A Virtual Letter Swap on Navigating Strange Times

Hello friend,

How are you holding up? It sure feels like a strange, very strange time. I am finding it hard to focus on anything really. Even though my ‘normal’ life is very much alike the quarantine life except for morning yoga and afternoon walks. I have been living in Denmark for almost three and a half years now and I still don’t have *almost* any friends with whom I can meet up on and off and chat about life or just spend a little time together. The ones I did make either moved away or live quite far away. I miss my friends and family back home especially now. I’m not a phone person. I am more of a letter/ email kind of person. This is why I find it really hard to keep in touch. I am feeling anxious and a little guilty as it feels like we are in a much safer place and setting than the people I love most in the world. I’m certainly feeling privileged to have a home and husband’s steady job to keep us afloat and safe during these crises. But today, I want to mourn a little and share the grief that I am feeling.

I have been working from home for quite a while now but I had never been able to maintain a schedule and before the pandemic, I was finding myself in need of having a loose structure around my days. I still don’t like to wake up with an alarm. I still prefer waking up naturally. I understand that is also a privilege. I had been struggling with insomnia and this is precisely why it is so important for me to wake up naturally as otherwise, my brain will be foggy all day long and I won’t be able to work on anything despite trying really hard to. It just isn’t going to work no matter how much I beat myself over it. It was like a vicious cycle. One thing led to another and I was finding it hard to break that cycle. But when I came back from our trip to Pakistan this year. Something shifted in me. My sleep cycle suddenly adjusted. I found myself falling asleep regularly at the same time. I was waking up at the same time the next morning and I was able to catch those morning yoga classes, write my morning pages, have breakfast and a slow cup of tea while watching trees outside my apartment’s huge windows.

One of the reasons was that I am a night owl and it is quite opposite for my husband as he is an early riser and his job also requires him to be one. But something suddenly had shifted. Just before the quarantine days began, I found my days had finally started making sense to me. I was so looking forward to making some exciting things happen in the second quarter and now it all seems – I don’t know the right word – may be strange? Nothing of that is making sense anymore. This is the grief that I am feeling – of broken dreams and unfulfilled plans. I was finally in a state of flow.

Getting visible and sharing what’s on my mind or how I am feeling at the moment is all wrapped up in bundles of conflicting thoughts. I am feeling all the things nowadays. Different kinds of emotions all day long. As an empath, I’m also feeling into how everyone else might be feeling at the moment. For instance, loads of people are finding it tricky to slow down, adjust to the new (temporary) reality, work from home and manage the kids being home-schooled. At the same time, others who have lost their jobs must be troubled to have loads of free time and must be feeling anxious as to how they can make up for the lost time. We all certainly have bills to be paid. It is heartbreaking to witness.

There are people who are offering value, support and guidance in ways they can. I’m in awe of this incredible community on instagram. Every day I see people making efforts to connect, support and simply be there for anyone who might be in need. But the flood of information and offerings can very easily make you feel overwhelmed especially when you are already feeling anxious given the global situation we are all in. I don’t want to contribute to that. Such monologues are making it hard for me to show up and share anything. I want to support my community but at this very moment in time, I don’t know how to. Even though my problems seem very small through the bigger picture lens but still this is contributing to that pile of grief that I’m feeling.

Today, as we enter the second quarter, I want to let it all go. I want to count my blessings and feel grateful for the things I do have. I want to start afresh by making new gentle and realistic plans. I have no idea where to start but maybe from right here and right now. Giving yourself permission to feel your feelings, saying things out loud, sharing and working through them does make you feel ready to move on to the next step.

Doesn’t it?

That next step for me is to start afresh. A new set of dreams. Dreams of slowing down and going with the flow. Tuning into what I need at this moment. Figuring out how I can help at this time. Maybe that is simply by showing up whenever I can and sharing how I am feeling and letting others know they are not alone.

I have been offered a scholarship for Jamie Varon’s Live with Intention course and I couldn’t be happier. This is where I am spending my evenings now. The content is phenomenal and I feel lucky to have this chance to dig into the topic of living an intentional life. Other than that, I have been painting a lot these days and I’d like to keep doing more of that. I’m experimenting with new mediums, new drawings, and painting styles. I designed a colouring book page for our quarantine days. If you like, you can download it here. No sign-ups needed. Print it out, gather your supplies and go for it. I want you to have fun, rest and relax as we navigate through all this madness.

Most of all, take care of yourself and pay close attention to how you are feeling and how you’d rather like to feel. This is my north star. This is how I am finding meaning. I hope you find yourself an anchor to navigate this uncertainty too.

Today is also my mother’s birthday. She is living alone in New York and I miss her so very dearly. I hope she and all of you stay safe wherever you are in the world.

I’d love to hear what’s going on in that big beautiful head of yours. How are you coping and finding meaning in the midst of this chaos? Is there anything I can support you with?

I’m thinking of you,

Hira x

#aletterinstrangetimes

———

This letter was written in response to Giulia’s #virtualletterswap series. If you’d like to read her letter and join in too, check her blog post for the details on how you can participate.

P.S. If you liked reading this, you might also enjoy reading the personal letters I write to my community every other Sunday. They are an amalgamation of personal stories and insights around building a creative work and life practice that would work for you. Come join the inner circle this way!

Pin for Later:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • What a beautiful, heartfelt letter Hira. I so relate to feeling all the feelings right now, I go through a swing of the entire spectrum at the moment in a single day. It is difficult to regulate at times. I have also been dealing with the grief of lost plans and opportunities. I’m trying to focus in on what I do have and what I can do instead, but sometimes it is just overwhelmingly sad. But I am really so lucky to be able to be where I am right now. A very happy birthday to your mother in New York, I hope she is keeping safe and celebrating in her own way.

    Thank you so much for sharing this letter, it definitely helps me feel less alone in this time.

    Best,
    Giulia

    • Giulia,

      Thank you for inspiring me to sit down and have a little heart to heart <3 I guess we are all pretty much in a similar situation. I'm grateful that we have so much to be thankful for and SO much to look forward too! This shall pass too. It brings me calm to learn that you can relate to this spectrum of emotions. You are so not alone! Hira x

  • What a beautiful letter Hira, it brought tears to my eyes. It truly resonated with me. These are indeed confusing times, and anxiety mingles with a feeling of needing to keep on, to do all the things. I am happy to have met you through our wonderful IG community Hira. Stay safe and well, Teresa xx

    • Teresa,

      It is comforting to know it resonates with you deeply. I almost didn’t post it as it felt too personal but hey, that is what sharing our truth out loud is all about, right? I am glad I hit publish. It sure is a strange time but we will get through this together. Thank you for following along all the way. Sending you love, Hira x