While some people may be feeling the loneliness of isolation, there are others who are enjoying the solitude. I for one have less stress in my life since I no longer need to commit to a busy schedule. I feel blessed that I do not have to go out to work, nor do I have the financial stress of unemployment or a family to support.
Instead I am finding this current time of solitude a great opportunity to connect with myself and discover who I am. Deep inside each of us is a quiet space that we seldom have time to discover. It is where we store our deepest inner thoughts, fears, sadness but also our creative spiritual energy. If we are extremely busy doing what we believe we should and what other people expect us to do, we are not taking time to contemplate what it is we really need.
Most people in Christian countries mark the celebration of Easter by giving chocolate eggs. Children identify with the Easter Bunny whose role is to deliver such treats. Yet Easter has traditionally been a time of spiritual reflection particularly Good Friday which according to the bible was when Christ was crucified. Easter Sunday was the time for celebrating the miracle of his resurrection.
With our current rules of social distancing and isolation many Christians will not be able to attend Easter services. However, they may have been fasting and practising abstinence during Lent. These preparatory weeks leading up to Easter interrupt the usual comforts of life. This enables Christians to reflect on their spirituality and to practice charity and justice towards those in need. The practice of penance is fulfilled by performing any one of the following:
(a) self-denial – for example, not eating meat; not eating sweets or dessert; giving up entertainment to spend time with the family; limiting food and drink in order to give to the poor of one’s own country.
(b) helping others – for example, special attention to someone who is poor, sick, elderly, lonely or overburdened.
(c) prayer – for example, attending Mass; reading the Bible; making the Stations of the Cross; praying the Rosary.
These practices are not too different from what we are experiencing now during our time of isolation. Although we are not performing penance, we are having to give up many luxuries and forms of entertainment. We are also told to check in on our elderly neighbours and those who might need some assistance. If we add the third spiritual requirement we will be covering them all.
Why not spend some time in self-reflection and tap into your creative spiritual energy? There has never been a better opportunity.
If you are not into prayer, there are other ways in which you can get in touch with your spirituality.
- Meditate or sit quietly and reflect on nature. Listening to the birds and admiring flowers in the garden lifts your spirits.
- Practise insightful yoga. Take time to create your own movements where you tune into your body and listen to what it really needs in terms of exercise.
- Listen to spiritual music and sing along. Singing is therapeutic and strengthens your respiratory and immune system.
- Chant mantras. If you are unfamiliar with mantras download podcasts or find some simple mantras on YouTube. Start by chanting Om, the most sacred chant which is said to be the original sound of creation.
If you are not familiar with Mantras, here is how they work.
Mantras transcend all cultures and religions and allow us to tap into the deep inner space within us. Chanting mantras helps to get rid of stagnant energy and will leave you feeling at peace.
In my book, Chasing Marigolds I describe mantra as “…a word or phrase whose sound sets up a resonance along the nervous system and organs of the body. It is said that there is a specific note and tone which corresponds to every organ. Thus, when out of balance, each organ can be re-aligned by the correct sound vibration. By using mantra, it is thought that we can change the vibration and energy of everything in the universe.
When everything within our being is vibrating at the same level, the transformation becomes cosmic. Mantras are chanted in Sanskrit, a revered ancient language composed by the Gods, that contains inherent power to uplift one’s consciousness.
The most popular mantra, the sound of Om generates positive energy and symbolises universal love. It is said that if everyone in the world chanted Om at the same time, we would have a greater chance of attaining world peace. “
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could lift the universal energy by chanting mantras to bring about healing throughout the world? Heaven knows we certainly need it right now.