The other night, a rainbow appeared at the end of our first thunderstorm of the season A big, bright, full rainbow.
When our daughter Paige called to tell Michael and I about the beautiful rainbow outside her apartment window, I couldn’t help but think of the storm we’re navigating through as a country right now, and as a nation, and as a world. Not unlike other storms in our lives, this one came fast and furious. Now, as one large community, we await the rainbow.
Whether a global pandemic or natural life challenges, storms appear when we least expect them and we’re not usually fully prepared. In many cases, we certainly don’t welcome their presence, as they can create emotional turmoil – if we let them.
Change and Weathering
None of us are immune to storms in our lives – personal and professional. They present times of change that happen to us whether we like it or not: change that begins with something new, and usually out of our control.
How we choose to react to change is intimate and personal. This period of transition begins with allowing something to end so we can begin again. We can control how we choose to react to the change and how we adopt a new beginning or new normal – this is where we weather the storm.
How Do We Dance In The Rain?
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship” – Louisa May Alcott
Weathering the storm does not happen over night. It takes time, abundant work, a clear focus, and in some cases, a new perspective and new habits. It is natural to be consumed with fear, worry, panic and sadness… and sink into this space. But we cannot get stuck here and wait for the rain to be over. Instead, we need to grab an umbrella and find ways to dance in the rain.
If we open ourselves to move through a healthy transition we generate hope, new dreams and goals, perspectives, learn more about ourselves and others, and fuel our meaningful relationships.
Fundamentals To Be Reminded Of and To Practice
These fundamentals are not rocket science and are certainly things we’ve all heard, tried, or read before. However, easier said than done! Some things I’ve learned work well for others and some things that I have practiced are:
- A positive mindset. Stay as positive as possible and hang onto hope.
- Keep your brain stimulated. I recently enrolled in some online learning classes.
- Exercise, let those endorphins rule! There are so many options being offered out there.
- Be present and mindful. I am currently reading Keith Macpherson’s book, “Making Sense of Mindfulness”.
- Enjoy time outside. Be in nature – it’s still the best medicine.
- Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, I take some quiet time and list 3-5 things I am grateful for from the day and why (yes, there are days when it is hard to realize any).
- Be kind and be useful. Step up and be a leader by giving of your time, talent, or treasure. This is a win-win as it not only helps others in need but it also feels good and feeds our own soul.
- Draw on your faith and speak to your God or higher power. The Serenity Prayer is my first thought upon waking each morning.
- Connect with friends and loved ones by “social distancing” or through a virtual Zoom date.
- Listen to your body and practice self love and self care. I love my night time tubs!
- Allow yourself to enjoy an evening glass of red wine on a “school night”.
- Engage with a coach or mentor, and if need be, a health or wellness professional as well.
Look For The Rainbow
“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be” – Sonia Ricotti
The storm of COVID-19 has literally stopped all of us in our tracks. And I hope that this too shall pass. I, like many, have good days, days of disappointment, productive days, days of hope, days of loneliness, days of sadness and days of joy and gratitude, and most certainly storm fatigue. For the most part, every day has been a good day, just some far better than others. I have learnt more about myself, and of others. I have witnessed strength of love, community and friendship, innovative thinking, and new perspective that I did not think was possible. I have found small ways to dance in the rain even when the thunder has roared and it felt really hard. Perhaps this has been the rainbow – or maybe the rainbow is still yet to come.
One thing we know for sure, is that each day will turn into night, and the sun will rise again in the morning offering us a whole new day to begin again.
No matter the storm, I encourage you to wake each day and be present, hopeful, and look for the rainbow in the “new”. Why? Because you may just find that pot of gold AND… because we all can!
This quick video may capture the “rainbow” in the current storm we are in. It’s worth the watch. xo
To receive fresh posts of D by denise delivered straight to your inbox click here.
Denise speaks regularly on personal and professional development, workplace wellness, setting boundaries, and authentic leadership. Learn more here.
Photos by Michael, Paige and team member, Ashley Anne