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By Wendy Swanson

my heart to your heartHow are you? How is your heart, soul, mind, and body? Like many of you, I have been riding the roller coaster of fear and grief, and finding the silver linings in this all. I have noticed that the dark side of my personality has emerged more than ever with the spread of COVID-19 here in the United States.

Shedding Light

The virus has shed light on my perfectionist tendencies (like over-worrying about saying the right thing, which has kept me from saying much of anything). It has stirred financial concerns as my income streams have pretty much dried up. It has made me question who I am and question the American dream. I have felt old pains and old injuries in my body come up to the surface as I have locked down my physical body.

My Heart to Your Heart

And there has been a sweetness. My early morning walks with my dog have felt unrushed. My afternoon walks with my daughter have been filled with meandering eleven-year-old-focused conversations. I have already cooked more meals in one week than I usually do in a month. I have reached out to friends. People have offered to support me in ways that have brought tears to my eyes.

I have also started to embrace the hard parts in myself that are arising. I know, from my years of work, that pain is not eliminated by running or hiding from it. It is only through it, being with the pain, that we eventually get to the other side.

Stay Present

This is a very uncomfortable time for most of us. I encourage you to stay present to your feelings, your own shadow parts, and your pain. We have the opportunity to heal ourselves and the world by facing everything that COVID-19 is revealing and unearthing. It is a time of tragedy/ crisis and a time of immense healing. We have a choice at every moment, whether we will run away or lovingly embrace all parts of ourselves.

(From a “safe” distance) I lovingly embrace YOU. I see you and I love you.

Wendy Swanson is a licensed acupuncturist, Kripalu RYT-500 yoga instructor, international retreat leader, and recovering yoga studio owner. She is a Jersey girl who currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, daughter, and energetic flat-coat retriever. Find her on her website or Instagram.

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