how to practice closeness while ‘social distancing’
Updated: March, 15th, 2020
1st step: Don’t panic, steady the mind and prepare the body
The world-wide pandemic of fear (a.k.a. Coronovirus/Covid-19) has overtaken us all. Under these circumstances what should we do and how can we best prepare ourselves for daily living?
Our personal experience is that of being a body, with a brain (and an associated mind) and this is where ‘I’, that I am, appears to reside. Being a ‘body’ we’re ever fearful of any external ‘attack’ to it. The current pandemic and its threatening nature has thrown us all into a threat state. Our reptilian brain has once again, like it loves to do, asserted control over our entire being. This rule of terror has forced us into more animal-like behavior, as we are now more fearful for our safety, a bit over-reactive and not able to think cogently.
Consider this: All is well in this very moment. If we don’t actively think about ‘what’s wrong’ or what can go wrong, things are just fine, and we are healthy. A good way to stay in this mindset is to be ok with ‘what is’. Fear or the threat of fear is what activates the ‘reptilian brain’, therefore literally ‘The only thing to fear is fear itself’. Consequently, the first order of business is to become aware of this dynamic. Recognize that ‘Corona’ and our reaction to it is placing us into a ‘threat’ state. This in turn weakens our immune-system and reduces the body’s ability to fight contagions.
Consider this: All is well in this very moment.
For our immediate physical well-being it’s best to:
- Follow guidelines from the CDC or appropriate agency, and follow proper Prevention & Treatment tips.
3. Find ways to boost the immune system: Here we have advice from Science as well as our traditions. Use the best of what science has to offer and bolster with home/natural remedies.
I attempt to boost my immune system by following a healthy daily regime like this one:
· Morning meditation, stretching and Yogic breathing
· Exercise: Cardio and core-strength
· Good Nutrition: That includes turmeric, cinnamon, raw honey and other super-foods.
· The Wim Hof Method: Been at it for several months now and have experienced several benefits. In just 4 months my resting heart-rate has come down from 72–74 to 62–64, and that with everything else remaining the same. “During one study, subjects that were trained in the Wim Hof Method and control subjects were injected with a pathogen and monitored for symptoms. Compared to the control group, followers of the Wim Hof Method showed a stronger immune response and less symptoms related to the pathogen.” I recommend this approach to everyone, see the References section for more info on the Wim Hof Method.
I’m deliberately not providing more detail on the physical aspects of overall well-being because that’s not the purpose of this article.
2nd step: Elevate the mindset! (Namaste Now!)
Our body is like the tip of the iceberg that’s visible, there’s a whole lot more to us. Not just our subconscious but something far deeper, pervasive and real. Is it possible for us to accept that deeper part of us as our essential self and view life from that perspective?
This understanding is the basis for the simple ‘closeness’ practice that I’m about to explain.
Namaste … The stance of recognizing and acknowledging the ‘real’ aspect of the person in front of us or a person we’re currently thinking about. And doing so from our own ‘real’ center. In other words, we elevate our own consciousness and actively recognize ‘that’ in the other.
Now … While holding this elevated stance we re-mind ourselves to be fully present to the current moment. This moment, sans any historical context, and without regard to what might happen in the future.
Namaste + Now = An elevated physical and spiritual stance to meet the humans that surround us (physically/mentally) in the highest way possible.
In other words, we elevate our own consciousness and actively recognize ‘that’ in the other.
Why is this practice recommended? Because it’s simple and allows us to operate from ‘love’ and actively annihilate the fear that we would normally feel in the current environment. By elevating our conscious interaction with others we’ll find ourselves being happier people.
Happy people have a stronger immune system. “Specifically, one-third of those with a negative emotional style (NES) came down with a cold, compared to 1 in 5 of those with a positive emotional style (PES).”
The 5 Blue Zones are 5 areas across the planet housing five distinct cultures where people live the longest, healthiest and quite happy lives. One of the key reasons attributed to their life-style success is the emphasis they all put on community and family. By practicing ‘Namaste Now!’ we exercise expanding our community actively in our daily lives. This in turn elevates our mindset, helps us function with a positive outlook, and helps us be at peace and in-joy.
Over time we will find ourselves moving about joyously, welcoming all that is, and re-cognizing the deeper reality within all who we meet. We notice the highest in them and underscore their very magnificence. And, we do all this while boosting our own physical health!