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COVID-19 LOCKDOWN:
Scared, Angry, Sad. Yet Happy, Safe, Grateful.
It's 'A Masterclass In Emotional Sobriety'
May 14, 2020

The author posted the following as a blog yesterday, and since it expresses so well what most of us are experiencing lately, VoiceOverXtra asked for and received her permission to share it with you ...

By Rachel Fulginiti
Voice Actor

Greetings from home base!

How is everyone out there? It's become a bit of a blur, hasn't it?

Here in LA, we're on Week 9 of Quarantine, and it looks like things are about to change for much of the country.

I know I'm not alone in feeling pretty scared about what opening up will actually mean. I, too, am ready to be back in the world, but I think we need to take it real slow and exercise a lot of caution.

It's been such a strange time of mixed emotions. There's been plenty of sadness, anger, freak-outs and darkness, but also lots of incredibly sweet moments.

Family life with our little girl is a gift, and we're so grateful in many ways for this time of deep quiet and intense bonding.

I stopped watching the news weeks ago, and that helped a lot. I find myself back to it a bit now, because I want to know what's going on, but I have to exercise restraint. It can become so addictive in a really perverse way and it never fails to lower my energetic resonance.

It is pretty freakin' bleak out there.

CONCENTRATE ON JOYFUL

When I focus on what's right in front of me, life can feel not so bad here in our cocoon.

Emotionally, this time has reminded me so much of when we were fostering to adopt Isabella.

For nearly three years we lived with blinders on for sanity's sake, choosing to focus only on the present moment on a daily, or sometimes hourly, basis. We did not know if or when things would change.

No one could tell us when it would all be over, when we could just become a forever family. We believed that it would some day, but we had absolutely no control over when that day would come, so we learned not to let our thoughts move too far out into the future.

We concentrated on what was joyful in our immediate present, on what was so for the day: today we are together; today we are a family.  

HAPPY AND SAFE: BE GRATEFUL

And so we've found ourselves revisiting this discipline during this time. We are together. We are healthy and safe. We have everything we need right here.

Let's be grateful for that.

Let's keep our eyes and hearts open to beauty and small gifts and all the things going right all the time - the birds singing, the flowers blooming, our hearts beating steadily in our chests.

'COMING HOME' TO OURSELVES

I can't help but see this whole experience as a big "coming home" to ourselves.

We have been forced to be "rest at home" not only physically, but to be inescapably with ourselves.

It's like we've been given a big-ass magnifying glass, collectively as a species, as well as individually … should we choose to look through it. Everything is intensified and punctuated.

Personally, things I've been "working on" for the last couple years have been right up in my face:
  • How do I move through this with grace and confidence?
  • How do I stay positive instead of sinking into despair or victimhood?
  • How do I manage my time and get the important things in?
  • What are the important things?
  • Am I cultivating joy internally each day, regardless of what is happening outside?
  • Am I present to the beauty all around me, or do I look beyond it, constantly searching for something better, or just not seeing it at all?
  • How have I used outside validation or even simply distraction, to keep me separated from what I truly wish to grow in my life?
'MASTERCLASS IN EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY'

It's funny because every time I think I have this thing "figured out" - like, Ok, we're handling this! - it gets viciously tough again out of nowhere; somehow, the rug is pulled out from underneath: we have an unexpectedly crappy day, someone we know gets sick or passes, work sucks, parenting is HARD, we can't find time for our creativity, we feel depressed.

Or angry. Or sad.

Some new horrible news thing starts making the rounds (murder hornets, anyone? new strains of the virus? hate crimes and domestic terrorism? utter incompetence at the helm of a ship that is dangerously close to sinking completely?)

It's a masterclass in emotional sobriety, in owning our shit, and staying centered in the midst of the storm.

As we're forced to continually recalibrate, we reorient ourselves to the concepts of reality and safety, goals and success, happiness and adaptability.

Paying attention to the details and nuance of our experience can be uncomfortable, but it's the necessary work we must do to move forward, consciously rebuilding our lives into something more sustainable for the future.

REDEFINING 'FREEDOM'

Recently there was a post in one of my Mommy Facebook groups about what our "word of the year" was back in January (seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?).

I thought back to mine: Freedom.

At first I laughed. In obvious ways, this year couldn't be farther away from freedom. But in a way, I've been finding it. Constraints sometimes help, right?

I have been trying to find more "freedom" in the midst of lockdown, to embody the feeling, even when I don't have it physically, and to notice where I actually do have freedom, where and when that's still available to me.

On a deep level, I am learning true freedom, in choosing my thoughts, what I agree to pay attention to and how I decide to feel. Freedom from the tyranny within.

NO MORE 'NORMAL'

There is no "getting back to normal."

I think a lot of people are still in denial about that. I'm quite sure things are going to continue to get weirder and weirder, and unfortunately, more and more dire, in the months to come.

So, what can we do?

Hunker down and sit with ourselves a while longer. Be grateful for good health and family, friends and community, beautiful, resilient Mother Nature, great acts of courage and human kindness, and art, in all its forms, which has always made life bearable under any situation.

We can also continue trying to be kinder and gentler on ourselves, loving ourselves up the way we'd love up a good friend.

REACH OUT TO CONNECT

And speaking of friends… I know it's oddly tough to connect right now. There are so many Zoom meetings and free guided meditations and healing circles and this and that and the other thing - it almost feels overwhelming.

I've had to unplug a bit.

Everyone is doing what they need to do and handling this in their own way, and that's okay.

But I do realize every time I reach out and make a connection, it's valuable. It creates energetic currency for myself and the person I'm in touch with. I think we could all use more of that.

So if you have the impulse to reach out, do it, instead of ignoring it until the feeling passes! You never know who could really use that call, or text or message right about now.

I keep coming back to a reminder that's been echoed by many spiritual teachers:
We all chose to come here at this time for a reason.
I believe it. Now we just have to figure out the reason, right?

We are on the journey of a lifetime, friends. I'm sending so much love and support to you.

Stay safe.
-----------------------
ABOUT RACHEL
Rachel Fulginiti is an award-winning voice actor and audiobook narrator living in Los Angeles. She's also a writer, a singer, a Crossfit / wellness enthusiast, and Mom to an amazing four year old.

Follow her on Instagram @rfulginiti


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