• Cynthia Anne Hale

Networking & Resilience



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What gives you strength in this strangely surreal time?


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we can no longer presume health or emotional stability with loved ones or with our selves. In these precarious times, we recognize our losses, small and great, even while we adapt and build on our emotional resources. People around the world are making the most with what is at hand, reaching out to others in ways that transcend their current restrictions. This really matters. With each caring communication, whether through email, phone call, text, or social media post, we contribute to a global network of emotional resilience.  Here's a snapshot, just from my view in recent days. What has touched you?  

BUILDING A WORLD-WIDE NETWORK OF EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE Inspiration On Sunday, April 5, the Queen of England addressed the U.K., and by extension, the world, with moving and inclusive wisdom. She recognized the pandemic as a time of hardship and loss as well as an opportunity to come together. “We join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us.” Socially-distant music making From the windows of quarantined cities, people join together in song or applaud healthcare and essential workers.  Orchestras like the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Toronto Symphony perform movingly from individual home spaces. Virtual college choirs connect us with "Love Sweet Love." People reassure residents in a continuing care facility that they are not alone by singing "Lean on Me" from sidewalks and cars. Grass-roots PPE Many are moving into action at home by sewing cloth face masks. Calls for elastic seem to be replacing those for toilet paper. As the soundtrack for the YouTube video, "How To Make a No-Sew Pleated Face Mask," swelled into triumph, my eyes filled with tears. LOL dog videos  We're laughing from the belly at advice about the COVID-19 lifestyle changes from dogs with funny voices. Pluto speaks to the " two-leggeds" from YouTube. I’m eagerly waiting for corresponding wisdom from cats. Nature  People who can be outside are sharing photos and videos of their walks, gardens, or the sky. Are images of the landscape replacing selfies?

Here in North Carolina, the blossoms and leaves of spring open in slow motion, seemingly in sync with our now disoriented sense of time. We take note of a single bee that has found its way into the native bee house that we placed in the branches of the crepe myrtles several weeks ago.  Remarkably, we can still kayak at an uncrowded nearby lake. Gliding across the calm lake water, I think of kayak paddling as a kind of bilateral stimulation. (EMDR therapists use forms of bilateral stimulation for treating intrusive symptoms of trauma.) Soothing my nervous system as I repeat the left-right-left-right pattern, I associate the horizontal figure eights that I'm tracing in the air to the symbol of infinity.  I watch vigilant turtles bask in the sun, then slide into the safety of the water. We are carefully observing stay at home guidelines, grateful for the many people who keep essential services running. Our work, already mostly from our home offices, continues to engage us. In different ways, this work has intensified under the COVID-19 conditions. We are fortunate to continue sharing connections with loved ones. We worry for what is here and for what is yet to come. At the same time, we savor the sweet moments of daily life.


I M A G I N A L W A Y S

Psychology Today

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