Dear Cape Town Friend In The Covid Bunker
I suppose Cape Town or very few tourist destinations are currently packed with tourists. No, we are all hunkering down.
Today I want to tell you my COVID-type experiential life story (embarrassing, lonely, stupid etc).
It started years ago; I was reading Zen at the time. To understand why these Zen guys knew things scientists are discovering today. My real aim; I wanted peace of mind. But I was young, wild, strong-willed, and ready to conquer.
Zen stayed with me. But my quiet time was only when I had nothing else to make me mindless. When I was preoccupied I was mindless. I never had to face my demons.
Then in a time of brilliance, I decided to do what I do best. Jump in boots and all into a new adventure of the extreme.
9 years ago a friend suggested I go and meditate for ten days. Yes 10. But it gets worse. No talking; talk and you go home. Evening meals were popcorn and bananas. Mostly beans during the day. Odd.
These meals, apparently, were designed to make you meditate better. ?
A massive steel bell wakes you up at 3 am. Only at 9 pm can you try and sleep; but hunger kept me aware. Nothing to keep me mindless.
I was so, so very bored. The only reading was my sleeping bag label with ironing and washing instructions. How many times can you read it? Then I meditated for hours, ate popcorn and vegetables. Not easy. Things pop out.
I like challenges. But ten nights saying nothing, no cellphone. No reading. Eating odd food. How much do I want to become Buddha?
Well, I did it. Ten days. Not Buddha.
Then Covid struck. Everything stood still. One disappointment after the other.
One clever dude said it will disappear. I had hope. A miracle. A year later. No miracle. And very little light to give us hope.
My first reaction (fear of not surviving) was to redesign our business. I wrote ebooks. I created web pages. I was like a desperate frog trying to get out of the boiling kettle.
All failed. For now at least. No tourists to test my creations.
My health, anxiety, went out of control. In 9 months I went from excellent to a pulse running wild if I stepped out of the house. My chest felt confined.
I realised I had to let it be. It took time. Like it or not but pushing was not helping me. I had to get off my excitable white horse. And, yes let it be.
I had to choose between happiness and health, and fear.
By letting it go I miraculously found peace. My pulse recovered and my family liked me a little more.
My dear tourism friend, what did you learn from this Covid dragon that made your life under misery better? I am still not Buddha. But I am closer to accepting who I am. And let the rest happen. While I let it be.
I wish you a let it be time until we recover.