• Ren Lewis

Grow through the storm

Coping and Rediscovery in the "New Norm"

A few days ago someone shared a thought with me. It was both a thought and a challenge posed in a question:

"Will you go through the storm, or will you grow through it?"

Bang! I thought.

What a question.

We are now in week five of a new reality. A reality that not a single one of us imagined on the night of Dec 31, 2019.

This was definately not the reality I had when I was making my #2020Vision goals, and plotting out the first quarter of my year. This is not even something I could imagine if I tried to be as creative as possible.

Here we find ourselves. Mid-april 2020, in the midst of a pandemic.

Shopping in grocery stores 6-feet apart from each other.

Choosing virtual backgrounds on Zoom ( which I didn't even existed until 4 weeks ago)

Lathering our hands with sanitizer the moment they touch outdoor air.

And using the new everyday lingo: social distancing, isolation, pandemic

Schools are closed.

Malls are closed.

Parks are silent.

No traffic + cheapest gas ever+ nowhere to go (ah, the paradoxes of life)

We are now playing the role of employee, business owner, parent, teacher all day, everyday.

But as we adapt to this new way of living, I ask you what I asked myself.

Are you growing?

How will you come out of all of this?

Will you be stronger and further ahead then before, or worse?

The Cold Hard Truth.

It's hard to see yourself when your "crazy busy."

Trust me. I am the queen of "crazy busy."

Until 5 weeks ago, when life as I knew it transformed into a dystopian Narnia of sorts.

My world slowed down. Like literal slow motion.

At first it was strange, but to be honest, I found a silver lining in the extra time to just think. And today five weeks later I still find myself there. Searching for the silver lining. Trying to make the most of everyday, now that I don't have the "I just don't have any time" excuse. Because now, I have all the time in the world.

The first thing I learned in all this was how unnecessary most of the things I was doing really were.

All the running around, all the idea-hopping, all the spending, and planning. A lot of it was just really me running.

Moving does not mean advancing.

I learned that earlier this year, when my father taught me as he walked in a circle and said " I'm moving right?"

and I nodded "Yes."

"But I'm not advancing." he said

"I'm just going in circles."

We cannot be fooled by tasks, and ideas that we are moving our lives forward.

A lot of the times the excess just keeps us going in circles.

Since this period of isolation, I have never spent more quality time with my kids outside of the first few weeks they were born.

I am eating healthier, because I'm not eating fast food. I

have more time to be fit, and I am actively working towards fitness goals.

I am less stressed, not burdened with the pressure of having to pack up the kids to drop them everywhere, all the time.

And above all, I have time to reflect.

Time to understand what and how I need to change.

And I am not in a rush.

I can take my time and become a little bit better at my responsibilities, everyday.

So when I heard this statement:

"Grow through the Storm" it instantly resonated.

Because it is very possible to go through all of this and come out worse then when I went in.

It's all just a matter of perspective.

Perspective Matters.

You've heard it time and time again.

You can choose to see the best in circumstances, or the worst.

It's always easy to see the worst.

They always feed us the bad news on TV.

When you turn it on 680 its always bad news.

Negative people around you then remind you of the bad news the heard and how hard it is.

I'm not here to tell you that being home 24/7 is easy.

Or that COVID-19 isn't claiming the lives of thousands of people who have families who loved and cared for them.

Or that front liners aren't risking their lives daily to fight this horrible disease.

Or that the economy isn't upside down.

This is not a light matter.

These are truly unprecendented and dark times.

But what we fail to see is that adversity is around us all the time.

The pandemic is highlighting these new set of challenges we are dealing with.

But believe me, adversity was always there, before all of this set in, and it will still be there when this all goes away.

We have to develop resiliency.

We have to become tougher.

We have to be able to withstand.

We have to be able to see the good in the bad.

Or else life will be a sorrowful, wallowing journey- and I don't know about you but I can't live like that.


In spite of it all, my challenge to you today is this.

Don't go through it. Grow through it.

You have the time. You have the ability. You are capable. You are intelligent. You have goals and ideas and dreams. Chip away at them, a little at a time.

Don't look for major results, or "big" things.

As we can see, the world is a delicate place.

Things can change here very quickly and unexpectedly.

So don't be so hung up on the all the stuff in the big blue ball.

Instead, be hung up about love.

Be hung up about the people that matter the most around you.

Be hung up about being a better person, with a kind heart.

Be hung up about making someone else feel special.

Everything else, is just temporary.



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