- Posted: 5/22/2020
Some people journey through life attaching no meaning to their existence. Life is just a series of happenings, one after another. However, I believe at some point, we all stop and say: “Hmm, isn’t this interesting? I wonder why this is happening,” or maybe even, “What the hell is going on?!”
The planet faces a challenge that is urging all of us to take notice: COVID-19.
Here we are, in the middle of a global pandemic centered around a virus that affects our respiratory system, especially our lungs. The disease literally makes us suffocate. Many are suffocating, alone and isolated, facing perhaps one of the greatest fears around death…to die alone while suffering.
Thankfully, statistics reveal that our survival of this virus is comparatively very high, especially if we are healthy and make behavioral changes to keep our respiratory and immune system strong and minimize vulnerability to our lungs. As the hotspots of this virus have revealed, cities with pollutants and high rates of smoking/vaping seem to be vulnerable.
The fact is, COVID-19 hits those with compromised lungs the hardest, especially smokers/vapers and those with compromised respiratory systems.
What if the government offered to send nicotine patches to people to get them to stop polluting their lungs? Would you sign up? What if companies decided to stop producing products with chemicals that kill us? Has Lysol been our savior during this time, or do we have hot water and soap and fresh air and movement to thank?
I take the call of COVID-19 to help me remember how important it is to take care of this temple that I have incarnated into, no matter how imperfect it is. I am a keeper of this temple, and I know my actions have the potential to inspire others.
Part of my role as I see it is to spread awareness around the power of holistic wellness—as well as information that I believe should be a wakeup call to all of us. Has the dramatic rate of increase of cancer year after year not worried anyone? The rates of lung and breast cancer for women and the rates of lung and prostrate for men are alarming. You can take a look here.
In 2020, about 606,520 Americans are expected to die of cancer. The thing that is so tragic about this is that more than 40 years ago, former head of Harvard Epidemiology and pioneering breast cancer researcher Brian MacMahon concluded, “One of the most important contributions of epidemiology to the fight against cancer has been the demonstration that many of the prevalent forms of human cancer are preventable.”
Yet with all this information we have regarding how to prevent cancer, companies are still producing products with hormone-altering effects that are infused with known carcinogens. We are still smoking/vaping. We are still eating massive quantities of sugar. These facts are sobering and bewildering, given how much we know and how many resources we have at our disposal to better care for our health.
Our pollutants are like this virus, a silent killer. During this time, I’m seeing so many commercials for Febreeze and other harmful, carcinogenic-harboring products that we continue to spray onto pillows, beds, and rooms. Perhaps these products should come with a full disclosure, like pharmaceutical drugs.
Even more importantly, perhaps we must begin to turn our intention toward new solutions, such as energy.
Energy is the master guide of this world. Energy comes in many forms. It can be encouraged to expand, and it can be supported to contract through action, words, and thoughts. For example, breast cancer is deeply connected to our energy around love: how we love others and ourselves, how we have been loved, who we love, and why we love. When cancer research first emerged, Dr. Virchow was the first to link inflammation to cancer. Now we know that chronic emotional stress leads to inflammation. Emotional stress can create inflammatory responses—and isn’t our unacknowledged stress around love—including codependency, isolation and lack of affection, fears of abandonment, and the like—one of the greatest impacts on our health?
Maybe COVID-19 is mimicking an emotional response to life: That is, we are suffocating as a species. Our planet needs to breathe, just as we do. We need to find an optimal way to flow air and energy around our lungs and our lives. When we breathe and feel a connection to our most vital function of life—the breath—we attune to something powerful: our own energy system. This attunement allows us to turn our attention on the energy of the world.
Everything on this planet breathes: the trees, the ocean, animals, humans, plants…you get the point. Without attention to air and the quality of air, all of life is threatened. Let’s use this pandemic as a wakeup call. We cannot afford to ignore the red flags that tell us exactly how we are putting our health and well-being at risk. We must harness our power to work in harmony to overcome COVID-19 and future pandemics that are likely to arise from our climate crisis as well as our less-talked-about internal crisis.
I am here to tell you: You are not powerless over COVID-19. You are incredibly powerful. You have the power to keep moving (which keeps your lymphatic system in motion), to find mental ease and peace (while remembering that emotional stress leads to inflammation), eat non-processed foods that are close to the Earth, and create daily practices that get you to purposefully breathe and bring the flow of vitality into your own body temple.
May COVID-19 be a blessing to you…a wakeup call that helps you and every single one of us recognize how powerful we can be when we come together with intentionality and a remembrance of our innate wholeness.
Want to know more about how you can incorporate practices into your life that help you to nurture your wholeness and health? Check out my new book, Care of the Whole Self: Yoga-Inspired Practices for Befriending the Self, which is available to pre-order on Amazon.