Finding the Light: Building Community During Coronavirus
September 23, 2020
Author: Everlea Bryant, PMA Member
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Instead of that thought evoking terror, what if it was good news instead? For me, the end of things as they were before the pandemic is partly a pleasant thought! Most of us moved so fast, it was as if we were only passengers as opposed to active participants in our own lives. By the end of the day, our minds were filled with thoughts like, “Did I eat breakfast? Did I remember to turn off the iron? Did I wish my colleague good luck on her project? She’s been so stressed, and I forgot to tell her good luck...”
This was life for most of us before March 2020. We were constantly surrounded by people at work or at home, but for many of us, we weren’t really connecting in meaningful ways. Many of us simply existed among people, but not with them. Coronavirus changed all of that. For one of the first times in modern history, something is happening that affects virtually every culture, country and continent. Whether or not you personally had Covid-19, it has affected all of our lives, as its reach is not regional, but global. We are all connected by our common disconnection, which is both ironic and brilliant. The very thing connecting all of us is the fact that we cannot get together! But that does not mean that life just stops. “Time” happens now just as it did before: Bills are due monthly and your car oil still needs to be changed. Certain aspects of our lives, however, have changed - namely the “hows” and “with whoms.” We have a greater opportunity to have new experiences with new people, as we aren’t as limited by geography and time zones as we were before. The access provided by modern technology - tech that has existed at our fingertips for years - has erased boundary lines. Our world has fewer borders, and because of that people like you and I have been empowered to build a better and more nourishing global community. Something as dark and gloomy as a pandemic has shed light on the fact that we can start over again with how we connect and with whom we choose to connect. And familiar experiences, like taking a Pilates class or workshop, have been revolutionized.
I hope we meet one day.
Teachers I have only communicated with in my dreams (and by talking to my screen on Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology) are now my actual teachers. I’ve had the opportunity to take class with widely known instructors during this pandemic, even as far away as Spain! I’ve scheduled phone calls with global teachers and brainstormed about ways to make the Pilates Method more accessible and inclusive with other like-minded teachers I’ve only recently met. Additionally, teachers I’ve admired that have signature lectures and workshops I hoped to attend one day (time and money permitting) now offer courses virtually! So now this momma just needs a couple of free hours and WiFi instead of a small fortune and a travel agency. My virtual studio has also been blessed by the shifting tides: I have new students I have never met in person from around the United States, Bermuda, Italy and England. In a million years I’d have never expected to have such a wonderful opportunity! The world has opened up, and we can choose to see it and enjoy these moments of light and beauty rather than only see the challenges and pain. Seeing more does not mean ignoring pain or being fake - it means celebrating the small victories when they happen and seeking out other small wins to soothe the soul.
You can find pleasure in the pain.
I understand that this blog post might come across as disingenuous because of the devastation so many are facing. Covid-19 has changed our social and economic landscape. In our daily lives we are inundated by police brutality and other systemic injustices, even if that is just on our social media and television screens. Celebrities we admire have passed away during this time as well. We have all been touched by current events in a myriad of ways, whether through loss of work or decreased employment opportunities or sickness and loss of life. To be perfectly candid, during the past several months of 2020 I’ve divorced, and I’ve also lost some work. That left me supporting myself and my twins on a reduced income. I write about finding the light because I need it too. Life has had serious setbacks and challenges. AND there is still so much beauty to encounter. There are people who understand you - people to laugh with and smile with. New friends to make, classes to take, and even romance to encounter if you’re interested! Life as we knew it before is over, and that can be GOOD. Take this opportunity to take charge of your life and build it back in the way you want it to be.
What were the most challenging parts of your day prior to the pandemic? Have any of the factors or circumstances surrounding that challenge changed? What new choices can you make today to bring more joy to your tomorrow?
Find the light, build a healthier community, and share the joys and triumphs with your fellow teachers and students here at the Pilates Method Alliance!
Everlea is a PMA Member, twin mom and owner of Pilates, Health & Dance by Everlea, LLC (@pilatesbyeverlea on Instagram). She offers private and group Mat and Equipment classes both virtually and in-person. Find out more at www.pilatesbyeverlea.com
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