Welcome to Common Sense Boot Camp!!
What?? You say you didn’t sign up? I didn’t know I did either, but I think it might have been in the fine print for 2020–and who reads the fine print?
So here we are, over a month into shelter in place orders in Sonoma County and it still feels like even the smartest intellects in the world don’t know exactly what to do next. They don’t agree and they change their minds, a lot, anyway.
There is so much unknown in these circumstances and we’ve never experienced anything like it before. We don’t have anything stored in the hard drive of our intellect to answer all the questions we have. We can’t figure this out with our intellect.
If we can’t rely on the intellect, what can we rely on? Common sense, intuition, wisdom, our gut feeling (whatever word you want to use for it) is the most valuable guidance we have right now.
The GOOD news is that you’ve had common sense your whole life. You’ve felt what it feels like to ignore it (uggh, bummer) or listen to it’s whisper (aaah, yes, good idea).
The GREAT news is that if you know how valuable your common sense is right now, you can tell your intellect to quiet down when it ramps up. To be sure, it will have all sorts of ideas about analyzing, and projecting, and worrying. And it will try to tell you it’s keeping you safe. But it doesn’t have the data to keep you safe right now. So tell it to pipe down and save yourself some energy.
Now just because we’re in Common Sense Boot Camp does not mean we should throw the intellect out with the baby and the bathwater. You need your intellect to gather some of the latest information about what the experts know about how the virus spreads, what safety precautions are recommended and which ones are required in your community, where and when you can source your food, how to help your kid connect to their zoom class, etc. etc.
However you can rely on your common sense to help you figure out what is yours to do in the moment. And more importantly, what is NOT yours to do in this moment. Your intellect can be the servant to your common sense, not the almighty ruler.
Mind Experiment: For the next 2 weeks commit to figuring out how to listen to your common sense. In this boot camp we’re gonna do some strength training for your wisdom muscles. You’ll practice following your intuition. And you take note when your gut instinct speaks up with the feelings in your body. We have the perfect camp set up, because I promise you, your intellect does not know what’s going to happen next right now.
Sometimes common sense is a clear loud voice. Like when you’re in an acute emergency and everything seems to slow down and get quiet — we know what we need to do, right then. But more often, common sense is like a whisper among all the noise. And you can hear it best by listening from the chin down. The feeling in your body will tell you if you’re about to do something aligned with your common sense, or if you should pause and listen for a moment longer.
It helps to get quiet and listen for it. How you do that will be different for different people and at different times. Your common sense will tell you the best way you can reflect and hear your own common sense. Lots of people can hear their common sense when they are in nature, listening to music, or intentionally quieting their mind (that’s one of the reasons people meditate). But you can learn to tune into common sense lots of different ways. Why do so many people hear their common sense in the bathroom? There isn’t anything special about the bathroom, except it’s a place where many people have given themselves permission to stop multitasking. You can shower just for the sake of showering. Your intellect drops for a moment, and you suddenly realize a solution to that thing you had been trying to solve. So during your experiment, notice what helps you tune into the feeling of your common sense. Sometimes I just say “OK, Life, I’m ready for some common sense. What you got for me?”
Here’s an example of what getting quiet and listening to my common sense looked like for me recently. As soon as it became evident that the novel coronavirus was in the US and we were going to need to take measures to protect ourselves and our communities, one of my first really vivid thoughts was that I wished I could go grocery shopping for my parents. I felt that thought throughout my body, so I knew to listen to it, but I had no idea what to do. Plus they live in Arizona and I had a few things on my plate–helping patients, saving my small business, procuring paper products and sanitizers, etc.
So my parents and I began exploring options for ordering groceries online. All those paths lead to a dead end. It got to a point that was really worrisome. Now we were several weeks into this and I had a very noisy head about it all. I considered trying to log on to the websites to place a grocery order and see if I could help that way. I considered researching if there were organizations helping out in their area. But nothing felt quite right. I decided to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep.
The next day while I was having breakfast, I heard a little whisper–who do you know in Arizona? What if this could be easy? What if you could get someone to help you figure this out? What if you didn’t have to do all the research? I remembered I knew some friends of friends who moved to Arizona at the end of last year. So I texted them to ask them if they could help me find some resources. It turns out they live 10 minutes away from my parents and were more than happy to go grocery shopping for them. Yay. Tears of joy for the whole family–literally!
The important thing to note about this story is that I could have easily pushed past those little whispers suggesting there might be an easy way to a solution. It didn’t sound very logical to text some people who I didn’t even know where in Arizona they live. And I certainly didn’t imagine they would be the actual people to help my parents. But I’m so glad I didn’t let my noisy intellect tell me to stay up all night on the computer to research and solve this problem.
So now that you know that we are in Common Sense Boot Camp, go ahead and see if you notice moments where you can hear your common sense and moments when you are ignoring it. Let me know how it goes! It’s worth an experiment because right now your common sense is truly the most trustworthy thing around.
Upcoming Stress Reduction Zoom
Join us for a free Zoom conversation about how to adapt and reconnect to peace of mind and resiliency, even now, on Tuesdays from 4-5 PM. Click the link below for more information and to register before noon on Tuesday.
My mentor Julie Gleeson of The Art of Living, Inc and I will share what we know that keeps us sane and grounded. And we’ll answer questions and help you reconnect to common sense and wisdom that will help you navigate your circumstances with more ease.
If you want refills of your herbs, let us know and we’ll schedule a pickup time for you. We have set up a “no touch pickup station” in our lobby (or for those of you who prefer them to be sent, we add the postage and a $5 handling fee), then we email you a Square invoice you can pay online.
If you haven’t had custom herbs before, or not in a while, now is a good time to try them. Some of the usual forms of self-care aren’t available, and this one is a great option right now. It’s really empowering and effective to take a custom formula to support your specific needs.
And now we’ve set up and online supplement dispenary so patients have easy access to high quality supplements https://wellevate.me/christina-ness.
I’ve also got a supply of herbs to boost your immune system and prevent viruses. I developed some protocols based on research during the SARS-CoV epidemic in 2003 and current findings with this version SARS-CoV-2, that are our best bet at prevention. I got them in simple-to-take pills and there are options for different people with different baseline health and different budgets. More information about prevention herbs can be found at this link.
We Can TalkIf you want to talk about staying on track or anything else that has come up, I’m doing telemedicine appointments, which is like a zoom video call, but more secure. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how much connection, diagnosis, acupressure, and personalized diet and lifestyle plans we can do over video calls. Patients have been reporting that they’re feeling confident about what they can do to take care and feeling better. All the info about telemedicine is at this link.
Here’s to moments of calm and common sense in the storm,
Christina Ness, LAc