Are you freaking out? How are you doing today? Does “Happy Monday” feel appropriate to read?

Days have been tough. There’s a lot of anxiety going around, and it’s not unfounded. Many of us feel lost and unsure, and that lack of certainty contributes to fear and worry.

Is there a silver lining in all of this, though?

I remember the days when I was numb, feeling nothing. When things feel as worrisome as they do now, it’s tempting to go back to that desensitized state.

But I now know and believe that feeling, even the worst feelings, is better than not. In fact, I couldn’t have the good ones without experiencing some of the bad. This is a part of the human experience.

These tough days are our obstacles. Do you remember, Christian, a few weeks ago when we talked about obstacles being opportunities?

Perhaps, these tough days of freaking out are our opportunities.

As humans, we have 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day. Most of them are not true. We can actually choose which thoughts we want to focus on. In fact, we have to.

Bear with me—we have all heard about how in this day and age most people live in an almost constant state of stress.

The fight-or-flight response is an innate mechanism that served us years ago when we had to run from lions, but now, most of the time, it isn’t protecting us. When the “stress” switch is left on, though (and doesn’t need to be), we suffer both psychologically and physiologically.

When we become emotionally and mentally activated, we can’t think clearly. If we can’t think clearly, we react, rather than respond.

If everyone we know is freaking out, who is thinking clearly?

Can you take this moment to pause? Right now, close your eyes, and take a long inhale, and exhale. (If you are self-isolating, perhaps you even have time to do this for 5 to 10 minutes!)

These days are our opportunities to practice pausing; to practice responding, rather than reacting. Worry serves no one. Thinking clearly, we are able to make healthier decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Right now, it may feel like we aren’t “allowed” to be calm.

Can you give yourself permission to be calm? To stop freaking out?

Can you give yourself permission to be the one person in your life that can pause, breathe and respond with intention, rather than reacting mindlessly out of fear?

Yes, these times are scary, but it is only our thoughts about them that are causing us pain and suffering.

Want proof? Notice how in this email I haven’t even mentioned COVID-19, coronavirus, or the end of the world—but your own thoughts likely provided context as you’ve been reading. This very same email could have been sent a month ago and been just as relevant.

We can feel unsettled and still choose to respond. Things can be scary, and we can still be okay.

In this moment, in fact, you are fine.

If you weren’t fine, you wouldn’t likely be reading this email.

So, remember to breathe. And as much as you can, tune into right now. Because right now is, usually, just fine.

And you being fine in this moment, or being calm in the next, doesn’t minimize your concern or any feeling you’re experiencing.

I hope you are all healthy and staying safe!

Sending light and love your way,