Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois 

Welcome to the podcast More to Life with Faith and Lois.

 

Faith 

I’m Faith.

 

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

 

Lois 

Hello, Faith and welcome.

 

Faith 

It is the middle of May and I can hardly believe it. But we are looking at having one of those wonderful spring rains, hopefully. And that should make a huge difference in bringing up all these beautiful flowers that are waiting to bloom.

 

Lois 

I just can’t wait. I hope it’s short, sweet, and we get to the warm weather so we can plant which we’re always excited about. And we also want to let you know we are still social distancing. So faith and I are coming to you via zoom and we occasionally have technical issues. So we’re doing our best to work our way through this – thanks for being patient.

 

Faith 

Oh, absolutely. It’s a it’s a sign of the times,

 

Lois 

Boy, is it. And as you all know, if you’ve been listening to more live with faith in Lois, for the past few weeks, we have chosen to really hone in on how this Coronavirus era is impacting you, you know, maybe you’re teaching at home with little ones or teenagers, oh, I just, you know, bless you, or maybe someone in your household is working from home or has lost their job, or maybe you’ve lost your job or you’re managing the care of an older family member. This is a very, very trying time. So you can go to our website www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com and check out all of the other topics surrounding COVID-19 that we’ve been focusing on, or on your favorite podcast platform. And make sure you subscribe, if that’s how you’re listening to us right now. So every week, you can also watch us and hopefully we’ll have really good connection for you on Thursday because you just never know with what’s happening around these times. But we’d love to hear what you think about our videos as well and today We have decided to focus on How to Stay Centered in the Midst of the COVID-19 Storm.

 

Faith 

Because we need to, because if we don’t, we just feel a little Froot Loops. So today Yeah. It’s one of those things where staying centered is knowing again, what works for you and how you can take responsibility for what isn’t working, or your reaction in the moment. And so it’s so important to just hone in on those skills and ways that you know, can work for you to help you through the stormy weather. We are in it, but we can get through it.

 

Lois 

And so we thought we’d hit on a couple of areas that you might be feeling right now as we’re hunkered down in the Coronavirus era. And the first one is How do you stay centered when there is division in your home? Oh my goodness, we all been living within feet of each other for going on eight weeks now Faith, and I don’t care how much you’re in love with the next person next to you, right? It’s challenging work.

 

Faith 

It is very challenging. And even you know that old phrase was said count to 10. Just quietly Take a deep breath and count to 10. That’s a good thing to do. And it’s a great place to start. If you can’t think of anything else. What that does is to give you a break, it gives you that moment before you react. So you can take those few seconds to consider how you want to really respond. taking the time out to say, you know, this isn’t working, I need to take a breather, I’ll come back, I will talk to you. But I need to take a five minute 10 minute 15 minute break, then breathe, take a walk and get centered how you know and oftentimes in the podcast before I’ve said take the break to find that one sentence You really want to say, what is it that you want the other person to hear? communication is the foundation to something working. It’s also bad communication or no communication often results in that great divide that begins to happen in the home.

 

Lois 

Oh, that’s very, very powerful Faith. You know, I come from a big family. So we have people in our home, and not that many people here, but the family that is kind of checking in. So when I think of my home, sometimes I even stretch the boundaries because I get emails on a regular basis. And I love every one of you. And I may not agree with everything I get in those emails from family members, now I’m referring to. So I have really learned that instead of forcing the issue, and trying to make my point clear, I have a choice. I can delete right off the bat, if I know where it’s going. And I disagree. I can just delete it. It’s an email. I can read it. And then I can explore if it’s up More than I want to learn about, but I don’t have to react, respond, send a retort that is possibly very accurate, but it wouldn’t do anything for the relationship. And it’s not that I’m hiding under a bushel and saying, just because we disagree, I don’t have to tell you that most of us know where each of us stands. And I don’t think that’s a big surprise for most people. So I am learning to couch some of my responses very carefully. Not because I’m trying to just give someone a pass for bad behavior or an email I didn’t need, but especially if it’s just an opinion that I don’t have to necessarily respond to. I don’t, and that way, I can still have dinner or have a zoom call meeting with them. And we can talk about other things that we’re doing rather than the elements of something that they’re a message that they’re trying to give me.

 

Faith 

That’s excellent. I mean, those are all skills and ways to deal with the tension that can rise up just a little side note That when there is an intense division that can cause harm, and you feel trapped. And we’ve been reading some of the things about this, I always want to just give a shout out to those who may be in a more stressful and dangerous situation. Please call and please get help. Reach out to a friend reach out to 911 make a phone call to a hotline, do what you need to because division can escalate in situations that haven’t worked and haven’t been working for you for a long time. And just know you, you have every right to be safe, and to know that you can be protected.

 

Lois 

Excellent, excellent. Please take that to heart. Another area of staying centered in the midst of this COVID-19 storm is when stress and conflict erupts in conversations with your friends. So we’ve moved outside of the family area where you know, we want to there’s a reason that we want to keep it all together. But with friends face, I’m finding That there is a real challenge. And as I speak to people who say, you know what, I may have lost a friendship here over this entire Coronavirus pandemic. And it’s startling, and yet I’m hearing it more frequently every week.

 

Faith 

Hmm. I know. And, and it can be to the extreme of where you disagree like you just were sharing. And, and there can be, you know a lot of dissension in how you view what’s going on. But there can also be times I caught myself just recently, I was talking to a good friend about good things. But something kind of got sparked as I was writing this email. And I started venting because I had another issue in the background that I hadn’t quite processed out yet. And so I started venting because I trust this person. And then halfway through, I’m going, what are we doing? This wasn’t even a part of the conversation. So we need to be aware Where when something shifts, and we start moving into another piece, because we’ve opened ourselves up to sharing. And so when I read what I wrote, I immediately deleted it. And I kept all the good that I really started with, because that was the reason for my email, and I got rid of the junk on my event is for myself, and I need to put that over here. I do not need to share that with a friend.

 

Lois 

Well, I mean, Faith to say that out loud, my vent is for myself. That’s huge. And I think if more of us could get to that place where we do keep our events to ourselves, we all have these escape buttons, we can do it, we can write it down like you did that that was your journaling. You know, I think that’s probably what that was. You were just journaling yourself and realize, Oh, they don’t need to hear it. And also gets back to one of the things you and I talked so much about, which is the difference between response and reaction. And so when we get stressed We very easily and we all do, it can slip into the reactionary mode. And that’s where the words that come out, the emotions that come out, contend to harm can hurt can maybe not be taken back the way we would like to. So if there’s a way that you can do what faith was talking about, even in the home situation of breathing, counting to 10, before you have a response, even with a good friend, wow, that can really save a friendship in the long run, because I am finding it very sad to hear that people feel that they’re going to be losing connections with people. This is a tough time already. And to think that in eight weeks, I will lose a friend that I used to have for decades, that’s that that hurts.

 

Faith 

Oh, it hurts and it’s sad and it’s, it doesn’t need to happen. The need to have mutual respect for where people are at and to say, you know what, we’ve always we live in a world of differences and we’ve been doing fine. It’s just just become so polarized. And there’s so much tension in that polarization that I think people feel like, well, I’ve got to take a side, I got to be on one side or the other. And it’s like, No, you don’t. You can, you can have your convictions, maybe leaning to one side more. But, you know, we have all been meant to be fluid and flexible in hearing the hearts and minds and convictions of everyone, and looking truly past that, to who that person really is to you. Because it’s so much more. It is not just about their beliefs and convictions. It’s about their character. It’s about the relationship. It’s about the memories, it’s about the years of investment you’ve put into them. Don’t lose that over polarization.

 

Lois 

Because these are relationships, these are friendships and you know when, when we do begin to ease out of the COVID-19 storm, we’re going to get back To a lot of those discussions about relationships and how important they are. So that’s exactly what you’re bringing up. It’s not just two sides, it’s a whole room full of things that we have in store with people that we care about. So, yes, don’t throw it out, if at all possible at this stage of the game. So how do you step away from trying to convince others to see your point of view, which I will beg might be very correct, but how do you step away in that moment, from doing what you were saying that you don’t have to always react and sometimes even the response can be different, to allow someone to hold a point of view that is vastly different from your own.

 

Faith 

I do my very best about continuing to see that person for who I know them to really be. And I remind myself of their, of all the good things they have done and and the uniqueness and the beliefs and the things that we do have in common that, you know, this whole time of, of tension has not separated us. And so I build on what we do have on the relationship that we have built. And that holds that holds really well. And and then I’m learning for myself, when it’s important to say something and when it’s like, why do I even need to say this, and I’m correcting myself insane. I’m responsible for what comes out of my mouth, or in my writing or in my response, and I’m choosing my words more wisely. I’m finding new language in just presenting more of a question, and more of something to consider, rather than making a statement. And that’s helpful.

 

Lois 

Mm hmm. I like another analogy as well that I have been learning which is, it’s not my story. People have different stories and my story may not be your story may not be another person’s story. So, in sometimes another point of view I get I get shaken up with, but I really say, you know what that is your story and you have every right to believe it and to and to live through it and to live with it. And if there’s a pressure for me to live their story, that’s how I leave it. That’s your story, you get to live it. And what I started doing doing for myself is, I don’t have to bring people into my story. And if they ask questions and faith, I know you would do the same if somebody point blank asks me what I think about a certain thing. I’m not gonna hide, I’ll tell you what I think that doesn’t mean you have to think like I do. You don’t have to come into my story. That’s just where I stand on this. And so I used to believe that I need to convince other people to see things like I thought I knew thing to be And that they were the best way to be. And I have learned over the years that is absolutely the way to lose friendships. So I have stopped trying to convince other people to think like I do, and let them own their own story. And I still have mine. That doesn’t change mine. And I think that’s the beauty. We have our stories and we’re good. I’m good. I’m

 

Faith 

Exactly and, and the beauty of that is it reveals the uniqueness of, you know, all the different aspects of who we are as people. And why would we want to lose that anyway? So yeah, it’s the whole thing about being right and wrong. And it’s not about right and wrong. It’s about different. It’s about unique. It’s about how a person has been raised. It’s about you know, all the things that matter to a person, whether it’s their, you know, their religious beliefs or their convictions or their experiences. We have no idea how Our experiences in life have impacted our conclusion that lead to our convictions. And so we don’t know someone else’s full story as to why they believe the way they do. And yes, there are moral issues and we can make a stand on that. I’ve kind of boiled it down to if I see someone is going to get hurt. That’s when I usually speak up. And so if I see that something that someone is saying is hurting someone else, yeah, that is kind of the motivator for me because I, yeah, that’s kind of my line in the sand. I don’t want to see other people hurt based on what someone believes. But I also don’t want to be that one of the ones that hurts because of what I believe. So I’m constantly weighing how I have to deal with that.

 

Lois 

And the beauty of how you’re expressing this Faith, is that we’re We’re all evaluating as we go. Instead of deciding we have to just announce where we are. We’re using steps, you’re using certain criteria for you to make expressions. And I think that’s, that’s the beauty of a relationship is we value someone else so much that we will weigh those things before we even share it. So our final moment today as we talk about how to stay centered in the midst of the COVID-19 storm is what’s your go to for staying centered? If you are thinking about wanting to be more calm, or more in the moment, what is it that you do to take that action so that it manifests in yourself?

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. First thing I do is breathe. How am I going to how much we have talked so many times on our podcast about the importance of breathing, the deep cleansing breaths of inhaling and exhaling because it it shifts things in my mind. And in my heart, and I can begin to feel myself more centered in my body. And then I will usually drink something like water and take a little bit of walk around the house or outside. And oftentimes would just get something to eat a snack because all of those things are grounding me. And then I make a decision, what am I going to do about this? And most often, I go and I start writing, and I will write about it or I will express myself in that way. And if David’s around and available, I will talk with him, because he’s a safe person for me to share what’s going on inside of me, or I’ll call a friend or when we get together, we update each other on what’s been happening. All of those things are releases to kind of purge the built up energy that can come when we get set off.

 

Lois 

Oh, I love all of those things. And, and we Faith and I have been working together so long that we’ve just started mimicking each other as to how we start to ground ourselves. You know, really, we’ve talked so much about this, and we do it, whether it’s through the body scan and really checking what’s going on. But breathing is the very, very first thing, one of my sons gets on the phone with me and he’ll actually do that he’ll take a deep breath. And at first I used to think it was so funny, but I realized that no matter what’s going on, then in his space where he is, we can start a conversation by being more grounded. And when you talk about being grounded, I touched my fingers. I touched the counter that I’m at, I stand you know, I put my feet on to remind myself I’m here. I get to choose what I’m going to do next and when I’m going to do it next. And I love when you talk about a safe place because we all need safe places. There are people with a we can share all of our wild and crazy thoughts or ideas and when we get frustrated And we need those people by the way, and don’t ever lose out. And if that person is your journal, use your journal because it is very good to get those things out. That’s how I can stay centered. It doesn’t mean you hold it all in because we’re trying to make sure that nobody gets offended. That’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about centering ourselves so that we can breathe and go back into the world, go back into our own lives, go back into our work, feeling like we’re not a rudderless ship, feeling like we’ve got some, you know, breath around us and context and it’s just, it’s a great place to be and you have to take a few moments to get there. Or Yes, you’ll end up you know, flailing.

 

Faith 

Yes. And then we have to go back to step one of how do we deal with the division? Yeah.

 

Lois 

That’s true. Yes. All cyclical folks. By the way, if any of you really does need to talk and there is something going on first of all faith did really mentioned that there’s a huge crisis in play for you. Please do call 911. And if you do need someone to talk to and you don’t have someone safe, please reach out to either faith or myself. Faith is a registered psychotherapist, I’m a certified life coach, and we would love to walk through and be on this journey with you. Because our primary goal with mortal life is to remind you that you are not alone.

 

Faith 

This Coronavirus era can bring out huge emotions within yourself and within those who care deeply about

 

Lois 

Finding a way to respond versus reacting in that moment, and practicing ways to stay centered will go a long way to maintaining your sanity.

 

Faith 

You are not alone. And we are here if you need to talk

 

Lois 

And join us next week when we explore another facet of how we are managing life in these challenging times.

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen.

 

Lois 

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality or your craft.

 

Faith 

We are here to assure you, there was always more to life.

 

Lois 

We’ll be back next week.