Taking Care Of Ourselves Happily

Posted by Ana Valdes on Apr 16, 2020
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I live in Manila, and I have a friend, a fellow teacher, who lives in Lombardi, northern Italy, the ground zero, of the covid virus in Europe. My friend teaches dance, English, and Spanish. I have her permission to share a letter of one of their parents.

Good evening:) once again I would like to say massive thank you to you and to all the teachers for all you are doing in these difficult circumstances. You help us parents enormously to keep our children mentally healthy and stimulated in these drastic conditions. I can only imagine that it’s not easy as it it never was in your “job description “ ...:) so once again big thank. It’s not crucial for me that you teach one more thing academically ...and this is why:

Just by showing up, by checking in, by caring enough to do this freaking IMPOSSIBLE job - you've already taught her the only things I really wanted her to get out of school.

You've taught her that people are flexible - they adapt to new things.
You've taught her that people will show up for them even when it's hard.
You've taught her that communities work together for the greater good.
You've taught her the world is a good place.
That even when circumstance are scary, people are good.
You've loved her enough to be there - and that's all any of us can do, is love each other through this.


Inspired by this, when Manila, went into lockdown on March 14, I began daily zoom calls with staff and artists. I felt it was important to meet in a circle, and catch the moments, the unplanned crises and spontaneous gifts that erupt from such an explosion. We are all grieving, and in confusion. But we are also-- all transforming, digging deeper into ourselves for our higher selves, our inner lights. At our daily circles, we asked 3 questions:

1. How are you? This means, how did you sleep?
2. What was transformative yesterday? This can be a highlight or a challenging experience.
3. After listening to everyone…What is your integration? (Who do you connect to? How do you hold the dots discussed today?)

Sometimes with tears of loss, many times we sat in silence, and other times, we laughed in disbelief at our vulnerability. After 2 weeks, I yearned for silence. Holy Week / Passover came in perfect time for isolation and prayer. Both movements are healing. Like, we “walk out” and “walk on” when the movement nudges. The “walk out” can be a deliberate, act of surrender and defeat and the “walk on” could be taking on a hope filled new breath. Both are part of the dance we make in our cocoon, shedding one form and taking on another.

I saw a Metta Mantra, “May all beings take care of themselves, happily”. It is that time, and I pray I can help you take care of yourself, happily.

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Comments (2)

  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...

    Thank you for this piece, Ana. Resonates deeply, especially the bit where the need for self-retreat comes up after time spent holding space together. We walk-out, we walk-on: yes :)

  • Peggy Kober wrote ...

    Beautiful reminder that what we appreciate, appreciates in value. My heart is warmed by your share and inspires me to appreciate sooo many actions done in faith and love. Namaste.Write a comment ...