I have struggled to find the courage to write you. Over a few short weeks we have begun to wake up to a very different world. We find ourselves in a unique place where each and every one of us is deeply concerned about our loved ones, perhaps for our own lives, for our livelihoods. What do we do with it? How do we cope with it? For me, there has been such a wild wave of emotions. Moments of freedom, love to have the quiet space to draw or sew, and then a realization about a friend whose life is in peril or another loved one who is sick. Moments where I find so much joy in a single moment with my partner or in a simple quiet moment alone buttonholing. Moments when I have the startling revelation that I am not taking any time for granted, like a gray morning with my very old, very stinky German Shepherd playing in the morning. And then the fear, the fear that our world is becoming smaller, that less possibilities are available to us. The gripping fear in my chest, my stomach, my throat. The desire to control other people, the anger at how we as a nation could let ourselves be so unprepared for a pandemic. And then the eeriness of the unfamiliar world around us. The bizarre quiet outside or the buzzing energy of people who don’t know what is coming next. Yet they are somehow all bound together in every moment by a common experience. Underneath it all there is a strange beauty to the fact that gradually every human on the planet shares the same concern for their loved ones at the same moment in time. We are truly connected to each other. And in the waves of these emotions there is a clear message. Right now, we need to come home to our hearts. This is what this time is for. We need to pause, to reflect, and to come home to our hearts. The universe literally told us to go home. Stay home. What is it we find at home? We are finding our hearts. I marvel at how I had let myself rush my life away, speed past my heart, my emotions, real human connection with family and friends, always concerned about the next moment, the next to-do. Sheltering at home I slow down and come into my heart. We experience these revelations alongside the old muck like companies who are working their people continuously right now. I understand that companies are afraid of the change, of the economic pain, but we cannot muscle our way out of this. We need to do things differently, we need to give the people we work with the space to deal with this intense transition, to care for themselves and their families. And I had to catch myself, wanting to push forward with the blouse project, and had to pause and realize that it is OK that things are slowing down right now. That is exactly what we are supposed to do. I have opted not to work nights and weekends at my day job, though there is intense pressure to do so. This does not serve us. It makes us lose sight of the truth, lose our way, forget what we are doing, what is important. This time right now is for realizing 100% what is important. If you, like me, must find the courage to say no to your employer or stand up for your team, I am rooting you on. We need more of this. And there are plenty of people reading this who have lost their jobs or had their work cut way back. We are here to support you. We are going to come through this stronger. One of my favorite teachers, Tara Brach, had a beautiful talk, “Facing Pandemic Fears with an Awakened Heart.” In it she asks a few questions that really got to the heart of this moment in time. They echo around me through the anxiety, through the love, the intense presence, and the frenzied disconnect from the world during moments of fear… through it all: What is being called forth in you? Who do you want to be through this? How do you want to be?What kind of world do we want? What could we build out of this? Here is her full talk to help you digest the intensity of the moment we are in. Gratitude knows no bounds. I am here for you. We will get through this together. Go, fight, win.