We’ve grieved. We’ve watched the scale creep up 5 lbs. We’ve probably binged a few shows (or seasons) of Netflix. And we’ve wondered if things are going to get better or worse…for our health, for our finances, and for our relationships.

Many of my friends and coaching clients have mentioned despondency coming and going in waves. Uncertainty lends itself to this sort of chaos. In the words of one of my teachers Deanna Stull, “monkey brain” can take over – never knowing what to focus on, because the brain is so overwhelmed.

So, is everything on hold then? When it comes to our goals and achieving our dreams, should we just wait the pandemic out for a few more weeks, months, or even a year or more?

St. Irenaeus is quoted as saying “the glory of God is man fully alive”. I believe it is possible to be “fully alive” during this pandemic. While illness is a result of the fall, God can bring grace into every situation and is still calling us to respond to His call for our lives. In a recent podcast episode of “CNA Editor’s Desk”, the hosts discussed that with God, time does not stand still – that we are still a People of God throughout this pandemic, our lives are not on “pause”.

While there are still times I feel stuck and I always want to acknowledge the very real challenges my family and so many are others are facing, here are just a few questions, I’ve been asking myself and others lately. I invite you to consider:

  • Are there life-giving routines I can put in place during this time? For me, these routines look like daily walks in the beautiful Virginia Spring, reading in the quiet morning time, bird watching with my kids (they are better at IDing birds than me!), and renewing connections with family and friends.
  • How can I take the time to reflect on my gifts and talents and how God may be calling me to use them? Change can be an opportunity to take a look at our lives and whether there is something we want to do differently, or something new we want to pursue. Take advantage of this time to get out of any ruts you’ve been stuck in and discern what paths you may want to follow – creatively, professionally, or personally.
  • Are there any new pursuits I want to explore? It’s true that we can’t go sign up for an in-person sport or class, but we can play around with new ventures or activities. If you have a little more time on your hands (even if its only 10 minutes a day!) – consider making a list of 5 or 10 things you’d like to explore. This could include anything from trying something like hiking to starting a new business venture or trying out a new form of art.
  • Am I aware of what brings me, and others, joy? Sometimes, we can be so immersed in our routine, we forget to pay attention to whether it is actually fulfilling. Consider journaling or jotting down what things bring you joy (big things and little things!), the list might surprise you!

Lastly, author Carol Dweck famously talks about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. The two really are what they sound like. Those with a growth mindset see successes and setbacks as opportunities to learn and to grow, while those with fixed mindsets do not). I am certain that the pandemic can be a time to expand our growth mindset – to learn more about who we are and we are called to be and to pursue those things that bring us joy.

Along with another Catholic life coach, I am inviting Catholic women to be part of an all new group life coaching experience for Catholic Women: Fully Alive. Discover how this 6-week course and how it can bring joy and direction to your life. Find out more here.

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