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  • Writer's pictureWaira

Waira´s Safe & Sound #2

Recommendations for Personal & Professional Response to COVID-19 by KITO (Kito is a friend of WAIRA based in San Francisco)

Positive Attention to Your Sphere of Influence

If you're not familiar with Steven Covey's work, our circle of influence includes all the things that we actually have influence over. The things inside your circle of influence are those that you can truly act upon: the things you can actually do something about. In globally challenging times, another common occurrence is that we can tend to become overly fixated on the things that are happening outside of our circle of influence. And when we place too much emphasis on the "sphere of concern", this actually significantly decreases our ability to be effective in the things that we do have control over.

So, please remember:

1. In the Present Moment -- Almost Always -- Everything is Actually Okay

In almost every moment of our life, when you stop to simply take a relaxing breath and look around, the present moment nearly always okay. Almost always, there is nothing to feel threatened by in the present moment. Instead, most of our worries & our fears exist somewhere else. They are either in the past, or in some imagination of a possible future. But the present moment is completely safe to be in. And your circle of influence is only here and now, in the present moment, where everything is actually okay. This is where your positive energy can go to create a difference in the world.

2. Slow is Smooth, and Smooth is Fast

The Marines have a saying that they use to counteract the wasteful mistakes that arise from rushing too quickly. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. So when you find yourself in a frantic panic, or in a rush to get something done quickly: slow it down. Slow your movements down, and then slow them down again. And then slow them down even further. Soften, and relax. When approached slowly and smoothly, those things that needed to be done in a hurry actually finish more gracefully, and as the result faster.

3. Love the Ones You're With

Working from home can create new family dynamics! Maybe now you're seeing a lot more of each other, at different times of day. And you're also going outside less often? Maybe both parents are working from home? These very same concepts about slowing down can also apply in your personal life, as well. Make an active, and proactive effort now to slow down and bring a calm and smooth grace to your interactions with your loved ones. Establish clear & loving channels and support structures to ensure that you and your loved ones are truly loving one another. Probably, we will be working from home like this for another two or three months or more! So now, early in this process, now is the time to get on-board with the idea that these new and modified family dynamics that you establish today will be with you for a while. Since your immediate loved ones are the people who you're sharing your space with: they are in your circle of influence! So it only makes sense to prioritize improving the quality of how you communicate and how you invest your time together.

4. Set a Budget for Paying Attention to the Outside Circle of Concern

If you're like me, then maybe you've been consuming a lot of bad news from around the world recently. Last Thursday, for example, I found myself awake until 3am --- just fixating on all of the bad news. This is a really great example of how a reactive focus, with negative energies dominating as the result of a fixation outside of the circle of influence, detracts from my ability to be effective in the parts of my life that I do have influence over. So set a budget for yourself --- let's call it 1 hour per day. This is the specific amount of time that you allocate from your life for staying informed about the rest of the world. After that, think about how best you can apply positive energy to the things you do have influence and control over.

Keep it Clean

Keeping surfaces clean in the kitchen isn't only about anti-viral sanitation these days! It's also about your mental health, too. Working from home for many weeks or months can begin to generate some slothful habits that could creep up without you realizing. Maybe it's getting a little bit lazier with doing the laundry? Or, maybe it's being just a little bit less diligent about sweeping the kitchen floor? Be careful about that!! These slothful bad habits might seem tempting and attractive at first. But once they've taken root then they can be difficult to undo. And above all -- "as within so without" -- your outer environment is a reflection of your inner world. And the same is true the other way around So it is important to prioritize keeping both of them clean and bright and healthy.

1. Open the Windows, Keep the Air Fresh Inside

Sunshine is the great disinfectant. And fresh air is imperative. We're entering into a beautiful Spring season (in the North Hemisphere) and the weather is warming, so open the windows to your home.

2. Throw a Dance Party

Seriously! When the time is right, turn the music up & jump around. Dance and have a good time! Life definitely isn't over! And when the emotional energy gets stale and funky, move some furniture to make room for the dance floor.

3. Get Outside for Walks, if you Can

Yes, we're urged to stay inside. And from time to time, if you can do so safely, go for a walk to get some air and stretch your legs. Remember to ensure that you always take the proper sanitary precautions, follow public safety protocols, and pay close attention to local noticies and advisories. Legal responses are varying widely by jurisdiction. And your health and safety, as well as your obedience to the law are your responsibility.

4. Keep a Healthy Contact with the Soft Sun

Sunlight is the source of all life energy on this planet. Staying indoors for long durations? Keeping a healthy contact with the soft sunlight is imperative. There is a reason why old people move to Florida and people in the extreme North struggle with depression. Healthy exposure to soft sunlight is imperative not just for your immune system, but also for your mood.

5. Keep On Top of the Chores

Again, growing increasingly slothful around the house might be tempting, but it's a trap!! Don't be fooled. One critical imperative for successfully working from home is keeping on top of the chores. Keep the mood & energy in your house every bit as tidy and clean as the countertops are. A dance party to clean the kitchen? Yeah!


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