The Cook Awakening

Being Human

April 6, 2020
Posted in: Grief, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Spiritual Practice

Welcome to the realities of COVID-19.

Living in times of crisis can cause a variety of reactions. What are you noticing?

If you’re in quarantine or sheltering-in-place with access to the news, anxiety is likely no stranger to you. You may be on the front lines in health care or other essential service. You may be one of the many who have suddenly lost your livelihood. We are powerless over these events that are affecting the whole world.

I was just texting with my brother — “This seems to have really cured me of any daddy complex I might have had that someone in charge would save me if ‘things got bad’.”


If you’ve read anything I’ve put out over the years, you know spirituality is my jam. What I mean by spirituality is pretty broad. My main interest is in what works for YOU. What is your edge that needs leaning into? Spiritual practices needs to be attuned to your personality.

Spirituality may sound like some lofty term that refers to something outside our everyday life. Maybe not particularly useful or accessible when there’s a damn pandemic going on! This is real life!

Can we redefine the term, please? Maybe call it “Embodied Spirituality”? “Human Spirituality”?

A life of Spirit that honors our Humanness so completely that there’s no separation between the two.

One of our tasks now, in order to remain as calm as possible and carry on, is nervous system regulation. That means calming down when we’re scared or angry. Waking up if we feel frozen or confused. Connecting if we feel lonely and sad.

Which is all very challenging when routines are disrupted and the news is bad.

Most spiritual practices that I’ve encountered over the years have nervous system regulation as a side effect. We tend to calm down when we follow our breath. When we focus on our senses in this present moment. When we bring in an intention toward love, gratitude, peace. When we visualize deities or symbols of nature and relate to them intimately.

There’s another piece that can feel calming — hearing someone’s voice and seeing their face, especially if that person is calm. That’s one of the Buddha’s three Refuges — Sangha. Community. It’s one of the reasons why going on retreats is such a big part of many spiritual paths. Our nervous systems actually co-regulate, it’s part of the Polyvagal Theory. It’s an expression of non-separation, a very spiritual concept. It just means we’re connected. We’re all in this together.

We’re all in this together.

Suddenly technology’s connective power is showing us this, if we know where to look. There are so many online opportunities right now — guided meditations, groups, trainings, hangouts, family reunions, cocktail hour with friends, even retreats. I’m offering an event, too, more about that here. All my client sessions are now via Zoom video conference service or telephone.

You know what’s amazing? It works. We can co-regulate virtually. It works on the telephone, too. It’s a great mystery that I don’t pretend to understand entirely. But, it does work. Take advantage of it.

Please, get support. From loved ones, if that’s safe and available. From a trusted counselor, me or someone else you have a relationship with. Take advantage of the fabulous online offerings, many are free or very low cost. Mine is by donation.

You are not alone. We’re in this together. We can support one another. Let yourself sink into that support. As well as all the other important advice we’ve all been receiving about how to support our immune systems — rest, drink water, eat as nutritiously as you can, laugh, distract yourself if you need to.

Be human. We need to go through this as humans.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 6:56 pm and is filed under Grief, Life on Life's Terms, Meditation, Spiritual Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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