With the pandemic, we’ve all certainly had to make some major adjustments in our lives.  And we continue to do so.  One of the things we at Great Conjunction are doing is moving to a more virtual setting.Rachel Hollander fill 227x300

What does that boil down to?  We, too have had to adjust how we can all get together and learn from one another.  We decided to jump on the “online bandwagon”, as it were.  So, now we’re doing workshops in space.  

I was twelve years old when The Muppet Show premiered (yes, I am dating myself) and all I can hear is that deep voice echoing the title of a recurring muppet skit called “Pigs In Spaaaace”!  And now we need that announcer’s voice for our workshops!

In May we hosted our first online workshop with much success!  Rev. Rachel Hollander’s workshop, “Who Booked This Trip?” was wonderful… thank you again to everyone who joined us and to Rev. Rachel. There were quite a few people who wanted to attend but were unable to do so.  But since we met on camera, we were able to record the entire workshop and we’ll have it posted on our website for anyone who still would like to experience it.

Erin CommendatoreWe’re really excited to continue on the virtual plane.  Our next virtual workshop will be held Tuesday, June 16th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm eastern time.  All you have to do is go to our website and register for the workshop.  This is going to be a fascinating evening learning about “Healing Through Nature” with Erin Commendatore, M.AEd/CN, ERYT.

I’d like share with you a few factors I’m happy about with these virtual workshops.  To begin with, we don’t have the same kind of cost overhead as before in renting space large enough to accommodate attendees and presenters for the workshops.  And that makes a direct savings for you!  We’ve been able to lower the cost of attending these interesting experiences dramatically.  

The second great aspect of these online events is that we can record them.  So after the actual live event is over, we’ll be posting these to our website and anyone who was unable to be with us “live” can still “attend” the workshop to learn from our amazing presenters.

There’s one other factor to these virtual workshops that I’m most excited about:  anyone from any part of the country, and even the world, can attend!  We’ve many friends in other states and in other countries who’ve wanted to participate in Great Conjunction events and now it’s possible.

Ain’t technology amazing?

So, be sure to join us for our monthly virtual workshops, and when you can’t, you can catch ‘em a little later.  

See you in cyberspace!

We’ve all been on a wild ride this year, haven’t we?  Hopefully you’ve all been staying safe and are well.  

DaffWe’ve been staying as safe as possible.  In our household two of us are in the higher risk category; my 81-year-old diabetic father and me.  I was scheduled to have spinal surgery in the middle of April but that’s going to be rescheduled when things are a bit safer.  So, John has been the only one to venture out into the world and do our shopping.  And we’ve taken extra precautions.  

It takes a lot of effort and can be inconvenient, but it’s certainly worth it. 

This has been a trying time for all of us and some folks are having tougher times than others.  Tragically a lot of people have lost a loved one.  Many people are getting a touch of cabin fever while sheltering in place.  Most everyone is, in some way, feeling the financial pinch.  But quarantining can leave a lot of people are feeling isolated and feeling lonely.  While nothing beats the human touch, social media has been able to play an important role in keeping us connected. 

            LittleBlueFlowersThough we’re all struggling in some way, we are all in this together and we need to keep each other safe and healthy.  And never forget that we’re loved.

            When it’s time to “reopen the country”, I just ask that we all do it with patience and caution.  Let us slowly begin to go back to “normal”.  But honestly, I don’t really think that life will be normal – or the way we knew it – ever again.  I think quarantining has had a big impact on us all.  

In the relatively short time we’ve been self-isolating, we’ve been reminded of what’s important… humanity – of how we’re all one, family, togetherness, kindness, patience and love.  I think it’ll be a long time before this lesson is forgotten.  I hope never.

So until we’re together again, literally rather than virtually, stay safe.  Let’s take good care of ourselves and of each other. 

See you soon!

It’s May, already, and we’ve three holidays fast approaching.  Despite our current situation of self-quarantine, let’s keep celebrating in whatever ways we can.  Afterall, despite some of the traditional ways we’re used to celebrating, all three of the May holidays are truly of the heart:  JoeLittlePups

            • Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French Empire as well as now celebrating Mexican American culture.
            • Memorial Day honors the military personnel who died while serving our country.
            • Mother’s Day, well, you know what Mother’s Day is all about.

            It’s a lot of fun to be together on these occasions, but it’s not a requirement.  One option is to postpone those bar-b-ques and picnics and those happy hours.  We can also do them online with our cams.  We just need to be a little more creative than usual; grow and be more flexible with how we do things.  

            PoeLeiaPupsAnd that’s what we at Great Conjunction are trying to do with our upcoming events; be creative.  Though we’ve cancelled several of our events already, we’re finding new ways to carry on. Our May 19th workshop with Rev. Rachel Hollander titled “Who Booked This Trip?!” is still going to happen.  We’re moving it into the virtual world and holding it online.  But more about that elsewhere in the newsletter.

            But I’d like to focus now on the line from that old poem that read, “April showers bring May flowers”.  And while that’s pretty true, I’d like to take a broader view of those May flowers.

            Perhaps it’s not just the actual growth of flowers.  Perhaps it’s all forms of growth. 

            The one of the most immediate and obvious forms of growth that I’ve been watching are our three puppies.  We got them just over four months ago.  They were only about 3-month old at the time and they were tiny little things.  Judging by their markings and a few other indicators we had, I figured they’d grow up to be comparable to each other in size and probably only a couple feet tall. 

            JoewithPupsI was wrong.  On both counts.

            Our female, our little princess Leia, who we always suspected was the runt of the litter and malnourished, is still the smallest of the three, but she is growing nicely.  One of the boys, Finn, is just a little bit bigger than Leia. However, the third one, Poe, has exceeded all expectations.  He’s growing like a weed and is substantially larger than the others.  He’s big.  He’s a tank.  He’s adorable, but he’s big!  Poe is nearly 1/3 larger than Leia.

            When we first got them, all three could fit on my lap.  Now… not so much.  And when they do lay on your lap, you’re pinned to the spot!

            They’re absolutely adorable, loving and playful.  And inseparable.  They cannot stand to be apart from one another, even briefly.  And they still sleep in a puppy-pile.

            May is full of growth.  Grass, trees, blossoms, our puppies and the way we do things.  Keep creative and keep safe.  And we’ll see you at our first virtual workshop!

Okay, so it’s not the kind of springtime we’re all used to.  April has arrived but not in the manner we anticipated.

I think it might be an understatement to say that we are currently living in some funky times.  Certainly we’re living in ways we never anticipated.  We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and we’re predominantly housebound.  

DaffLiving through a pandemic of this nature can be scary.  There are precautions we can, and should be taking.  We should all be self-quarantining, practicing social-distancing, washing our hands frequently.  We should be limiting our contact with “the outside world” by going to the store as seldom as possible.  We should even be wiping packages and such containing our food or products we bought online.  If we’re vigilant and use common sense, we should be okay.

A lot of folks these days are having issues being at home so much.  

Generally, most people spend a good deal of their time away from home.  They go to jobs, travel back and forth, go out to lunch or dinner, to a bar, go see a movie, meet with friends or visit family, go shopping and run errands.  We’re all usually away from home a lot.

But not now.  With this pandemic, most of us are home most, if not all of the time.  Some folks are still going to work each day, but many are now working from home.  Some folks aren’t even able to work at all right now.  They’re just home.  And we’re not going out to restaurants and bars, or hanging out with friends.  We’re home.  

During times like these, despite the fact that it’s springtime, it’s easy for our spirits to drop, for our moods to darken.  We can grow bored and frustrated.  We can become impatient and angry.  

So what can we do to counteract the gloom of being housebound?  There are plenty of things we can do!

We can catch up on our favorite shows or watch movies.  Start to getting caught up with our reading list.  We can even take advantage of the situation and do some over-due cleaning or DIY home improvement projects, giving a whole new meaning to Spring Cleaning.

Go online and catch-up with friends.  Do some video chatting and such.  It’s so easy to connect with people anymore.  Take advantage of that.

You can even do some yoga with our very own John Michael Thornton on our YouTube page (I know John’s posting a link to it in this newsletter somewhere).

crocusSince the weather is improving, you can go for walks… not forgetting social distancing, of course.  Weather permitting, get out of the house and experience nature.  Look at all the beautiful flowers popping up everywhere.  Appreciate how wonderful Springtime can be.

But above all, let Spring blossom inside of you.  Don’t let yourself fall prey to the easy-to-fall-into trap of fear and anxiety.  Look to the horizon or, if you prefer, on the bright side.  This shall pass and we will all be able to resume a more normal life soon.  Be optimistic.  Be hopeful.  Spring is all about Hope.  So let’s live that.  Let Hope spring forth!

Let the Springtime be inside you and share it with everyone you can, in whatever way you can.  Let new the beauty grow within you.  

We’ll see you soon!  

Most Fridays I teach a chair yoga class at the Hubbard Senior Center. Since I can't teach there right now I thought I'd share the class right here with you.