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The Best Option Is Hope

No question, this is an unprecedented time in our planet's history. Most were no more prepared for this than they'd be for aliens to land...but some of us saw this coming. Humans like routine and covet their freedom, especially when it has been hard-won. The grief cycle comes to mind in the case of this pandemic, and we are suffering a loss that will affect every single human being on the planet for decades to come. It is a loss of the life we knew, a journey down an uncharted path, fear that shakes one to the bone, and that light at the end of the tunnel may not yet be apparent. Some will go kicking and screaming, "I can't wait for us to get back to normal!". Some will sit passively and wait for the leader of the pack to pick up the stick and begin poking at the ground; but some (like myself) will ask, "What kind of Phoenix can I create/become from these ashes?"
The 5 Stages of the Grief cycle are:
1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance. People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them.
The reason I mention this is that currently we are in the Denial stage, although I have seen some evidence of Anger, Bargaining, Depression,and even Acceptance (albeit not many). Where you fall on this cycle, just know that what you are experiencing is normal and necessary to your own personal process. Do not judge yourself or others. Unify and support.
Allowing for our paths to be redirected (by the Divine) is of the utmost importance. I often say that God/Divine makes no mistakes. I could repeat this until everyone's ears hurt; but the bottom line is, waking up from that 'dream' of safety and sameness as somehow being ideal and at the root of fulfillment is so necessary. Embracing the potential of this life-altering event NEEDS to happen for each and every one of us, for a very highly-directed reason.
But, will you allow this pivotal moment in time to authentically touch your deepest recesses?
Do you remember how it felt on the morning of your birthday when you were a child? Or Christmas(insert your own holiday here)? The anticipation? What happened to us as we grew up? We lost the wonder, the curiosity, the HOPE. We traded it for sameness, safety, routine, predictability, the 9-5 guarantee of that routine being solidified for the next 50-60 years of our lives. The adventurers became couch potatoes that stress eat or overindulge in other detriments in order to block out that loss of life force and joy. So here we are.

But the secret is:

Not the fear, stress, self-destructive aspect, no....what we were built for is SURVIVAL! And if you look back over the last 500 or 1000 years, we've done it quite well. But it does take its toll on the inner self, and this is why experienced spiritual guides and teachers are necessary, to not only lead us through, but to shine a light and offer some well-worn stories of hope as we move forward together.
In studying Spiritual Direction, I found that one of the most important tools to learning how to assist the client on their own journey was examining my own weaknesses, and working to overcome my physical world limitations & fears. This involved years of devotional study, and through the fire emerged a strong, resilient, capable woman. With the work I do, I offer you the opportunity to reach your own place of strength and resilience, and most of all, a connection with the Divine that will be the inner rock you turn to when world events such as a pandemic or even war, occur.
I am human, of course, but in some very specific ways I am unlike you. No, I did not say better than you, simply 'Different'. I have taken and still take, an active role in self-examination and inner growth, and I understand my soul's purpose intimately. It is important to note that the illusion is that we are just physical. Yes, the body can be harmed or done away with, but the truth is, there is a part of us that is sacred, holy, eternal. It is the Soul, the consciousness that cannot ever be destroyed. Additionally, whether we like it or not, whether we choose to acknowledge or resist it, we are not independent of the Creator. We are immersed in the Divine.
In order to assimilate anything new into your life, you will have to take your stake out of the old game, your hands off the moldy pie, and suspend all beliefs formulated by and fed to you by the limited world of human routine and ritual. THIS, dear friends, is what my life's journey has led me to.....this exact place, of assisting others in reaching their own inner sanctuary thru having personally experienced the crashing down and rising back up like the mythic Phoenix through the years. 
So as we crash and burn, notice that you are the observer rather than the effigy set ablaze. You stand at a distance with the Divine at your side, and although you can feel this happening within you as well as observing it externally, you possess an understanding that you, that the very life force that you are, will always, always emerge and rebuild. 
Athena, stand up tall, consult with Wise Owl, and fortify your inner troops. This battle is not the end of you, it is but a beginning. Our Creator is just waiting for us to notice!
I invite you to contact me if you need assistance at this time, and remember, WE WERE BUILT FOR TIMES LIKE THIS!
Reverend Paula
***Thank you to Robert, Caroline & Gregg for being the inspiration for my own growth and my service to this planet.

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