The initial shock of COVID19 has hit.
Grief is emerging as people deal with the loss COVID19 is bringing:
… issues of death and dying because of a diagnosis of COVID19
… loss of income because their place of employment has been shut down
… loss of freedom because schools, parks, businesses, swimming pools, recreation centres, pubs, theatres, conferences, etc. are closed
… loss of control over lives
… and more.

How to deal with the stress of it all?
How to maintain some sense of emotional stability?
How to find peace in the panic?

Perhaps the words of a woman who lived centuries ago, will help. Dame Julian of Norwich wrote something very simple at a difficult time in her life. She wrote this: “All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of thing shall be well.”

As a grief counsellor, I’ve found it helpful to encourage people, when they find themselves in a difficult situation, to use Dame Julian’s words with a conscious pattern of breathing gently, deeply, slowly and properly.

We breathe, but not always properly. And at times of stress, our breathing becomes more and more shallow which can lead to further stress. One way to test how you breathe is to place your hands in front of you on your belly/tummy with the longest fingers gently touching. As you breathe in, check to see if your shoulders are moving up or if your fingers are gently moving apart. Hopefully, it’s the latter. Keep practicing until you’re able to do this.

Then, using Dame Julian’s words, consciously doing some gentle, deep, slow breathing, try following this:

1. Gently inhaling
… say/whisper/think/pray “All shall be well.”
2. Gently exhaling
… say/whisper/think/pray “All shall be well.”
3. Gently inhaling
… say/whisper/think/pray “And all manner of thing
4. Gently exhaling
… say/whisper/think/pray “Shall be well.”

Then just sit for a few moments. Sit in the calm. Sit in the peace.

By doing the above, you have slowed down your breathing, brought oxygen into your body and welcomed a gentle reduction in your anxiety. Peace. Maybe just for a moment – or a few moments – but peace.

And, there is more. While Dame Julian’s words don’t say that “All IS well,” the words offer a hopeful message to our brain that “all SHALL BE well.

When we combine Dame Julian’s words with a pattern of conscious breathing, we are sending positive messages to our body and our mind.

“All shall be well.”

It will take time,  but “all shall be well” 
and we will get through COVID19 – together.

Breathe, my Soulistry friends.
Breathe in ruach, peace, hope.
“All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of thing shall be well.”

© June Maffin