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A Note From Katie: One Year Of Quarantine, One Step At A Time

I spent the last month trying to put together an inspiring blog post about what I learned from a year of quarantine. I wrote three versions and none of them felt true.

I decided to pause, step back, and give myself a bit more time to get to the heart of my message. I realized that the reason I struggled to be clear is because I have so many mixed emotions about the world opening back up. I hear people saying that they can’t wait for things to “go back to normal”. What is normal, anyways?

I don’t know. There, I said it! And it feels really good to say so.

Flashback to about one year ago when the pandemic hit. Everything changed. My first feeling was fear. I was scared of the unknown danger that the virus presented and I felt a very strong urge to hunker down and stay safe. There were so many uncertainties.

So I stayed home. For a year.

Although the impact of COVID-19 has been staggering, I’m grateful to have had a year to slow down and pay attention to how my life is unfolding. Quarantine presented a truly unique opportunity to observe my life under a very novel set of circumstances.

In yoga, there is a practice called svadhyaya, or self-study. Life is always happening, so there’s always an opportunity to reflect and learn and grow. Svadhyaya is an invitation to study ourselves so we can better understand the interconnectedness of life.

Right now, I’m studying the feeling of not knowing.

For me, the unknown is a really uncomfortable place. It triggers my anxiety and makes me feel out of control. How do I take a step forward when I don’t know where I’ll land? One way is to literally put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

There is a technique called walking meditation that supports this practice. Walking meditation has helped me to keep stepping forward, despite not knowing. I stop worrying about the future and literally step into the present moment.

Above is a video of me during quarantine, two weeks postpartum, practicing walking meditation. I was sleep deprived, healing from an emergency c-section, navigating motherhood for the first time during a pandemic. I had no idea what I was doing.

Sometimes, my anxious mind took hold and I felt like I was barely keeping it all together. But other times, like in this video, I was able to hold myself, my baby, and my anxiety gently, and literally take my life one step at a time. Techniques like walking meditation have provided such a supportive foundation for me and I’m so grateful to share them with you!

Would you like to practice putting one foot in front of the other and feel a sense of calm as you step forward into the unknown?

Please join me on Thursday April 29th at 12pm CT for a 45-min virtual walking meditation class. You can do this inside right behind your desk or in your living room. You don’t need much space, just enough room to take a few steps.

In this workshop, you'll learn:

  • Brief history of walking meditation

  • Basic walking meditation technique and practice

  • How to incorporate walking meditation into your daily life

This workshop will help you feel:

  • Calm

  • Present

  • Content

Cost: $10

As the world begins to open back up, I feel uncertain. I have no idea what the new normal will be. What I do know is that not-knowing is a practice. The more I practice, the better I’m able to place one foot in front of the other and lovingly “kiss the earth with my feet”, as Thich Nhat Hahn says in his poem, Walking Meditation. He says “there is no peace walk”, but rather “peace is the walk”. Let’s support each other as we collectively walk forward, one step at a time.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in class!

Love, Katie


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