We live in a small country town called Margaret River in Western Australia. It's a ghost town now. A lot of things have shut down and it's scary because this is a town that thrives on tourism. We exist because of tourism. The Margaret River Masters is here, which is a surf competition - a huge event for this town- that has just cancelled.
Margaret River is the place to which people come down for the school holidays and Easter. Now that’s all stopped. I think we were a little behind other places that shut, but our borders got finally closed, as well. The Australian government has closed the state borders and then they've recently closed the regional borders. That means that we can't leave our little area.
My dad is elderly and is up in Perth. He was meant to return to his overseas home, where he lives part of the year, but he can't go now. My mom is on the other side of Australia. who knows when I'll get see my parents again.
When I first heard about the COVID-19 I thought it was such an overreaction. I didn't think it was a big deal. It didn't seem like one. I tend to live in a world of possibility, seeing the opportunities in life and being curious, so I wasn't buying into the media hype. I thought it was just that - a hype. And I don't watch the news a lot...I do stay connected to the headlines, but I try to shut it away emotionally not to get depressed.
I was actually booked to go to a retreat in Bali from Australia and, at the time, I was really excited about it. People started telling me that maybe I shouldn't go and I thought they were being silly, and that it would be fine. When I tried to put my flights against other people's judgement, it hadn't yet blown out of proportion. I tried to book my flights, and for some reason, it didn't work. I tried three times, and it kept sending me back to the homepage. It felt like a sign not to go, plus, I'm a mama - I don't want to put my kids at risk, therefore I decided to pull out of the retreat and stay home. I realized, wow, this is actually serious. Although, I still couldn't believe it was going to be this global pandemic. I truly thought it was blown out of proportion.
Then, one of my partner’s friends' weddings was completely cancelled, another was postponed.
My partner was working in a coffee shop part-time, where everyone was always talking. He was getting fed a lot of chatter and would come home and tell me all those speculations...Soon enough his cafe stopped using reusable cups and switched to disposable cups only. Every day a new instruction came in; they weren't allowed to have dine-in anymore, only take-away. Eventually, workers were given the option of not working and could go into self-isolation. “I think this is way more serious than we think”, my partner said. It was a big wake up call for us.
I'm a very spiritual person, and I've seen quite a lot of people (who are very spiritual), not necessarily denying the pandemic, but not seeing the reality of it and spreading theories about how the government is making a lot of the stuff up, getting it all wrong.
This bothers me because I feel strongly that, as spiritual beings living on earth, it is part of the universes plan to give us this human experience.
It's surreal, but I feel blessed. I feel like I am one of the blessed people in this situation, I’m really fortunate. I've got a lot of support around me. I've got my partner at home now. I'm used to him working really, really long hours. He's home now so he can help me with the kids. It's such a blessing. I'm actually getting more time to work on my business than I had before. Because we're scheduling time for our business, we're having more family time, we're having fun. We go for a car drive into the nature, we go on hikes and bushwalks where no one else is around. We can go to the beach and get our nature fix that way, knowing we're not going to see other people. We’ve found solitude and that's been really important, grounding in nature and connecting to that.
I also spend time meditating and journaling. I'm working on my business and connecting with people online. I find this is such a beautiful opportunity for connection with other people. I heard Zoom is gaining popularity and, since I usually run my business online, it presents a good outlet through which I could provide my virtual events. I'm planning more online programs, more coaching for people one on one because it's what I love, and I get to dedicate time to that and connect with my friends and connect with my family in other ways and it's perfect because I can do that in my pajamas.
I'm focusing on the now and accepting what is. Now is all we have, and we can't change the situation. That’s really important. We have to remember to be grateful for what is. I think it's a beautiful opportunity for us to reflect. One of my kids has just started school this year, and now he's home with us. It's an interesting challenge, but I love spending time with him. He's learning a lot, and we're having so much time to play and do things together, which is amazing. I am a bit of an introvert, so I don’t tend to get bored, because I love my own company. I find there's always something to do. There are always things to keep me busy, to keep my mind centered, and I have two kids, so I'm running around after them as well. It never stops.
I'm really curious about what's going to happen. Apparently, nature is thriving right now. Are we going to learn from this? That's my question because I have a sense that maybe once the borders are open, and we're allowed out of our homes and everything goes back to normal, that maybe people will panic and rush out of their houses and forget about the lessons that we've been given to slow down and to take everything on board, in a way that's really grateful.
I know we can get through this. And I look forward to the future because I believe in humanity, and I believe that we are coming together and we're going to heal from this. It may take some time. There's a lot of pain that we get to feel and experience. We are moving through a lot of emotions and I think there's going to be a reward on the other side in the long term. If you look for an opportunity, if you look for a possibility, and if you get curious, the world is our oyster. That’s my perception. It's not the facts, it's what I believe and it allows me to feel peace, calm, and joy.