Easy Does it (in social isolation)
It was recommended by a wise woman recently for me to read the Kahlil Gibran piece titled “On Children”. It concludes with the following:
“You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He Bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies
so He loves also the bow that is stable”
‘Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness’?
I’m finding during this unique time living in social isolation with COVID 19 (we’ve been doing it for 4 weeks now with three boys 3, 6 and 7 years old) I am having to lean upon this poem and remind myself daily to contemplate the idea of ‘bending’ and ‘gladness’. The power of intention. It’s not that I have the capacity to act nobly as my first point of reference but the way we hit a wall in week 3 I realised I was left with no option.
To bend: 1. shape of force (something straight) into a curve or angle.
2. (of a person) incline the body downwards from the vertical.
To be glad: feeling joy or pleasure; characterised by or showing cheerfulness, joy or pleasure, as looks or utterances.
Well as someone who completed a yoga teacher training in October last year, I can tell you bending in any manner let alone with joyful looks or utterances were not happening here. 14 hour days back to back just weren’t allowing for it.
Then this wise woman recommended I read and meditate upon this poem (meditate being reading it on my iPhone as I’m having breakfast for 5 minutes) and I’m reaping the rewards of the following:
– It (life, work, child rearing) doesn’t need to be perfect. Take that 5 minutes to reset and refocus on what feels good to ME and direct my thoughts and intentions this day.
– Bending means that when there is mayhem and disorder, challenges to the old way of being whether that’s working in a nice quiet peaceful office space or getting through that pile of dishes or laundry to maybe let go of the old way of doing things.
Allow for the kids to run tearing through the space until its untenable and you can throw them outside with some toys to fend for themselves (it worked for our parents and we turned out alright). Take those unscheduled breaks to stretch and breathe, listen to your favourite song maybe even dance with those kids whilst trying to sort that laundry pile. Dare I say I’m even contemplating turning off Netflix most weeknights so I get an earlier night that allows me to go out into the morning for a walk, stretch, practice sans family members.
All of this isn’t scripted. Its emerging from hitting those walls, falling into those tears, getting that twinge in the neck or back from feeling stressed or those tension headaches. That’s your body trying to tell you something. And when these indicators emerge to stop, listen to your body and remind yours that easy does it.
Easy: 1. achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties.
2. (of a period of time or way of life) free from worries or problems.
With any luck, these invitations to bend and find the gladness in it will mean that the flexibility we get from this period of social isolation can inform a new, ‘easier’ way of life because our minds have discovered a greater capacity and permission for self-care so it isn’t just a consideration, it becomes a non-negotiable.
Life / Executive Coach