|Dear Main Street Members.
Sitting down to write my Friday Corona letter has been such a gift. Like the last few weeks, with coffee in hand (obviously I am drinking too much coffee!!), I find a quiet time and a quiet place in my house to reflect.
This week I reflected on the virtue of hope (and this is a long one so buckle in). After a month of most of us “locking down”, it seems those of us who are healthy are beginning to feel a bit antsy. A few days ago, I went to visit my mom. We have both quarantined for a month but have had walks and visits together, all 6 feet away and mostly outside. Mom asked for a hug, she said she really needed one. So, we “masked up” and gave each other a big hug.
My mom, like many, lives alone. She is finding ways to virtually connect with others and although she isn’t alone in the broader sense, she must feel lonely a lot these days. Loneliness and isolation, fear and grief…all of these challenging emotions can strip us of hope.
I think the virtue of hope is one that most humans have in common. For me, hope has been and continues to be my antidote at times when I feel despair. When my son Nicol was younger and having many seizures, it was hope that kept me going. During a time when our son was deemed medically unstable, hope for a new medicine, hope for normalcy in our daily activities, hope for some relief from the fear and worry – that is what got us through. Hope was (and still is) ever-present in our lives and allows us to envision a brighter future. In fact, hope is pretty relevant right now as hope is truly what created Main Street!
This week I read an article from The Guardian entitled, ‘The impossible has already happened’: what coronavirus can teach us about hope. My take-away from this long and wonderfully thoughtful article is this – times of grief or challenge can also be times of dreams and visions for our future. As my co-worker, Julie Ryan-Silva, said in our last meeting, “in a time of challenge, there is much opportunity”. Perhaps allowing ourselves to grieve, to feel sad, to be bored, to feel fear can then propel us to see what is next, what is possible and give us hope.
For many of us, dealing with the uncertainty of today’s reality brings much discomfort and worry. For some it strips us of hope. My challenge to you, our Main Street community, is to find hope in this trying time.
This week I found hope in many different ways. The first was in my Main Street staff Monday meeting. With eager and bright smiles, we all connected and asked Dara Feldman from The Virtues Project to facilitate an hour-long virtues circle. Well, my friends, if you want to feel hopeful or inspired, spend 15 minutes with Dara – and you will! After the session, our staff felt grateful, excited, empowered, happy and calm (their words).
Our next virtue circle was this past Wednesday. More than 40 Main Street members joined the circle and delighted in the experience of connecting with self and others in a deep and profound way. One member shared this, “I feel the virtue of friendliness multiplied by each square”.
Connecting to humanity and to self, experiencing deep connections with current and new friends, and feeling nourished during this time of isolation is critically important.
Another hopeful moment for me was during a virtual meeting with visionaries around the country who work in the adult disability space. The goal of our meeting, organized and facilitated by the fabulous Denise Resnik, was to find collaborative ideas and innovative solutions to better serve our populations during this pandemic. The commitment and service, kindness and care of each of these individuals left me feeling inspired and hopeful.
Lastly, I found hope by connecting in many different ways with family and friends. Walks outside with neighbors, celebrating a birthday 6 feet away with friends and our delayed but fabulous family Seder gave me a sense of presence and connection. I loved seeing aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews gather together virtually for our shared purpose – to celebrate our freedom. During our Seder we ask ourselves, why is this night different from all other nights? Well, I think given our current circumstances and the fact we are all zoomed together, the difference is obvious. For me, however, this Seder was more special than previous ones. For me, there was a deeper level of appreciation of freedom and gratitude for an opportunity for us to join together and feel each other’s presence and love. Perhaps I took these moments for granted in the past.
My hope is that we learn to appreciate the small moments and we rejoice in our good health, in our freedom of opportunity and in our moments of presence with those we love. My hope is we support and nurture those who have lost loved ones. My hope is that our sick friends heal quickly, that all of us, including our health care workers and especially our vulnerable populations, stay safe and healthy. My hope is that we see beyond these next few months of discomfort, find opportunities and lessons within the challenge and that we are able to move forward together. My hope is that one day soon, we will get to hug each other tightly, like I did the other day with my mom (shhhhh, don’t tell!) and that we all feel a deeper sense of gratitude and hope for a bright and healthy tomorrow.
With Love, Light and Hope,
Looking for hope, connection and positivity? Join us for the following Main Street activities:
Be on the lookout for the following upcoming Main Street activities:
- Main Street Book Club
- Main Street Mixology Class
Other links to wellness opportunities:
Stay posted for upcoming Main Street virtual classes!