It took me about two weeks to pick myself up off the floor.
I’m still limping, rolling onto the bed, numbing out on scrolling, wine, and various high-fat items.
Then I saw an invitation for an online dance class by Ryan Heffington, who is Sia’s choreographer.
After watching all the Sia videos, I discussed his class with my body. Legs, are you ready to be vertical and bear weight? Torso, are you ready to do something other than digest goat cheese? Arms, are you willing to do more than flick a thumb across a screen?
Ryan’s class is silly and fun, his dance moves include pretty pony and the typewriter. Bouncing around, I felt good. Alive. Then, at the end, we all stopped and closed our eyes, and he just said, over and over, “We’ll get through this, we’ll get through this, we’ll get through this.”
Tears streamed down my cheeks.
And I was helped.
Who helps me (and might help you)
Help is coming in the form of entertainment, distraction, support, education, guidance, leadership, and love. Here’s what I’ve appreciated:
- Erin Lowry did a huge spreadsheet of resources. (Where I just saved $100 on two months of Adobe!)
- George Saunders wrote a letter to his students, in which he reminds us writers to take good notes.
- My yoga studio, The Grinning Yogi, is doing classes online.
- Amanda Clayman, a financial therapist, gave us tips to deal emotionally.
- My housemate Vicki Robin is doing a Facebook live at 5:05 PST every day.
- I’ve gotten subscriptions to HBO (The Wire!), Hulu, and New York Times Cooking.
How I’m Asking For Help
This is an important part of the interdependence of this human life. We can’t just wait for people to help. When we need it a little extra, we have to ask. I learned this lesson partially from The Art of Asking.
I was having a super rough day, and so I asked:
I got comments, texts, and calls from people I don’t talk to all that often.
How I’m Trying to Help
Once I found my footing, I asked myself what people needed that I might be able to supply. I did not have anything to “say,” no wisdom, but I did have attention I could give, friends I could commune. So I set about:
- Organizing happy hours with writers.
- Sending “wanted to check in on you, how you holding up?” messages.
- Cooking the dinners at my house. (I am the designated “Kitchen Queen,” much more polite than “Kitchen Wench.”)
- Posting natural beauty on Instagram.
- Starting somthing I’ve never done before… the Saturday Writing Sanctuary.
Saturday Writing Sanctuary
The big thing I got the idea for after going to Ryan Heffington’s class was thinking about what do people need right now? I thought they might need mental space, an excuse to put down their phones, and some time to write about how they feel.
So I decided to make Saturday Writing Sanctuary.
I went outside of my comfort zone and led a meditation for the first time in my life. Then we wrote together. And it was good.
Best of all, a friend of mine who does events for a writing center said that he was going to start a happy hour event, inspired by one of the ones I’d invited him to.
We are all contagious, even if we don’t have the virus. It’s nice to know we can choose the kind of reaction we want to spread.