Get Yourself a Creative Pandemic Practice or Two
Tackle that loneliness deep inside your heart
With a pandemic limiting our social interactions, the isolation is real. A collective reckoning is happening and it looks different for each one of us.
As a former worker in the restaurant industry, the constant chaos from day to day hustle has left me with a void of quiet loneliness. The quiet is nice for the introvert in me but I truly miss that connection with all of my co-workers, regulars, friends, and just people in general. Taking matters into my own hands, I have tackled my own loneliness with the addition of various creative practices.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing can replace the experience of social contact, but we can use this time of mandated restriction to better ourselves for when we can gather once again.
This time of social restrictions is certainly one which can breed frustration and anger because human life is meant to be shared in communities and groups. When a body of power imposes such restrictions, despite the public health concerns, it does feel very painful.
Some of us are able to cope with the restrictions because we see it as a greater good scenario and we can manage our isolated time efficiently. For those of us who are finding a hard time emotionally to cope…
Get Yourself a Meditation Practice
First things first. I started my Medium journey writing about mindfulness and meditation because when the pandemic hit and I became furloughed, I received an invitation on social media to a 21 day Deepak Chopra meditation challenge. This challenge invited me to reassess my mind space, which if I am being honest had been thwarted by a mental tornado. At the start, my attention span could barely handle the 15 minutes of sitting and mediating.
It took me a few months of experimenting and learning different types of meditations until I discovered that this meditation journey would always be changing and never remain static. That’s how it should be. I started to incorporate breathing techniques by breathing guru Wim Hof, Sanskrit mantras, Qabalistic mantras, and esoteric visualizations to list a few.
Meditation allowed me to grow patience, bring my awareness to the present moment, bring awareness to my breath, and direct my mind to focus on and follow my heart more.
So, that brings us back to lack of social connection. How do we deal with the black pit in our stomach of that need for affection and love? How do we deal with the feeling of needing to be heard, our existence to be acknowledged?
Get Yourself A Creative Practice
When we were in elementary school, my mother gifted me and my brother with piano lessons. Being defiant children, we resisted the imposition but Mom never gave up on us. She knew how important it was to instill such a practice early in life. We kept it up until the end of high school and gradually dropped off.
Then a few years ago, my brother began giving piano lessons to our young cousins who live just a few blocks away from us. His own practice was dusty so in an attempt to push himself to be a better teacher, he began to practice everyday again. He would encourage me to practice myself. It took a pandemic for me to heed his encouragement.
I started with just a short 15 minute block every day. Whenever I would notice myself reach for the phone to look at social media, or feel unexplained anxiousness, I sat down in front of the piano instead. First, I began perfecting the pieces from my senior recital, Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Bach’s Invention 13. It took about 2 months of consistent practice to feel confident in my ability and to build a desire to keep pursuing it.
I spent about 3 months practicing the same two pieces. When I felt I had mastered them to the point of memorization, my internal piano teacher started instructing me to begin tackling new pieces. And so the cycle continues of mastery, joy and happiness.
Whenever I practice now, my mind gets lost in the music and every memory I have with a piano comes rushing through me. My piano practice has also become a meditative practice that I no longer rush through. Instead I realize (and sometimes I have to remind myself) that the practice itself is where true joy and happiness lies.
Follow Your Heart
Whatever your passion may be, whether it is painting or writing or gardening or clowning or screen printing or flying kites, spend some time with it every day. Your practice can become your infinite source of company, especially when you devote your full attention to perfecting your craft. You begin to see your improvement and your changing as you practice. It can become addicting. Let it seduce you, all the possibilities available to you when you take up a practice. Don’t ever let complacency or doubt join you as you embark on this journey to self empowerment.
When we focus our attention on our practices, we are literally changing the essence of our being. Instead of letting our minds be filled with thoughts of loneliness, we can be perfecting our wood carving skills or singing the blues on our harmonicas or whipping up a delicious meal or doing something every day in preparation for when we can be with our loved ones again. Before we know it, we’ve dedicated so much time to our practices that we will have new things to talk about with our loved ones in the future. And who knows what your creative practice will inspire in your circle? Only one way to find out..