What would my Dad do during this COVID-19 Pandemic?

Gina with her dad, Dennis, in 1981

My dad died on August 7, 2016. But if he were alive and well today, what would he do? If you read my blog post on February 24th, you know that my dad was a prepper (a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it).

My dad was like a ping pong ball, one minute he was happy and calm, and the next minute, he was angry. He was an emotional man and a protector of his family. What would he do if he was here today? He would pray and prepare.

My family would pray when things got bad. Every night my mom and dad would have me and my brother’s kneel around my parents king size bed to pray. My dad would say, “All of us better pray.” I remember praying for our family and all of God’s creatures.

My dad prepared for emergencies. When I was young, I remember my dad stocked up on food, survival supplies, and collected gold and silver coins. My dad was a risk-taker, and he would not take crap from anyone. Many times, I was afraid of my dad.

Even though I was a little afraid of my dad, I knew that he loved me very much. Love is one of the highest vibrations. I can choose to let the current pandemic scare me, or I can fill my heart with love and gratitude. Negative forces will try to bring down my vibration, but I can stop that by increasing the love in my heart.

Love is our armor/armour (protection).*

*”Love” in French, Spanish, and Italian – Amour, Amor, Amore

In January 2020, I made an intention for the new year to work with my heart chakra. Now I know why I chose this intention. The heart chakra will help me transform during this time of change. Also, as a community, we need to increase the vibration of love in our hearts.

The heart chakra functions as a bridge between the drives of the lower chakras and these higher chakras. At this threshold, the energy of compassion and loving-kindness draws us upwards into the higher spiritual dimensions. – Layne Redmond

If my dad could talk to me today, he would tell me that this pandemic is temporary, God is love, and that I should pray every day for those who are suffering.

May you be well, happy, skillful, and peaceful.

Namaste, world.

Ujjayi Breathing, by B.K.S. Iyengar

Last night I had difficulty falling asleep, so I tried several breathing techniques to calm my mind. I realized that I am using my computer and cell phone more often than usual. I have to be careful of digital overload and make sure I take breaks from technology.

The breathing technique that worked the best to calm my mind and body was Ujjayi Breathing or Pranayama. Here is a simplified version of Ujjayi breathing:

  1. Start to breathe in and out through your nose, naturally.
  2. Empty all the air in your lungs. Then take a slow, deep breath through both nostrils. The passage of the incoming air is felt on the roof of the palate and makes a sound (sa).
  3. Exhale slowly through both nostrils. The passage of the outgoing air is felt on the roof of the palate and makes a sound (ha).
  4. Repeat the cycles for five to ten minutes.
  5. Ujjayi breathing sounds like the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Namaste, world.

Brave and Calm (COVID-19)

Vietnamese Refuge Boat

When the crowded Vietnamese refuge boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive. Thich Nhat Hanh

Several months ago, my former father-in-law, Bill, was in the intensive care unit struggling to breathe. He was 86-years old and was hospitalized several times in the past year. I told my ex-husband that I would come to the hospital to support him and our daughters. I knew that Bill was going to die.

When I arrived, Bill, laid in his hospital bed with an oxygen mask as he struggled to survive. My former sister-in-law, Kari, wanted to remove the mask and let him go. Since I worked in the hospice field, I helped the family make end-of-life decisions such as when to increase medication, ordering a hospital chaplain, and explaining the dying process.

A few weeks later, at Bill’s funeral, Kari thanked me for my calm presence at the hospital. I was that one person who remained calm and centered during an emotional time. I kept all the people in the boat from panicking.

You, too, can be the one person to keep your family calm during this pandemic. We will survive this pandemic! Human beings are resourceful, adaptable, and creative.

There are a lot of worries about getting sick, taking care of someone who is sick, and how to pay bills. Hopefully, everyone can go back to work soon (as long as it’s safe and there’s a good plan in place).

The Vietnamese refugees set sail on small boats. They did not have any guarantees, but they were brave enough to face the unknown. We, too, can face the challenges ahead and be brave enough and calm enough to weather the storm.

Namaste, world.

Be Calm Amid a Storm (COVID-19)

Be calm amid the approaching storm. We can see the dark clouds in the distance, but we don’t know if the storm will be bad or not. However, just like preparing for bad weather, we have our flashlights, extra food and water, medications, and shelter. It is time to be calm, so you can make good decisions and help your family.

It is amazing how life can change so quickly. We are interdependent as human beings. We are ONE – the coronavirus (COVID-19) demonstrates our oneness. We can use this time to transform human life on this planet. The storm will pass.

Do not be scared. Use this time as a training to help you become more grounded, peaceful, and resilient. You are a divine-human being, no matter what happens here on this planet.

What can you do to become more grounded and peaceful during this turbulent time? You can meditate, pray, do yoga, listen to calm music, journal, read inspiring books, help others become peaceful, and talk to loved ones on the phone or Skype (especially your parents or grandparents who are in lockdown). Make a decision that you will be calm and peaceful and remain that way.

There is a lot of uncertainty and confusion. It is best to stay in the present moment and take one day at a time. The world is not coming to an end. We can learn from this pandemic and become more strong spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

We are ONE. May this pandemic bring humanity together, may we help each other, love each other, and find solutions to make life on this planet better for all living creatures.

Take a deep breath. “This too shall pass.”

Namaste, world.

“If Love is Why I’m Here,” by Karen Drucker

If love is why I’m here, let me be an open channel.
If love is why I’m here, let me give and then receive. (Repeat)
Give and receive, give and receive…
If love is why we’re here, let us be an open channel.
If love is why we’re here, let us give and then receive.
(Repeat)
If love is why you’re here, may you be an open channel.
If love is why you’re here, may you give and then receive. (Repeat)
Give and receive, give and receive…

Love Someone

My grandma Theresa always told me that she loved me. I remember looking into her smiling eyes and hearing the words, “I love you.” I hope to be like my grandma. I want to tell my family and friends that I love them – and often.

Words have the power to hurt or to heal. Words are powerful! Remember, the words “I love you” have a high vibration.

Namaste, world.