NOW ON CONTACT
By Scott Ford
Q: How to cultivate resilience during times of crisis?
To cultivate resilience during times of crisis, we first need to know what we mean by “resilience,” and then we have to define the crisis during which we are cultivating resilience.
Resilience is about returning to your original state after being disturbed, or in the case of the COVID pandemic – our current world disturbance - resilience is about the citizenry of the world returning to its original state after being ravaged by a deadly plague. There is no doubt that the world’s citizenry will eventually bounce back from this global crisis, the question is, what will the state of the world’s citizenry look like post COVID-19?
It will never look the same as it looked pre--virus, but the world’s citizenry can use this time of disturbance to impact what it will look like post-virus. Not only can we, as global citizens bounce back to the state we were in before social-distancing became a survival necessity, but we can potentially bounce back to a more expanded state that includes the best of our pre-COVID state, but then transcends our earlier state with the addition of new life practices developed during this time of separation and loss. If we are going to bounce back, let’s bounce back better.
This time of crisis is also an opportunity for personal development in areas that are often overlooked in our daily routines. Example: the daily routines of athletes and coaches whose lives have been severely impacted by COVID-19. No more daily practices where we can develop the exterior dimensions of our game with fellow teammates or hitting partners. Social-distancing has a negative impact on our athletic lives. But the positive impact of social-distancing is that it gives us a chance to be alone with ourselves and develop the interior dimensions we have been overlooking. Resilience being one of those interior dimensions, particularly relevant during this temporary disturbance of our daily athletic routines.
How can we develop our interior dimension of resilience as we simultaneously do battle with a relentless enemy who demands exterior separation?
Meditation, mindfulness, visualization, imagery rehearsal, and other tried-and-true practices can be used to develop your interior resiliency, but you can also include an exterior practice that simultaneously develops your interior dimensions, resiliency included.
I call it “The Now Drill,” and it is a simple practice of saying “NOW” at the exact moment you contact an object with your hands. Not before contact. Not after contact. But exactly at the moment of contact between hand and object, say or think “NOW.”
Now on Contact. A simple practice that is far from easy.
Why do The Now Drill? Because it consistently brings us back to the present moment. And “presence” is our default human condition. Our condition prior to the disturbances of past and future thinking. And if resilience has an interior condition, it is one of interior presence to match the exterior presence of our bodies. Thinking about the past or the future while our bodies are in the present is not a state of body-mind unification, not a state of body-mind presence.
Saying or thinking “Now on Contact” is a simple practice that includes both the exterior presence of physically contacting an object and the interior presence of being mentally aware of that moment of contact. The body-mind in the present at the present moment of contact between self and other.
Developing a state of flowing, moment-to-moment, body-mind presence is also developing a state of flowing, moment-to-moment body-mind resilience. In short, practicing flowing presence is practicing flowing resilience, social-distancing included.
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