If your inbox looks like mine, you’re probably receiving a lot of updates from various companies about COVID-19. I haven’t seen any of them start with heart. I think that’s deeply needed, and so wanted to offer that today, if you’ll allow me.
Your heart and COVID-19 – an update from Steve Mattus at ♾actualinfinity.
(This post is a copy of an email I sent to those who receive my Heart Notes. If you would like to receive your own, you can do so here.)
As the past month has ticked by, I have been closely observing not only the progress of the coronoavirus, and the impact its having in various parts of the planet, but also keeping my heart attuned empathically to those of you, here, with whom I’m connected. Some of you are clients, some of you I’ve never met, some I feel close to because we exchange beautiful, compassionate emails around my Heart Notes, some of you are family, and others are dear friends and more. However we are connected, my heart has been open and attentive to the collective energies that are swirling around this whole situation.
Anything I share here is based on my own understanding and the guidance I’ve felt through my heart. It is not fact, it’s simply expressions of my heart based upon the compassionate witnessing I’ve been active with in recent days.
It seems to me that people are generally falling into two camps:
People are legitimately scared, worried, concerned, and even panicked. This is a big, scary deal. People are dying, and it’s going to get much worse before it gets better.
- This is being blown way out of proportion. There is no reason to panic. If people would calm down, keep their senses, and wash their hands, this would be no more serious than the regular flu. The numbers are inflated or inaccurate and while you should be diligent and responsible, people who are freaking out are not helping and should get a grip.
I would like to invite you to leave both respective camps and instead join me in the Garden, it’s a refuge that seems to be missing in all of this.
The Garden is founded upon empathy, compassion, mercy, and kindness. The Garden is where there is understanding and heart, and there is room for everyone – whether you’re transitioning from Camp 1 or Camp 2. You are welcome here. It’s safe in the Garden. You don’t need to pay to get in, and you can stay as long as you wish, your visit is unconditionally anchored in love.
For those of you who are in or close to Camp 1:
I know you’re scared. You’re worried about friends, family, and how people the world over are suffering and grieving the thousands of lives lost. I feel that too. There is so much uncertainty, so much unknown. If you’re paying attention to it, it’s easy to find predictions and forecasts that are dire and grim. Some of these predictions come from individuals who are experts in the field, and who know how these things work based on scientific studies and experience. If they’re panicked, why wouldn’t I be? Right?
I see your caring heart, and I feel your concern and need for reassurance. If you’re in business, the consequences for small business owners, even if this is mild, could be significant. No one is offering you extra paid sick days. Your bank account isn’t lined with buffer cash to hold you over for weeks while your business is forced closed, or your customers are in obligatory quarantine and can’t come see you. People’s attention may be much less on what you’re offering, and much more on survival and safety.
So, if you’re transferring from Camp 1 and would like to join me in The Garden, what happens is that you are seen – really seen – and all that you are, and all that you feel… all of it can be held with gentle care. You will not be judged, criticized, shamed, or pushed away. All of you is welcome here in this spacious, loving garden which, by the way, exists in our hearts.
Here in the Garden, my intent isn’t to change you, and certainly not to fix you – because you are not broken. It’s not wrong to have fear. It’s natural. And so let’s step into what’s natural. Let your heart be held in its fearful, uncertain state. Feel its quiver. Feel it’s contraction. It’s okay to be all of that, to feel that, for it to be here with you. You’re not alone in the Garden. Many hearts join you here, and together, we’ll take this step by step.
So, for a moment, I want to invite you just to soften, deepen, and breathe. Just feel yourself here, breathing. Feel that in your body – how it expands and contracts. How your heart beats with each breath, and your whole body is working to care for you, to protect you. Give yourself a moment or two to feel into that. And while you do that, I’m going to talk to those from Camp 2.
For those of you who are in or close to Camp 2:
We all hope you’re right. I see how deeply you’re convinced that this is important to pay attention to, but it’s not seriously threatening. And I really hear all the evidence you have to back up what you believe. I am with you in your heart, as you “keep your head on straight,” because panic will not help anything be better. I witness you go about your day and see the ease and lightness with which you do that, and it brings joy to my heart to see you feeling ease amidst a world that could just as easily feel heavy and dark. Love that about you. A great strength of yours to be able to be how you want to be in this world, without allowing yourself to be swept away in the dramatic energies that come and go.
I celebrate your sense of ease, and freedom from the shackles which burden so many. Please, please, enjoy that fully. Rest in that sunshiny place with joy, for that too is Divine. How you perceive the world is beautiful and precious and sacred. Your strength is a gift and a support that the whole of humanity needs. Your outlook can be like a life preserver at times. I see how your optimism buoys you up in stormy seas, and gives you both a place of rest and safety, as well as sanctuary from the wild ocean storms which otherwise might drown you. Your presence is beautiful and a joy.
It feels important to be really clear… there is nothing wrong or broken about you, either. You are held in love and kindness too. There is so much room for you.
Being in the Garden
It may seem contradictory to offer such empathy and compassion and support to all those in Camp 1 and Camp 2 together. The spiritual truth of the matter is that there is room for all of it, for all of you. I know that to be true because you’re here. How could I possibly deny that there’s room for you when you are in fact already here?
If you’ve been imagining that the Garden is a 3rd place outside of Camp 1 or Camp 2, I want to invite you to expand your imagination just a bit, and see that the Garden actually encompasses and contains and includes both Camps. Yes, the Garden is not so much a place in the physical, as it is a condition of the heart.
I continue to witness within myself, and through direct interaction with those in Camp 1 and Camp 2, that the most important thing – above and beyond anything having to do with COVID-19, is staying deeply anchored in your heart. Hence, my invitation to come be in the Garden. It’s how we survive, and come out of this or any future unimaginable challenge, difficulty, or frightening horror show. If we sacrifice our hearts in the battle to survive, then the world we survive into physically, is the exact hell we were trying to be saved from. Please, friends, don’t lose your heart in this.
For those of you who feel more resonant with Camp 1 in your experience: Your heart can help anchor you in a much larger reality than what you see before your eyes. Which means that your heart has an anchor of strength, rooted deeply like a pillar into which you can lean and trust. Your heart can contain the whole
Universe – it can handle COVID-19. And that doesn’t mean that you aren’t scared anymore. It doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer. I doesn’t mean that everything will feel okay to you. What it means is that whatever may come, your heart can sustain you. Because your heart has room for your fear AND hope. Your heart has room for suffering AND healing. Your heart can hold both the feeling that things are not ok AND the sense that deeper down, from a much greater perspective, things are also okay. The wild dichotomies our hearts can contain, bring our mind and whole being into a state of perplexity. And as I understand it, perplexity is a deeper spiritual state of being that really goes beyond what we know how to experience here in the physical.
So, if you’re scratching your head wondering, I don’t know how to be with all of that… that’s great! That’s curiosity at work, and curiosity is a key to release you from the prison of fear and panic. Curiosity is a bridge in your heart which can help support you into an experience that’s more grounded in reality, without being fixed on the doom or gloom, nor the dismissal or bypassing of part of your experience.
Being in your heart will also help you see the benefit of those who resonant more with Camp 2. Maybe they are holding a torch to light the way forward? If things get really bad, perhaps they will be the ones who tenaciously climb out from the rubble, clearing a path for you. Or perhaps they are here precisely and simply to balance the energetic scales on the planet so we don’t spiral into unnecessary panic, making a potentially mild situation far worse than it ever needed to be – because of our own behavior, allowing us to be swept away and collapsed in the uncertainty and fear.
You staying deeply connected in your heart – leaning strongly into whatever spiritual practices which nourish you – will help you, ground you, center you, and sustain you. Please, please, please… prioritize your spiritual practice in the coming days and weeks.
And for those of you who are more resonant with Camp 2, your heart can help to open you to compassion, instead of disdain or contempt for those in Camp 1. Do you remember what it feels like to be scared? Do you know what those in Camp 1 are facing, if they have an elderly parent living in a care facility where the virus has been treated? Do you know if perhaps they have a lung condition which means that if they catch this, there’s a dramatic increase in chance that they could die? And if, god forbid, that would happen, have you thought about their children, and the grief they would have?
I understand that going down those roads might feel “pointless” and just contribute to more panic, when what is actually true is that we don’t know what will happen. You’re right. You are so right. Please hear this affirmation…. you are right. There is no argument from me on this point. We do not know. Period.
And I inquire if you might be willing to also agree that not knowing does not equal safety.
You are absolutely correct in thinking that panic helps no one and instead, makes things worse. I agree.
Would you also be willing to agree that when people are scared, they need those of us who are able to be both strong, optimistic, and confident, yet also need comfort, empathy, and compassion?
I want to invite all of you, if you resonate with Camp 2, to continue being stalwarts for this whole thing being overblown, if that’s what you believe. And please don’t stop there. I invite you further into your heart, into compassion and empathy, because the world needs that from you more than ever. We don’t need any more shame, condemnation, digging our heels dogmatically into our own personal viewpoints, “othering” those who are different from us. That is as unhelpful as panic.
I invite you to step more actively into your spiritual practice too. You staying deeply connected in your heart – leaning strongly into whatever spiritual practices which nourish you – will help you, ground you, center you, and sustain you. Please, please, please… prioritize your spiritual practice in the coming days and weeks. It will help you keep your heart open, and allow you to use your strength to support the entire world out of whatever this turns out to be.
The Answer is more love, not less – all-ways. ?
All of us… are already in the Garden of our hearts. We can’t not be here as it’s innate in all of us. We sometimes, amid the powerful distractions and conditions in our lives, forget that Love is the path. And love can show up in many ways. It’s not always smooshy and soft. Love can be direct, angry, powerful, and sharp. Generally, though, people’s hearts very rarely need the latter. And never need the strong without the soft, the angry without the kind, the sharp without the sweet. Love is all of that, and it is best expressed with its full range.
The virus will do what it’s going to do, and we each have responsibilities to be as healthy and safe as we can be. We also have a responsibility to manage our behavior – remembering kindness, sharing, thoughtfulness, and empathy. Decide right now, how you want to be, and what kind of behavior represents the kind of person you want to be, in the kind of world you wish to build. Choose carefully.
I believe we access more love, not less, through spiritual or mindful practice. It’s so important. Things in the USA and around the world are closing down. News just came through that Broadway in New York City will close for a month. Can you imagine the economic impact of that (I use this as the example only because this notice literally just flashed across my screen. I’m certain there are other critical examples I could use)? Businesses are closing. Small business owners… my heart is with you. I feel how serious this could get for you (and us).
And we have absolutely no control. None. The truth is, though, that we never did. So, what’s new here is the dramatic intensity and speed with which this is all moving.
Let’s just remember our hearts. Bring compassion and empathy to others first. Even when we’re “socially distancing” from others, we can still maintain our love and care and kindness and empathy.
I might also make the suggestion to not be on social media at length. If it’s your connection source, be sure you’re connecting to those who uplift and support your heart. Be mindful of getting twisted up in arguments or going down rabbit holes of destruction and mayhem. You can be social by using the phone and talking with others who might also be stuck at home. Write cards, and send them if you don’t end up sick. Catch up on business administrative work you otherwise never get to do. Organize your garage that you never have time for. This time could be a blessing if we use the time for love and goodness and connection.
If you’re able, move your body
One interesting thing that I continue to experience as I feel so strongly all this swirling energy through my empathic heart is that moving my body very quickly helps dissipate whatever energy is alive in me. And I’m not a big “exercise person,” so I say this without the residue of the shame that being advised to work out might normally bring up. I just have been out walking a bit more the past few days, and always feel radically better afterward. Better in a new way… because this energy is dissipated. It feels like when you dump the bin/bag on your vacuum cleaner, and it starts picking up so much better because you cleared the flow? It’s like that. So, if you’re weighed down by anxiety from all of this, please try to move your body a bit – in whatever way is accessible to you, and just notice if that helps move the energy a bit.
The Garden is in our Hearts. Our heart is where we connect to the Source of Love.
Please… whatever may come… remember your heart. That is where life is, and your heart can sustain you.
It is with all of my heart, and my love, and my most genuine care that I send this message to you. I hope it lands with you in a way that honors you and feels like an oasis of some kind, a refuge amidst a lot of chaos.
You are not alone. My heart is with you.
I welcome your response, thoughts, and love, all-ways.
From my love…
more love, not less – all-ways.℠ ?
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