led two of my Stop Playing Small retreats online. I never imagined that would be a thing, but we all agreed that we LOVED it! A huge success and I’m doing another one in about a month. (Click here to learn more now.) I also led an entire Spiritual Counseling Training Intensive online! I never thought that could work, but it was wonderful!
Without distractions, I’ve been very productive. And I’ve been amazed at the enthusiasm people have for deepening their spiritual practice.
At Power of Love Ministry we followed through on something that Spirit had given me to do about five years before – start a prayer ministry with folks gathering every 3 hours, around the clock, seven days a week. That prayer ministry started strong and is getting stronger every week.
I finally launched my Prayer Practitioner training and that’s absolutely beautiful. I love to share what I know about the power of prayer and that’s a blessing!
I’ve started a weekly Sunday Service online, our Sundays With Spirit, and we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary in April. That’s been a really beautiful community gathering that anyone is welcome to join. I’d been inspired to do it years ago, but I just didn’t have the bandwidth until last year when it became clear that we could all use that as part of our spiritual practice.
We have people from all over the world each week and it’s been a delight to hear all the different speakers, and to feel the weekly connection beyond our classes. Our gatherings truly feel like a celebration of the Power of Love. More and more, members of the community are stepping up to share and inspire and we’re loving it.
As I look at it all now, I can see that I’ve been making lemonade out of these lemons. Of course, I feel very blessed that my family and friends are all in good shape, although some are more worse for the wear.
I do know many people who’ve lost family members, and sometimes multiple family members. People have had intense bouts with the virus and challenges galore with their children home schooling, and yet many in our programs have shared that their family relationships have improved tremendously through their increased spiritual practice, while those who are living alone have become more committed to their spiritual practice and to the community.
Because of the pandemic we’re finally developing a spiritual parenting program, something I’ve wished to do for ages, and also a program to address intense issues like depression, anger, and anxiety. (Fill out my simple survey if you have any interest.)
With not much else to do, I’m focused on my spiritual practice which is also my vocation. I am so very grateful.
I’ve never felt more truly helpful.
Let’s all take stock of the benefits we’ve had this past year and harvest the wisdom by leveraging our gratitude for the lessons learned. It’s been quite challenging, and yet there are many good things for a lot of us.
And, of course, we’re ALL ready for the pandemic to end. Let’s pray about it.
Our connection is a blessing to me, thank you!
TODAY, you can join me for our Sundays With Spirit celebration. We’re coming together to share our inspiration in many ways. We’ll have a spiritual celebration together with message and music – we call it Sundays With Spirit. Please invite your family! If you can’t join us, you can catch the replay! Because we’re going to be live on Zoom, you’ll have to register to get the details. All are welcome, there’s no charge, but you do have to register unless you’ve already registered in the past.
IMPORTANT: Won’t you please help me out? I’ve got a short survey I’d like you to fill out so I can learn more about what’s important to you as I plan the events calendar for this year! Click here now to fill out my survey.