The Spiritual Gems that Helped Me Cope with the Pandemic
By Jen Kraft
If you had told me 11 years ago that I would get into yoga, do 500 hours of yoga teacher training, own a home yoga studio, and then co-own a wellness center, I would have thought you were nuts. Then, a knee injury that prevented me from running drew me into a yoga class.
Before yoga, I did not have a spiritual bone in my body. The mere mention of God or a higher power made me squirm. Then, as I took more yoga classes, I began to embrace spiritual ideas that I would have previously run from in fear.
I shudder to think about how I would have navigated the pandemic without my yoga practice. The following spiritual nuggets helped me maintain my sanity and be present for my husband and our two teen boys:
Everything is Temporary
According to yoga philosophy, only our souls live in eternity. Everything else is temporary and constantly changing…our physical bodies, relationships, the weather, our homes, and pandemics.
This idea came in handy when our boys started to bug out that they were going to spend the rest of their lives in quarantine with their parents. Although they were still skeptical, we assured them that this was not the case.
This also means that great situations do not last forever, so savor the moment! After my family and I got vaccinated, I felt like it was over for good. It only took me a few days to adapt to freely going out again and not visualizing the germs floating out from people’s mouths as they spoke. When there were whispers of the Delta Variant I was in denial for weeks until I finally accepted that the pandemic was not completely over…yet!
Don’t Take Anything Personally and Don’t Make Assumptions
These two “agreements” are from my favorite spiritual guidebook, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. According to Ruiz, nothing someone else does is ever about YOU yet we waste too much time assuming that it is. I can’t tell you how refreshing this was to me since I had always been so sensitive and wrapped up in my own story.
Navigating social interaction during the pandemic has been unchartered territory, and families were forced to make up their own rules as they went along. Gatherings became smaller and FOMO abounded, especially amongst teens who watch the comings and goings of their peers on social media maps and posts. It’s so easy to see that friends are hanging out and assume that you were left out on purpose. We remind our kids that it’s never personal and that it’s impossible to know the real story from a picture or a map (and I will admit that sometimes I need my family to remind ME!).
We can never know if the consequence of a situation will be good or bad
This is the moral of a fable called “The Chinese Farmer” (https://youtu.be/byQrdnq7_H0) that my husband shared with me and the boys several years ago and has helped us through so many situations…especially the pandemic.
While people would agree that the pandemic is a bad situation, it is impossible to know the ultimate consequences. Who knows, maybe the knowledge gained from COVID will prevent even worse viruses in the future!
Today I can see that the pandemic impacted my life in many positive ways. I left my four-year-old wellness business and ironically could finally take a breath. We had family time I’ll always treasure…especially when our boys agreed to watch all nine seasons of “Seinfeld” with us! And, after years of saying no, we said yes to a mini Schnoodle puppy who we named Jerry (after Seinfeld of course). While I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, if I continue to practice and strengthen my “spiritual bones”, it will all be ok.