Guest Blogsdigging-deep

I’ve just glanced at my notes headed digging deep, everyone in the world right now is digging deep. I sit here in my snug with silence around me on a Monday afternoon, the blue tit birdsong, my cat scratching the yoga mat. Satya, she is the flighty one and senses when things are different.  She’s a little crazy these days, she senses the changing atmosphere. Different is an understatement, unlike anything in my lifetime, coronavirus has changed my world along with everyone around me.


Last week fear and anxiety arose in me like I have never experienced before! I’ve had days feeling more relaxed since but it’s deep in me and doesn’t take much to appear. My days in the NHS are filled with worry about changes, contact with others who may have Coronavirus, be carrying it or simply just not showing symptoms yet. I work in oncology as a nurse, people going through chemotherapy facing much bigger challenges. For two full days I live trapped in anxiety, story, images, news bulletins, constant conversation about it, gradually building to feeling close to overwhelmed, what surprised me was how quickly it sneaked up on me. At lunchtime I went for a walk sat in the hospital chapel and did some meditation and breathing practice, I was feeling panicky, anxiety attack potential, 20 minutes later, it felt different, I could breathe again and felt connected to my body.


The following evening I tuned into the Mindfulness Association practice session, connecting with many people I know and many new. I know I’m not alone but at times with the panic and fear I felt, I wondered if i was the only one. I kept saying to myself how can this be happening, I practice yoga and mindfulness! Where has this come from? I can really see now fear and anxiety are normal emotions when facing such uncertainty moment by moment, navigating it however requires practice and community. I’m an experienced practitioner and I have found it hard. No matter how experienced we are we all need support through our practice in these phenomenally unsettling times and I’m learning I’m no different. We have the MA nightly support lifeline, we have connection, thank goodness for zoom and over the next several months we all have to dig deep.


I’ve been reading Brene Brown over the past few months and have been getting a lot of support from her books. Brene says, “owning a story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running away from it. Embracing vulnerability is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy, the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light”. Inspiring words.


She found of people who live wholeheartedly and what they do to dig deep:

D: Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviours through prayer, meditation or simply setting their intentions.

I:   Inspired to make new and different choices

G: Go out and take action


Times like we are in now requires mindfulness practice, these times requires courage and compassion and connection. Pema Chodron would say: “when we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience the fear of pain”. There is so much that’s unsettling, much suffering and pain happening around the world however, through practicing with our evening Mindfulness Association sits, sharing and support I am able to reconnect with my body and my heart and open to kindness and compassion for myself and for others as I know we are all experiencing this in our own way.

Take care, stay safe and keep digging deep.


Tina Gilbert