Chapter 1 | Coronavirus; Beast

meditation at home with suzanne


Week 1

Determined to stay calm and focused, to get neither manic nor paranoid and to be constructive in my thoughts, my words and my reactions. The first week was relatively easy, I was surrounded by a team with the same approach and most of the clients we did see, also fell into the same category.

Emails, WhatsApp messages and phone calls were absolutely horrific and incredibly counter-productive. I found myself listening to the same topic, with various degrees of ‘freaking out’ over and over again – and so much of it was without factual basis. I had to make a decision to cut myself out and off.

The incredible occurrence then was that people thought that I was disillusioned, caught up in my South-African bubble (after my recent holiday home) and that I had not yet come to terms with the gravity of the situation. I actually experienced some negative energy from very close friends of mine, and I must admit, I was shocked. However, when we are operating from fear, rational thoughts and behaviour disappear, bit by bit…

I find now that I am trying to ground myself in an ‘open, enclosed system’. For the first time in memory, probably 2002 – which means 18 years ago – my day is not structured and governed by back-to-back patients. For example, today, I only had one scheduled session…. I now have to bring my own structure to my day. I learned that I am able to bring the structure, but I have so far not been able ‘to ground’ myself in any of my activities and nothing is particularly dedicated, it is as if all my activities are meshed… they are all bundled-up; teaching, correspondence, eating, exercise – it’s awful and it feels as if I am floating around without any ‘direct’ purpose.

I realise that I will have to break my day up into sections, and that I will have to schedule my next day the night before and to stick to it. I realise that I should stay off my phone in the mornings; it’s like opening the gates and being flooded – once you start to swim, you cannot get out! I will literally drown. I will have to get a good lock on that gate, starting tomorrow.

Teaching my first class online was like conducting a choir, however you cannot hear anything and you have no response from your audience… It is most unfulfilling and I felt quite flat afterwards, void of emotion and feeling.

It made me realise what I like so much about the classes I teach, is the people – their physical bodies and energy, their responses, their moans & groans, their laughter… my teaching is all based on feeling and seeing and now that has been taken away from me. My challenge now is to develop a deeper connection to energy, I would imagine like psycho-analysis… to perhaps be guided by my own breathe, the feeling in my chest. What do people project onto me when I teach? The reality too is that we have to accept that at the moment it’s ‘second best’, it’s very far from the ‘real thing’ and we have to come to terms with that. This feeling, or in fact lack of feeling, has to awaken the importance in us of how much direct human contact means, how much value it brings, how much it defines our lives.

Little appreciations: 5 Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. I cooked dinner for Linc and myself on Friday night; steak and grilled vegetables. I had half of my steak, as always, and I put the rest of my steak away – however on this particular Friday night, I looked at the 5 small, roasted tomatoes… usually I would just chuck them down the drain, but this time I did not do it, I put them to one side… I was overcome by my sensitivity of wasting, mindlessly throwing away. I was also ashamed of myself and wondered when I became like that. Neither my grandmother nor my mother have ever thrown anything away. There was a little thought in my head. ’perhaps this thing is not going to be all bad!’

Cocoa-nibs: I love them on my granola in the mornings. I had my lovely bowl of Granola on Saturday morning and I realised that I probably only have two helpings of Cocoa-nibs left. My immediate response was ‘I have to get down to House of Mistry (our local health shop) to get some more, or I have to order it online’. I then became aware of my response and thought-process and I was able to tell myself ‘this is not at all important and if you have to go without Cocoa-nibs for 6 months – so be it’. It is incredible how we have to keep our stocks piled-up at all times. I would imagine that this mindset could so easily be applied to body/face products, alcohol, food, everything that we can possibly consume. Extraordinary really.

I would not say that I feel effective, valuable or nurtured today, I would not say that I have achieved anything really. I cannot say that I truly experienced peace within my day – to experience that, I have to be grounded, which I am not. A sober awakening. I wonder whether I am alone? I draw inspiration from elderly people who are at home every day; to think how they manage, how they fill their days. I draw inspiration from my friend with muscle dystrophy in SA as he too spends most of his days indoors. A new realm, for all of this. This is a test, no doubt. I want to keep on asking questions, I want to keep on acknowledging the little insignificant things in my life that become significant.

The sun is now diagonally above me, warming the terrace and the couch on which I sit, I feel in some strange way like a cat and I am starting to feel calmer. Tomorrow is another day, let’s try our best to be grounded in today.

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