We first saw the Earth rise in 1968 when Apollo 8 Astronaut Bill Anders captured it on film. The iconic photo that brought inspiration to the first Earth Day 50 years ago can still inspire awe.  We see in it that our precious planet is home.

This year, the Coronavirus brings us new thoughts of how closely we are connected in our droplets of breath. So connected are we in fact, that we have found it necessary to stand together by standing apart.

For safety and survival, we need physical distance, but not social distance. This distinction speaks to our being a social species who need human connection with others to remain healthy.  You are social when you gather virtually with your family, save your newspapers to give to a friend, or wave at a neighbor while at least 6 feet apart.

Take a deep breath and reassure yourself that you can touch each other socially and spiritually at a safe physical distance. In a sweet, but strange way, one of the closest things you can do is to maintain that distance.  You may need emotional balance and support as you practice “stay home stay safe”.

Yes, we are all in this together, but each of us is in this in a different way. Some of you have children at home, some live alone. Some of you are working virtually for the first time, or not working at all. Some of you are self-quarantining, and some are taking care of loved ones.

Some of you may have lost family members, friends or patients.  Let’s all pause, give thanks for those lives, lost too soon, and give care to those who mourn.

Join me in thanking our doctors and nurses, hospital staff, fire-fighters and police officers, bus drivers and waste collectors who help us.  Thanks too for our farmers, truck drivers, grocers, take-out restaurants, and food banks who keep us fed. Thank our local and state governments, our news reporters and our mail carriers who keep us informed.  Thank our online musicians, faith communities, and mental health professionals who keep us connected.

It also is time to connect with the Earth. There is peace and strength to be found in the trees, the birds and the soil. Remember the visionaries who pushed our national government to create the Environmental Protection Agency. Thank you to environmental organizations, including those led by our children, that continue the legacy of protection today.

Since your safety and mine are important, and since our Governor gave the order to “Stay Home Stay Safe”, I too have moved my psychotherapy and hypnosis practice to a virtual format.

In addition, I am now offering a free, interactive webinar, Caring Connections during the Coronavirus. Ask yourself – would healing conversation, tips for taking care of myself and my family, plus inspiration for balancing my body and spirit be helpful?  Would giving myself time with a caring presence, calming practices, and creative pondering be restorative? If the answer is yes, then join me. If you know of others who might also benefit, share this resource with them.

While I am providing this resource for the community during this uncertain time, this webinar does not take the place of psychotherapy or hypnosisContact me if you need more in-depth help, or feel free to pass my name along if you know of someone who can benefit.

My hope is that these resources can help you breathe more deeply and ground more soundly on Earth Day and beyond.