I recently had Covid. The experience brought some unpleasant sensations and challenges, but it also brought rich, unexpected blessings. I’ll share my experience with you here. Particularly, what I discovered about clearing space, within and without, to create more joy, ease, and a deeper alignment with Self.

This clearing, re-evaluating, and re-aligning is perfect for the season of winter and for the end of the year. It is also aligned with the astrology of this month (read here for more about that).

By sharing my experience, I hope to inspire and support you in your own process of making space for joy, so that you can live more artfully and soulfully, with flow and peace.

My Time of Illness

For me, the period of illness lasted about two weeks, a nasty flu. I had a low to moderate fever for ten days and was so tired I couldn’t do anything but sleep and rest all day and night. Somewhere in the middle I lost my sense of smell and some of my sense of taste. Taste returned quickly. Smell is returning in bits and pieces, oddly, but has mostly returned. At the end I got some irritation in my bronchia, which is still bothering me a bit. This is my experience. Each person who gets Covid has their own symptoms, process, time frame, and experience. My husband only had tiredness and body aches for five days. Nothing else, no lingering symptoms.

As I write this, it has been three and half weeks since I got sick. My energy and strength isn’t 100% back, but it’s probably 90%. I’m taking walks, raking leaves in the yard, decorating the house for the holidays, and able to work all day.

A Giant Reset

What happened internally was more interesting. It was as if someone pressed a giant reset button. I had a lot of time to consider my life, my activities, my relationships, my projects, my habits. It became clear what was causing stress and what was missing.

In the middle of being sick, my birthday happened. I reached out on Facebook and asked people close to me to call me. I have felt so isolated during the pandemic, and I hate that people barely seem to use the phone anymore. It’s all texting, messaging, emailing, posting. I miss deeper connections, hearing people’s voices, having a conversation. I got so many lovely phone calls from friends and family. It’s been a rich gift.

I also realized I needed to get out more, do more things, see people, live my life. I’m a actively seeking out what deeply nourishes me in body, mind, heart, and spirit.

Decluttering to Discover Joy

And I got inspired to do some decluttering. I used Marie Kondo’s process on my clothing, taking everything out of the dresser and closet and laying it on the bed. Then, picking up each piece to see if it sparks joy. I got rid of an entire big garbage bag full of clothes, and only kept what truly feels good. My dresser and closet feel so radiant and spacious now. I feel joy every time I open them to choose what to wear.

So, I took the same approach to my life. What sparks joy? Which activities, which habits, which thoughts, which projects? What are my priorities now and for the new year? What’s most important? What still feels alive to me in my heart and soul? What do I wish to keep and what am I ready to let go of?

When I first started to get well, I felt disoriented and depressed for a few days. Who am I? What matters? What is worth my energy and attention? I wasn’t sure. Even about my regular spiritual practices. Was I just doing them in a rote way? I had to find my way back to what was true and meaningful for me. I gave it time and was open to new feelings, needs, ideas. I waited for the spark of inspiration, joy, or feeling drawn to something.

A Huge Blessing

Since then, I find I am doing my work and living my life with so much more ease, relaxation, trust, and joy. I feel a quiet peace and centeredness, and allow myself to move more slowly, do less, care for my body, heart, and soul throughout my day. I am also more comfortable with the still-open questions, trusting the answers to come to me in time, resting in the gap. It’s a huge blessing.

I have been having so much fun decorating the house for the holidays and participating in holiday activities—going to our local Christmas street fair, getting a tree, also lighting the menorah and making latkes, and, of all things, listening to holiday music. I feel such pure delight in these simple pleasures.

We are in a time that supports and calls for taking a clear look at our lives, our beliefs, needs, and desires. To make changes to be in deeper alignment with our hearts and souls. Our world is in a much-needed transition away from the unsustainable and inharmonious ways we have been living. We are growing and changing in these changing times. All of this calls for a willingness to make positive change in our lives.

My Invitation to You

I encourage you to do some physical clearing—perhaps your clothing, perhaps a closet, or your art studio, your books, whatever calls to you. Use this process of picking up each item to see what sparks joy or is needed and useful, like a hammer. Keep only what meets that criteria. Then, donate, recycle, sell, or get rid of the rest, thanking it for its service to you.

This will strengthen the muscle of discernment around what brings joy in your life. Now, you can do some internal clearing and re-aligning. What is most meaningful to you? What brings you the most joy? Which habits, relationships, associations, activities are not serving you anymore? Let them go with grace and gratitude. Invite in more of what nourishes you deeply. Make space for it in your day, your week, your life.

When you clear out dead or heavy energy, things, activities from your life, you create a positive vacuum that can be filled with more of what you truly love. Especially if you open to new insight and clarity about what those things are for you now. And then you take action to bring them in.

Be willing to let go of the old self, to rest in the gap, in the unknown and fertile void a bit. It can be a little scary, but it will replenish, renew, and re-align your life for more blessings for you and for our world.