Updated: Apr 22
Two years ago today I was celebrating my birthday with my husband, my youngest daughter, my stepson and daughter in law and two of my grandkids at a restaurant in Santa Monica. My three other children, as well as my siblings, my niece, and my parents, were all on the East Coast and thus the birthday celebration was bittersweet. Little did I know how bitter it would actually become having my family so far away.
Then, as dessert was being served, we all started to get alerts on our phones announcing that the Governor had issued a statewide lockdown starting the next day.
No one had any idea what to make of the news or what it really meant, but I can safely say that whatever we thought might happen was far less shocking and catastrophic than what actually began that moment. In Brene Brown's new book, Atlas of the Heart almost every possible human emotion is defined and discussed and yet, not a single one accurately describes what most of us felt these last few years. Beyond scary, disconcerting, depressing, challenging, exhausting, nerve-wracking, somewhat comforting, yet destabilizing there is no one word or even a selection of words that does it justice. We were and in many ways still are, in uncharted territories emotionally. The statistics regarding mental health are daunting. 89% of people are experiencing significant stress or anxiety in their lives. Wow.
These past two years have tested us and while we have found some comfort in unexpected ways, have learned some new coping mechanisms, and for the most part, displayed remarkable strength and resilience, this time has taken a toll.
It is significant that my book, Be Still and Soar, launched the same week as the anniversary of the lockdown because it was conceived that very first day in March 2020. I didn't know how to process all that was happening in my life and the lives of the others around me and I desperately wanted to be of help to others. In an attempt to figure things out and feel things without shutting down, I began writing this newsletter to provide safety, support and connection while our lives were becoming unrecognizable.
Here I am, older and hopefully wiser on my birthday, still reeling from the experience of the last two years but proud to have created a book that has been so helpful to so many of you.
Thanks to all of you who read the book, wrote reviews and shared with others how the book made you feel. Proud to say it is a best seller and number one in several new release categories!
If you haven't read it, I hope you will.
Here is what one reader had to say:
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2022I like to get up half an hour early before everyone else in the house for some quiet Me Time. Reading this book became a part of this ritual now. This may sound strange, but I have never felt loved, nurtured, and taken care of by a book. After reading my day has clarity, calmness, and certain depth. Everyone could benefit from reading this book. The chapters are relevant and timeless.
The link to purchase the book is https://amzn.to/3n4PeKd.
If you would like a hardcover copy, (perfect for a gift), email me at email@example.com.
What continues to astound me is how fragile we still are, how out of control the world still is, and how unsettling life remains after two years.
The statistics regarding mental health are daunting. 89% of people are experiencing significant stress or anxiety in their lives. It's not getting better. We can stay calm by staying connecting with one another, by being honest, vulnerable, willing to learn from the constant changes and seeking help when we need it.
I listened to Pete Seeger singing We Shall Overcome today and was moved by how powerful and relevant that song still is.
I don't know what's to come but I know that with patience and fortitude, as my dad would say, we will get through it. And I will be here for you.
With love and light, Nora