I was struggling with how I wanted to take and handle the news of the Coronavirus. Normally I distance myself from political news and health scares, not giving either much relevance in my life. Choosing to live on the edge of a village in the mountains in south central Mexico is not only a calling and a joy, it is also a fitting metaphor. I live on the edge, on purpose.
I stopped watching the news during the first George Bush presidency. Just two seconds of his voice, appearance and vibe and I could feel myself crumbling into a heap of despair, depression and hopelessness. I’m that sensitive. I remember deciding in that moment, “Well, I guess I won’t be watching the news for the next four years.” The determination was effortless to implement and has remained so. Many may see me as irresponsible and denying “reality”, but first, I get the gist of what’s happening. The details aren’t important and it’s not new, it’s been going on for ages. I get it and know enough of myself and my values to distance myself from it for self-preservation. Second, we all have different strengths, gifts and ways to share them for the betterment of the world. Mine is by maintaining myself in the purest, highest vibration possible so that I may radiate that to the world and hopefully be of service by what I model.
I normally am unaffected by world events. Even Trump, I choose to ignore and in that way continue on my path and life without that distraction and upset. So when I became “infected” with fear of the Coronavirus, I didn’t know what to do. I’m accustomed to distrusting the media. If I were to isolate myself socially, wouldn’t than mean I had fallen prey to the fear virus? One thing I fear is being a fool. I didn’t want to be one at the end of this world drama. But, I did feel afraid, and so struggled between these different parts of me, not trusting either and not knowing what to do.
I told a local Mexican friend of my confusion and asked what he thought of the virus. How serious is it for Mexico?
Rodrigo air-drew a diagram on the table. With his finger at the corner nearest him. “This is our birth. Our Creator determines it.” He touched the opposite diagonal corner. “This is our death. We don’t know when it will be. We have no control over this. It is decided already by our Creator. It could happen in fifty years, it could happen next week. We can’t do anything about these two events: our birth and our death.” Then he drew a line from the first point to the second, saying, “What we can control, is how we get from one to the other.”
Returning to my original question about how to respond to the Corona Virus reality, Rodrigo said, “You can cancel things and that’s fine. But do it because you want to, not out of fear.” I liked that. The mentality took me out of panic mode. I decided to cancel most business and social appointments. I didn’t have an argument as to why. I didn’t have a conviction that I was right in any way. It could be that all this social distancing and isolating would be for naught and I’d be “wrong,” or “the fool” in my own mind. The postponing of authentic Indian cooking classes and spice deliveries was simply following what I felt, and that became sufficient, and in that way, I regained the sense of myself: Me, here living on the earth with all this mystery, in these terrible times, with my beautiful life.
I redirected us back to the question of how he saw the virus’s affect in Mexico. “I believe the virus is real. I believe it is like a very strong flu. I believe that some will die from it, but most will not. But I believe the Coronavirus won’t be as devastating in Mexico compared with other places. Rodrigo began talking of street dogs, of which I sometimes joke there are more of them in my village, than humans. “Street dogs are strong,” Rodrigo said. “Do you know why?” I nodded no, rapt with attention. “Dogs which are pure bred, that have no other breeds in their line, are weak. The street dogs have some of many types in their genes. And it makes them strong.” He went on. “Mexicans are like the street dogs. We have many races in our blood. There were the Asians from the Orient that came here, later the Spanish, also of course the natives of this land, later more Europeans, and some from Africa as well. You from the States, however, have much less mixing of blood, so you are weaker and more vulnerable.” With fire in his eyes, Rodrigo elaborated on the strength and relative invulnerability of his people. “We are strong here because of how we eat. In your country, you go to the supermarket and you buy canned beans, food that is processed. Here, we go to the market and buy beans that are fresh. Beans that grew here. We buy them today cook them today and they are full of vitality and nourishment. This is how we eat here. We don’t go to the supermarket and buy cans and processed food. So between that and our strong and varied genetics – we are strong and the virus won’t have such a strong effect."
Rodrigo saw the worry on my face. “What about me, though? I’m of European heritage so I’m not as strong as you. What will happen to me? What should I do?" He smiled with a warm glint in his eyes. “Do you go to the supermarket to buy food, Robin?”
“Where do you get your food?”
“Here, in the market.”
“And how many years do you have here, living in this way?”
“Thirteen.” Rodrigo slapped the air with enthusiasm. “You are Mexican, Robin! You are strong! You eat local and fresh food. You’ll be fine!” “But I don’t have your strong genetics, Rodrigo. I’m not as strong as you all.” “That’s true, but you are strong because of the way you live.” Stop worrying was the final message.
I was aware as I listened to Rodrigo pour out his philosophy and perspective that in Mexico, even in my own village, many are choosing processed, pre-packaged foods. Especially in cities where there are supermarkets, people are buying more and more refined, preserved, modified and imported “food.” Hearing Rodrigo speak so emphatically about the living “knowing” of his people and country, I felt a surge of gratitude and pride for the privilege and blessing that I get to live in a place such as this in today’s world. The resounding note of the interaction for me was of pride about how the people live and eat here, and how I too, live and eat. I do feel good about it. Not in an arrogant way, but because it is in alignment with my values and sensitivities. How I live and eat is a reciprocal act of relationship between myself and the livingness (energies, beings, life, nature) of where I live. The plants, animals and I share the same elements. We breathe the same air, drink the same water, are tethered to the same ground, are fed by the light and warmth of the same sun as it shines for us here, bathed and blessed by the same moon as it glows and changes for us. I can conceptualize it like this because I am from the modern western world and am very mental. For them, it simply is. Perhaps that is a gift in what I offer you: I serve as a bridge and gateway, holding out my hand, if you’d like to take it.
This is much of what I share in my memoir, and it is much of why I’m creating retreats where I live – to share the beauty and benefits of this harmonious, healthy, grounded and connected way of being human and on this earth at this time, with YOU. If you’d like to receive updates on the Calling Yourself Home retreats, my book, upcoming courses or are interested in working with me privately, please sign up in the sidebar. Till then, stay safe and strong and connected.
Robin Rainbow Gate
I help people midlife and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow living
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