Covid-itis brought to light
Before Covid-19, I was running around like a chicken that thought someone was trying to chop their head off. I was leading retreats and teaching at other people’s events. I was attending meeting after meeting. I was running the creative division of SK Movement, Inc. I was doing everything, and more. On any given weekday you could catch me flying from my home in LA, to Houston, to NY then back over to LA again. It was exhausting. I couldn’t catch my breath. I pushed myself so hard that I lost sight of my vision. I lost sight of my pleasure. I had, in fact, lost sight of myself. In my mission to serve the feminine, I lost my way.
Then the pandemic came, and it insisted that I stop. It insisted that I cancel all of my upcoming events. It insisted that I close my two S Factor studios and put the entire company into hibernation. It insisted that I reassess where, and with whom, I was spending my time. And not just that – it insisted that I listen. But it was so hard. I’m not going to lie, it was challenging to slow down and listen to what my life, body, and heart might be telling me. I fought against it tooth and nail. For years I had patterned my behavior into a state of action. I was always doing, performing, creating, or working. And I had always thought to myself, since Covid started, that some lowly virus was not about to stop me. So I carried on – one zoom S class after another.
On November 8th, 2020 I got Covid-19. There was no fighting this time. The illness took me down. I had read copiously about the virus – I thought I knew what it was like to have it. I was educated on how the virus moves through your body and leaves it as an absolute shadow of its former self. I had seen all the news reports; the body bags; the weeping doctors and nurses; the devastated families. I had watched politicians and celebrities urge social distancing and masks. My family and I had been sufficiently freaked out about it and we took every precaution: We socially and physically distanced, we wore masks, we disinfected everything that came into the house. But no matter how much I learned about Covid-19, nothing prepared me for actually having this affliction. It is unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It doesn’t act like other illnesses. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It hops around your body in a nonsensical pattern. It gets better, and then worse, and worse still before it pretends to get better again. And, at that point, it starts the dance all over again. Each time, it’s more painful. Each time, it attacks your body like nothing I have ever experienced before.
My son and my husband got it too. My son’s symptoms were different from mine, and both of ours were different from my husband’s. It’s as if this virus has a certain intelligence. It seemed to know how to hurt each of us with individual flourish. It went into our bodies and it attacked us in our most vulnerable areas. For Richard, that was his lungs. For Gus, it was an overwhelming exhaustion that clouded his mind. And, for me, it was my bones, my breathing, my movement. Covid did what social isolation and quarantining could not – it stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t stand up let alone hold a zoom class. I could barely walk up a short flight of stairs. It took my man into the hospital for 6 terrifying days and nights; it made my son as sick as it made me; it made me so tired that I couldn’t get up and distract myself with the creative projects I was working on. My bones hurt so badly that I couldn’t think of anything outside of my own body, which was somewhat ironic because this very thing is what I teach ad nauseam. It took away everything that I would usually have filled my time with. So, instead I had to lay there, day in and day out, waiting. I focused on one inhale at a time. Breathe in – expand expand expand. Hold for a moment, allow the utmost oxygen saturation, and then let it go with a quiet hissssssssssss. It was deep body immersion. And this, of course, brought me deep, soul reflections.
I had no other option than to let go. That meant being with myself, being with my body, and being with everything I was feeling at the time – fear, terror, sadness, angst. And as I sank into this space, what eventually came upon me from beneath all of that emotion, on the 14th day of sickness, was a kind of mellow peace. It was a letting go so deep and so rich that even the throes of fever, coughing, and chills could not stop the bliss that came from it. In this moment, I saw that the virus had offered me a gift.I found quiet again. It is a quiet I had missed dearly, and hadn’t known how to get back. It is a quiet that, now, I am holding on to – a quiet that is transforming my life as I write.
The silence I am allowing myself now is saturated in happiness. The happiness of being purely and unadulteratedly in the moment with my body. In the morning when i take my dog out for a walk I can see my breath in the cool air. I can feel the brisk wind on on face in my nightly walk. I can bask in the bitter-sweet aroma of my favorite Earl Grey tea with coconut cream and honey when before I might have been too busy to even notice. Above all else, my bout with Covid-19, and the 10 months of quarantine leading up to it, has gifted me time. And truly, it’s the most precious resource I have – It’s the most precious resource any of us have.
Time. What a beautiful gift. With this new found time I am rediscovering my desire to say “no thank you,” to the things that don’t inspire me. I’m rediscovering how to draw boundaries for myself. And by letting everything that doesn’t align with me anymore slip away, I am rediscovering who I am. Who I want to be. How I want to spend my time and with whom. In a nutshell, this crazy, terrifying and painful time has gifted me, me. With all the strangeness, the surrealness, the trials, tribulations, and the unfathomable losses of the world, I can feel a small bud of hope growing with me.
I’m curious – whether you’ve had Covid or not – what has the pandemic gifted you? Do you feel hope budding within just as I do?
I would love to hear your comments and thoughts. Please leave a message beauty xo Sheila