The Rabbit Hole: It Can Be Sweet!

When looking at our backyard you see lots of small holes passionately dug by two bored dogs. These holes were not made by sweet rabbits. The silver Standard poodle, Toulousse, and the chubby black Labradoodle, Louis, enthusiastically thought,  “There must be treasure underneath, worms, treats and even a buried steak.” Walking in the yard is treacherous and we bemoan that it’s not an outside sanctuary. Not yet at least. 
 
Imagine Peter Rabbit, escaping Mr. McGregor and jumping, sliding quickly, down these backyard holes to safety.  Although rabbit holes are easy to “go down” they’re slippery. These days, with uncertainty about the New Normal ahead, we might find ourselves slipping into anxious ruts.    
 
As we begin transitioning to life in the “outside world”, how might we avoid a slide? How might we feel safe and manage trepidation? Most of all, how might we bring our best selves to the future regardless of circumstance?  
 
Here are Five Suggestions to look forward with confidence.
 
1. Envisioning
Similar to any new endeavor, creating a vision for how you want to live during this post-pandemic time is crucial: “It’s much easier to achieve something if you can visualize yourself already achieving it.”*  
 
Only you know what is meaningful and matters most. While respecting others and social norms, only you can determine how to thoughtfully move forward. Bring your creativity and inherent knowledge to what’s possible. Articulate a simple vision that you can rely on again and again (such as, “Stay centered”, “Live my truth”, “Stay grounded”, “Keep steady”, “Be kind” etc…).
 
2. Discernment
Recently I listened to a great sermon presented by Jeff Davenport, a dynamic and inspiring speaker. He described a vestibule found in older American homes (and we had one at our house in Hingham, MA, built in 1916). The vestibule was a space you entered before crossing into a house’s front hall. It was constructed to create a layer of protection from the cold as well as a barrier from those you possibly didn’t want to let inside.  
 
What thoughts serve us and what thoughts do we release into the blue sky, thank you very much? As Jeff proposed, we need to create a similar mental space for our fear. With fifty billion neurons in our brain, we’re wired to think, sometimes incessantly. While letting our minds function as they will, discern and keep the thoughts that support your higher intention. 
 
3. Pay Attention
Even at home with routines and many daily tasks, we live often on autopilot. There are distractions and responsibilities that demand our attention. News reports paint a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world and challenge us to stay balanced.
 
Now is the time to remind ourselves about what’s true and not true. Feelings and thoughts are often just that, experiences not indicative of who you are and how to respond. Consider what has fed your soul while At Home. Make a list.  Align your actions and responses to what you know is important. Breathe often and pay attention to what’s true at the center. 
 
4. Practice self-care
Here are some EASY EVERYDAY Practices:  
  • Walk outside and while you walk, quiet your mind. Become still.
  • Howl to support healthcare providers and or say a prayer of thanks 
  • Grab moments for yourself during the day, five minutes and or however much time you can find. Be kind to yourself and do something that nurtures your spirit.  It could be sitting and looking out of the window. Doing nothing. Reading, savoring a cup of tea, biking, calling a friend, cooking, writing a letter… whatever soothes and nurtures.
5. Strength
We’ve been living in a world of contrasts, a seesaw of sorts.  With the juxtaposition of feelings, we want to strive to land in the center, the place where you know yourself the best. Honestly, you are brilliant. You are stunning. Your abilities and gifts are unique. Please draw from your strengths. 
 
Transitions can be tough. Or, transitions can be transformative. That’s what we’re aiming for…transformation. You can create a safe comforting “place” for yourself, a sweet rabbit hole from which to grow and prosper in the months and years ahead.  Life is still sweet no matter what! 
 
 
*Quote from the Search Inside Yourself program for training in emotional intelligence