By Coach Cary Bayer

“The farther you go, the less you know.
Thus the sage knows without traveling.”—Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

After abusing Nature in myriad ways, it’s quite clear that Nature has sent humanity one of its nastiest curve balls ever—the Coronavirus. Is this a direct response from Nature? One would have to be God to answer that question definitively. Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most probing investigators into the working of the Universe, however, did discover in his Third Law of Motion that, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Much of humanity’s unconscious and greedy actions have destroyed 83 percent of all wild animals and half of plants, while an additional 1 million species are threatened with extinction. Since 1993 alone, mankind has destroyed 10 percent of all wilderness areas. We’ve already seen that climate change has produced some of the most unusual weather patterns and natural disasters ever.  

And now we have a contagious virus that gets passed socially from people who don’t even know they have it to people who don’t know they’ve got it for perhaps two weeks. The U.S. has wisely recommended social distance—more precisely physical distance—to prevent its spread. (Social connection is even more important now than ever before through phone, Facebook, and Skype, among other platforms.) 

By drawing on Newton’s law of action and reaction, I’m not suggesting that Nature is punishing us. While religions have sold this fear-based worldview for millennia, I don’t think that’s how the Universe operates. If the doctor bangs your knee with a hammer your knee reacts. It’s a reflex that’s entirely natural. If you bang Nature with pollutants in the air and the water, destroy Her species, and fill Her oceans with plastic that kills Her fish, and Her knee reacts naturally. It’s not punishment, just non-judgmental karmic response.

Stress on the Rise

Tensions, understandably, are running at a fevered pitch on several fronts:

  1. Fear of contracting this deadly virus, especially if your work puts you into direct contact with many people.
  2. Loss of regular income due to working at jobs where your employer is forced to close—like restaurants, hotels, cruise lines, and entertainment venues like theater, opera, concerts, amusement parks, and sporting events, among others.
  3. Watching your stock investments plummet.

The Opportunity in Isolation

The Chinese character for crisis is often interpreted as also signifying opportunity. As uncomfortable as staying at home and avoiding people is, there are some terrific opportunities offered. There’s a big difference between staying inside your home and going within yourself. Especially if it’s going to your higher Self, located at the transcendental part of your mind, in the changeless, timeless realm within you that’s completely isolated from the changing world.

I’ve practiced and taught Transcendental Meditation (TM) for decades, and also practiced and taught Higher Self Healing Meditation, which I launched 10 years ago, and I can say from direct experience how profoundly calm the meditation experience can be and how much stress it releases. Scientific research on TM has found that it produces a level of rest that’s qualitatively twice as deep as the deepest point in a night’s sleep, as measured by oxygen consumption.

Since fear causes stress and is, in turn, fueled by it, profoundly reducing stress can have a major impact on the fear that’s gripping and paralyzing so many millions of Americans. Learning meditation doesn’t require doing it in large classes; I teach more people on Skype than I do in person. 

Meditation and other forms of holistic stress-busting methods, of course, aren’t designed to do anything about the loss of paychecks and collapsing investments. But the extra free time that quarantine provides, however, does offer you opportunities to create a part-time business that can augment your paycheck when you can return to work, and maybe even replace it if you grow it significantly enough.

Family Connecting

Spending nearly all of your time at home with your family gives you the chance to connect with one another on much deeper levels. A full-time life coach since 2001, I’ve seen, to my disappointment, just how poorly people express love for their loved ones. A case in point: Years ago I taught my “Secret of Successful Relationships” workshop in Baton Rouge to 25 people. Two of them were married to one another 50 years. After practicing a 2-minute appreciation technique that I’d just taught them, the wife shared how her husband had just said something very loving to her that he’d never shared in 50 years, and which he just shared in 50 seconds. The method I taught them isolated them from everything else for those 2 minutes. Coronavirus is now isolating us from everything else for weeks—or more at a time. So, the opportunity is here for you now—the time is there and the lack of interruption is there—to more deeply love and communicate to those who are the most important people in your life.

While a pandemic is filled with dark, frightening clouds, it also offers some silver linings if you choose to take advantage of them. When children misbehave badly, loving mothers put them in “timeout” to cool out and calm down. When children of the Earth misbehave badly, loving Mother Nature invites us to do the same.