What Now?

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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The past couple of years have brought about subtle and not-so-subtle changes in how we spend our days and how we think and feel.

Join me this week as we consider things we can do to offset some of those changes.

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When you saw the title of this week’s podcast, you might have imagined someone asking, “What now!?” with a marked tone of exasperation in their voice—that sound we make when we’ve reached or surpassed our mental and emotional limit. And while many people are unquestionably in that state right now, exasperation or frustration aren’t what we’re considering with today’s question.

In fact, our consideration is quite the opposite.

In a conversation earlier this week with someone whose ideas and opinions I deeply respect, the subject turned to the personal toll the pandemic has taken on people given the multitude of changes that come with it.

“Do you miss your old life?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said with a bit of gravity in my voice. “I do.”

We acknowledged that we each miss the pre-pandemic freedoms we knew and the social engagements we enjoyed before so many restrictions were put into place as businesses closed and social distancing become increasingly prevalent.

We talked about the challenges that have been imposed on us when we have no real say in what’s happening on the larger scale.

We shared that we each find ourselves struggling with the contrast between our lives now and what seemed so “normal” a couple of years ago. Our disdain for the phrase, “the new normal,” is a mutual one, each of us opting for something more fluid and dynamic.

Knowing that we can’t go back in time and that whatever today and tomorrow bring will not resemble yesterday, our conversation then turned to an exploration of what healthy choices can be made right now and right here.

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When the pandemic began, my former partners and I closed our brick-and-mortar counseling offices. Each of us began seeing clients from home through online platforms. Speaking for myself, there are many positives about it and the people I counsel report their experiences to be positive ones, yet I find myself missing the casual everyday interactions I had with my colleagues and the regular lunches I enjoyed at the nearby café and the restaurants I frequented. I can honestly say that the conversations with staff and the patrons I met nourished me even more than the food I was enjoying.


Photo: Scott Lennox


So, in the absence of those things, what now?

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As a way of keeping social interaction alive, I make sure to schedule lunch with one friend or another at least once a week. The restaurant we go to has a strong wi-fi connection, and I go early and take my laptop with me and get an hour of writing or other work done before my guest arrives. Just being around people lifts something vital in me.

As the pandemic got in full swing, I chose to stop going to the gym where I’d been working out two to three times a week. As an alternative, I set up a workout area at home with a bench and free weights and a stationary bike. I don’t get to enjoy the social interaction I had, but challenging my body is essential to staying healthy. It also elevates my mood and clears my head.

Because I now schedule client sessions seven days a week and work well into the evening, one of my “What nows?” is to be diligent and intentional about building breaks into my schedule–breaks that allow me to step away for a while. Whether it’s playing the piano or going out into the garden or lighting piñon wood in my back porch firepit and sitting there with my dog or taking an unapologetic and much-needed nap, those small diversions restore me and help keep me fresh.

I’m discovering that the more of these healthy “What nows?” I build into my days, the better I feel. I may or may not know what “normal” looks or feels like, but I’m certainly learning how to master my days.

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This week’s Beautiful Questions invite you to explore that kind of personal mastery in the here and now. There are t

Question One: What parts of your old life are you missing?

Question Two: What healthy alternatives can you bring to yourself by being intentional and perhaps a bit creative?

Question Three: What things can you do today that will freshen, brighten, or enrich your everyday experience?

I look forward to hearing from you as you choose to take the care of yourself that you deserve. Write and tell me about it.

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As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing the things we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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