I am a futurist, therapist, and leadership coach, and also a parent, partner, uncle and brother. Born and raised in Santa Paula, I view our families as one of our greatest resources we have to survive and thrive during these challenging times.
Growing up in our Santa Clara River Valley, my experience included the best practices of extended families. I respected every adult in our church as an uncle or aunt, my mother extended care to elders in our neighborhood, and being familia meant you supported each other without being asked. During difficult times of illness and unemployment, I remember we found ways to support each other.
Today, during these times of the COVID-19 Virus we need to creatively find ways to balance safe distance and care for our families and neighbors. As a family household we met to determine our plan for maintaining a virus-free home. We periodically take meals to our elderly neighbors. Yesterday, we invited our nephew over who recently moved here from Kansas to be an elementary school teacher. He is alone and knows few people. We shared a meal utilizing safety precautions and then did a walk-and-talk through our neighborhood. Today, my brother came over wearing his mask to repair our kitchen sink and other items needing attention. We were able to hire him, enjoyed his company, and feel delighted about the repairs. Families can still find ways to support each other.
Reflecting on my experience and the best practices of our families, I have the following 8 suggestions to aide our families and communities to survive and thrive.
- Talk! Get your family, household, or team together to talk! Talk about your feelings and then how you are going to support each other. Listen to each other and develop agreements to ensure health, survival, and joy.
- Decide on “hope.” Decide to be the force of positivity for yourself and family. Decide to hope for the best and then to follow-through with actions to make it happen. Our every action can be to create the life we desire, yet it begins with hope and vision to keep us inspired and focused.
- Get super healthy! When you think health include attitude, mind, body, immune system, and spirit. Eat, sleep, meditate or pray, and move to optimize your energy. Consider yoga or Tai Chi to feel your best!
- Live love. Our human purpose is to become our best person. Let’s do it beginning with loving ourselves and our families. In this way we also raise the vibration of love in the world.
- Survival learning. Learn as much survival knowledge and skills that you can! How to cook, raise food, make your body healthy, fix things, optimize your money, and make the technologies offered by our computers and phones work to maintain our family connection.
- Make conversations meaningful. Life is too precious to not enjoy. Make all your conversation with family and others meaningful by listening, sharing truth, and exploring mutual support. Share to honestly know each other deeper and to find ways to make each other smile.
- Commit to Life. Feel your deepest gratitude for life and commit to doing everything possible to sustain life for yourself and others. Do all that you can to stay virus free for yourself, loved ones, and our communities. Also, commit to a lifestyle and actions to make the positive change required to ensure a healthy world.
- Support responsible leaders. We need leaders who care about all families regardless how rich or poor. Our need is for thousands of more responsible leaders within our communities, business, and government who are committed to create good for all people. Either step up to provide this responsible leadership or support others who are committed to health and wellness for all people and our Mother Earth.