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Ask yourself these six questions daily

Ask yourself these six questions daily

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By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley,
Spiritual Director
April 1, 2020

I recently read an article in the Greater Good Science Center’s online journal written by Brooke Anderson, a Bay Area-based organizer, and photojournalist.  In the article, she encourages us to check in with ourselves regularly as we navigate this pandemic by asking six questions.  While some of us are sheltering at home, others are on the front line working essential jobs. I am so grateful for all the essential workers out there and say prayers for them daily.  If you are one of them, thank you.

I invite you to join me in asking yourself these six questions daily, with the purpose of taking action.

What am I grateful for today?
If you find yourself in fear, going down the rabbit hole of worst possible outcomes, it’s a perfect time to stop, drop, and give thanks.  You can begin with the simple things you are grateful for, like having a roof over your head and enough food to eat.  I like to list ten things I am thankful for before getting out of bed in the morning and before falling asleep at night.  I keep a gratitude journal in my nightstand with a pen to be sure I begin and end my day in gratitude.

Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
Everyone knows people. Whether you think they are ok or not, or you’re a solitary person who enjoys being alone, it’s essential that you reach out to others.  We are keeping our physical distance to flatten the curve of this disease, not placing ourselves in social isolation.  Pick up the phone, get on a Zoom video conference call, send a text message, an email, or a good old-fashioned card via snail mail. Whoever the person is that you just thought of as you read this, please reach out to them.

What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
We are building a new normal, called to let go of what was, accept what is, and figure out how to proceed from here.

How am I getting outside today?
Can you walk to your mailbox or do a neighborhood stroll while keeping a safe distance of six feet from others?  Maybe it’s as simple as putting a chair out on the front or back patio and enjoying some fresh air.  The point is that you get outside for at least ten minutes.

How am I moving my body today?
Moving your body releases endorphins, which are the quintessential feel-good chemicals in your brain.  Whether you take a neighborhood stroll or take an online exercise class, be sure to move that body.

What beauty am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
Take a virtual museum tour, be open to viewing art in some other form.  Perhaps you might start painting, coloring, sewing, or writing.  Get creative!

Lastly, please be gentle with yourself and know that you are loved.

And so it is.

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

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