Although perhaps not an ideal example, the response to COVID-19 has shown us the power of collective thought and attention. All over the world, COVID-19 is at the front of everyone’s minds and the primary topic of conversation. While many of us are making efforts to minimize and be mindful of how we consume news, it’s nearly impossible to push this pandemic from our thoughts altogether.
What we can do is try to reframe how we think about this crisis and begin visualizing how our societies will move forward. COVID-19 has forced us to confront some of humanity’s worst qualities — greed, overconsumption, individualism — but we are also seeing hope, support, and community emerge. Instead of focusing on the negative, we can make an effort to call in what we want to see more of.
One of the top recommendations for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds at a time. To measure 20 seconds, people have been advised to sing the “Happy Birthday” jingle twice, to sing the chorus of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret,” and other songs.
But what if we spent this time — time that could foreseeably add up to minutes per day and hours per month — affirming that we are well, that we are protected, and that we are taking this tragedy as an opportunity to be better to one another and to be kinder to the planet that we live on? It stands to argue that if hundreds or thousands or even millions of us followed this advice, that we could shift our global mindset from one that is panicked and afraid to one that is resourceful and optimistic.
Below are 20-second mantras and manifestations to repeat while washing your hands. If you’re washing your hands in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes as you say these words. Say them with purpose, with conviction, and with as much faith as you can muster.
I do not fear the unknown. The unknown is a place for me to create within, a place for me to find inspiration, to hold onto hope, to fill with love and compassion. (Repeat 2x)
I love taking care of myself, my home, my community, and the earth. I do this by being kind to myself, by being kind to those around me, and by being kind to the earth. (Repeat 2x)
I am capable of protecting myself and others through small and intentional acts. I am powerful beyond measure and I am stepping into that power more and more every day. (Repeat 2x)
It feels so good to cleanse myself of what is unneeded: unneeded germs and bacteria, unneeded anxiety and stress, unneeded fears and resentments. By doing this I am helping to keep myself and others safe.
I am sending love, peace, and good health to myself. I am sending love, peace, and good health to my loved ones. I am sending love, peace, and good health to my community. I am sending love, peace, and good health to my city. I am sending love, peace, and good health to my country. I am sending love, peace, and good health to the world.
I am so grateful to have the means to take care of myself. I am grateful for running water. I am grateful for soap that allows me to keep myself and my spaces clean. I am grateful for access to information so that I can move forward with knowledge. I am grateful for the food and shelter that allow me to remain nourished and safe. I am sending compassionate support to anyone who lacks these essentials.
As you wash your hands, use these visualization prompts to help manifest a better future:
Visualize yourself reading good news. You might envision governments, wealthy companies, and individuals providing financial and medical support to vulnerable populations. You might imagine treatment or vaccines being created. Perhaps you foresee societies successfully coming out the other end of this pandemic more connected and supportive than they were before. You might picture the social quarantine being lifted and how it will feel to reunite with friends and loved ones.
Visualize the society that you have always wanted. It’s possible that things will never return to the way they once were, but perhaps we can take that as an opportunity to shift our behaviors to be more sustainable and supportive and interconnected. You might visualize new regulations and practices that support the environment. You might picture more compassionate immigrant policies and open borders. You might envision a society where law enforcement can be trusted and police brutality does not exist. You might picture a healthcare system that provides affordable care to all people and jobs that pay fair wages to all of their workers. Allow yourself to get creative.
What would a perfect day look like to you? Perhaps you are enjoying a sunny day at the beach with friends. Maybe you are eating delicious food at your favorite restaurant. Maybe you are traveling to explore somewhere new. Picture it in detail and affirm that this will be a reality soon.
Lift up the elderly, immune-compromised, and disabled people in your communities and abroad. Take a deep breath, filling your lungs with air, and focus on sending love and support to these people. Affirm that their lives are valuable and needed. Commit to following the recommendations that will help keep them safe and healthy.
Picture communities rising up from this crisis stronger than before. Envision people helping one another, shopping for their elderly or sick neighbors, babysitting children to give parents a break, sharing resources, and entertaining each other in creative and unexpected ways.
After you have finished your mantra and/or visualization, spend some time thinking about what you personally can do to make some of these dreams a reality. You have just demonstrated to yourself through this simple act of washing your hands that small acts can add up to make a difference. What else can you do to support the future you’re hoping to manifest?
Feature image by @kiwibravo