Ordinary Miracles: How to Cope in Times of Turmoil

By Dr. Michael Obsatz – August 9, 2020

These are challenging times.  The pandemic has continued now for six months.  Over 162,000 Americans have died.  Five million people in America have experienced COVID-19.  It is sad.  We don’t know when it will end.

Every day can be difficult.  There is the continuous grieving of losses — loss of freedom, loss of physical touch from loved ones, loss of familiar daily routines, loss of income, loss of security and safety.

There is a great deal of anger, rage, and violence across the country.  Hate groups, racists, and other hostile people are acting out.  Cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, have witnessed arson, looting, and increased homicides.  

We may mistrust those in charge — the political leaders, the police, and others.  Where do we find stability in this time of unrest and upheaval?

How do we get through it?  We can pray and connect spiritually.  We can live in gratitude for every little opportunity, every sunny day, every beautiful creation of nature.

In his book, “Ordinary Magic:  Everyday Life as a Spiritual Path,” John Welwood reminds us there is magic in simple things.  There are spiritual opportunities all around us.  During the last six months I have tried to notice more trees and flowers, and pay attention to details I have previously ignored.

Here are some possible strategies for managing the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of these challenging days:

  1. Create routines which are enjoyable.
  2. Find some pleasure in small, mundane tasks.
  3. Connect with several people daily through electronic devices, mail, or telephone.
  4. Practice living in gratitude every minute.
  5. Don’t take anything for granted — health, eyesight, ability to walk, breathing, energy level, etc.
  6. Be there to support others by listening to their stories.
  7. Read spiritually uplifting books, articles.
  8. Watch podcasts and videos which promote love, connection, and meaningful living.
  9. Help the poor and hungry through monetary gifts and service.
  10. Support spiritual institutions which focus on   oneness and connecting.
  11. Pray for world peace, and love and acceptance of all diverse groups of people.
  12. Take care of your physical health.
  13. Take epsom salt baths and engage in calming relaxing activities.
  14. Be safe– wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands and pray that others learn to respect everyone’s safety.
  15. Limit the amount of negative news you are exposed to.  Pray for our leaders.
  16. Eat healthy food, and savor every bite.
  17. Grow vegetables and flowers if you can.
  18. Thank all the caregivers and workers who work for our health and well-being across the planet.
  19. Grieve losses, and be sad about the current state of turmoil.
  20. See beyond appearances and know that God is greater and is our constant support.

It is time to love one’s neighbor as oneself.  It is time to ignore petty arguments and stay focused on love, peace and spiritual connection.

© 2020 Dr. Michael Obsatz, all rights reserved.
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