Struggle with Professional Challenges New York City

The Joy of Spirit During Adversity: When We Can’t Connect Face-to-Face

By George Marino, CPC, CMMT March 25, 2020

Kindness is ContagiousWhat is in a name? I would suggest that a name establishes a breath connection between humans and with plant and animal life and the natural world. The sound and vibration that a name evokes in us when felt and listened to acutely in the body takes us out of our conceptual mind and into something deeper. We remove layers of judgment and preconceived notions about a person or for that matter the tree, bird or even the solar system and beyond. Everything becomes mystery, and we tap into an inner spaciousness and peace that is always there. Even if you don’t know a person’s name, “human being” can take us to this state, uniting “human” as the surface dimension including physical appearance, family origin and personality with “being” as a subtle and unshakable field of timeless, conscious presence.

On March 25, 1858, a young girl is seeking to know the name of a mysterious lady whom she is meeting with for the 16th time in a shared space of connection, openness, equanimity and trust. Filled with life, heart and love, the young girl moves through three requests in a row for the lady’s name only to receive back a smile. Bernadette courageously asks a fourth time to the Lady of Lourdes, “What is your name?” The lady looks up to Heaven, her hands stretched in a gesture of presence and openness and answers, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” In other words, she identifies with the present moment which is always giving birth to the next and to the next.

In my visits to Lourdes and Nevers, France, where Bernadette later lived in simplicity, I am struck by the deep personal connection between the two in a shared physical space. When one has something important to say, it reminds us today, that a personal, face-to-face meeting is warranted so that the full breath connection can be made and seen and include tone of voice and body language. Truth can more easily be conveyed and received. However, it may take us out of our comfort zone and call on inner courage especially if a relationship is ending or there is some misunderstanding.

Today, we may be starting to realize how important these face-to-face meetings really are to our wellbeing. In a time of adversity, we often suffer either physically or emotionally as fear starts to take over. We worry if we or a family member will contract the virus, or that financial and living situations will become unbearable. We are forced to move out of our comfort zone and to change our routines and habits. Where can we go then if these precious in-person opportunities to share and communicate are also taken away? We are, after all, relational beings.

We can go to the same place offered by the Lady of Lourdes on this day and every day—the present moment—not the surface level of the present moment, but rather the essence of the present moment, an underlying spacious field of conscious awareness that is in everyone, also known as Spirit. Go to the rock, that dimension within and make your home there in the breath. Connect and then see what unfolds and how it informs your next steps.

One way of doing this is create space and time to simply sit with the feeling of what you are missing right now. What does it feel like? Where and how do you experience it in the body? Is there a metaphor that describes this experience? Does it have a color or shape? Can you simply sit in the present, watching yourself in this challenge and hold yourself with compassion for what you’re going through?

If you are feeling anxiety that is difficult to bear on your own or you are struggling to express your thoughts, needs or feelings to someone in person, a life coach can often help. I offer guidance and coaching on these and other relationship issues whether at work or in your personal life.

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