It Is OK to Not Be OK


By Deirdre L. Jones-Lowman

The COVID-19 pandemic has truly changed the way we interact with our neighbors and family. It has changed the way we view education, finances, entertainment, sports, fine dining, and other aspects of life that we have unwittingly taken for granted. The pandemic is also an opportunity to reset and discover what it is about ourselves and our neighbors that makes us so dependent on one another for our survival. Many are suffering from emotional, psychological, and mental-related anxieties which impact our everyday living. Everyday living includes how we work, how we interact with our family, how we view the world, how we choose or not  to visit the grocery store, what we choose to wear, how we spend, and how we choose to congregate. Our responses to these considerations are our new normal. 

It Is OK to Not Be OK

The social ills exposed by the Corona virus pandemic have also unburied systemic racism and discrimination—long held as nonexistent, disappearing, or occasional.  Biases, both implicit and direct, are magnified under the COVID-19 microscope. Destitution, poverty, hopelessness, and disempowerment are also illumined and positioned under the microscopic lens of a leaderless society. Four years ago, Colin Kapernick took a knee as a personal, peaceful protest over the treatment of black men and the mistreatment by police. As a result, he lost his job at the height of his career. George Floyd, on the other hand, at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, lost his life at age 47 years old—death—by—cop, which is exactly why Kapernick is protesting.  Right now, there is little respect for peaceful protests. And peaceful protests nationwide have now been infiltrated by agitators who do not seek peace at all.  

It Is OK to Not Be OK

Racism is alive and rampant; led, by the leader of the free world, who shirks morality and ethical behavior for godless power. And perpetuates mistrust and miscommunication while placating the radical behaviors of an antiquated and right-winged political base. There are countless examples of the -isms poking their ugly heads out through masked and covered faces, gloved and anti-bacterial laced hands but being captured by the ubiquitous mode of social media and cell phones. Another example fresh on the minds of most, is the white woman weaponizing her femininity and whiteness. Last month, a law-abiding African American man, a citizen of the State of NY, calmly asked a white woman to abide by the laws of the New York Central Park system. He was immediately villainized, by indignant white woman privilege. Her words and hysterical actions clearly demonstrate a white consciousness, that in her world, the safety of her femininity and whiteness would prevail over his blackness, in the eyes of law enforcement. People are tired!  

So…Where Do You Turn?  To Life Coaching with Coach Deirdre

Working with a life coach helps to minimize stressors while maximizing the inner strength and resilience we all possess. As a life coach, I am also feeling the pressure of the unknown. There is dis-ease happening in the world right now—sickness, poverty, racism, death, loss of connection, worry, isolation, loneliness, fear, anxiety, anger, uncertainty, and  sadness. As a mental wellness professional, I recognize signs of anxiousness and helplessness. Despite it all, I advocate for hope and encouragement.  Life coaching is an ongoing, therapeutic support resource that helps to reframe events, ideas and thoughts into a mindful, reflective and co-developed plan of action. The Pay It Forward Initiative Life Coaching and Mentoring Service uses the practice of mindfulness to allow for a conscious reflection of what is happening right now, an acceptance of things we cannot change, and a renewed self-awareness.  Coaching opens up your body, mind, and spirit.  Coaching allows you to accept where you are today, learn to be patient with oneself, and create a plan for where you want to go and how to get there.   We should be reminded that although it is ok to not be ok, we are going to be OK. We will adapt to the new normal, rebuild our communities, rebrand ourselves, navigate our lives and families through the COVID pandemic.  Moreover, we will stand UNITED against racial injustices prevalent in our United States.

Hashtags #choosingourvictoryincovidtimes #blacklivesmatter #standunited #georgefloyd #takechargemoveforward #blackouttuesday #govote

Deirdre L. Jones-Lowman, Ph.D (c), M.B.A. is the Founder and Managing Director of the Pay It Forward Life Coaching and Mentoring Services; division of DJ Squared Consultative Group, Inc.® a Career and Life Management Company.  She is a professional life coach, motivational speaker and contributing writer on women’s mental health and wellness and a self-care advocate.

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