Gratitude During Uncertain Times

As a young adult gazing at my mother’s cupboards, they were beyond-full of supplies. She had more Q-tips, more toilet paper, more first aid supplies, soap and shampoo, and more deodorant than she’d need in what seemed like two lifetimes. She had canned goods beyond the kitchen pantry, lining her garage cupboards too, right along with the tools.

I was proud of her preparedness, but also a little bit concerned with what might have been an “alarmist” attitude, stocking up for an Armageddon likely not to happen. My perspective came from a life of never having real lack–real starvation or hardship like she did as a sharecropper’s daughter. Sure, I wore my cousin’s hand me down clothes and we economized growing up, but real scarcity was not in my wheelhouse of life experience, for which I’ve been grateful.

Fast-forward in time and life’s challenges in living in a global pandemic provide a reminder of the many blessings many of us may have taken for granted. My parents and their generation, born during the Great Depression, endured market crashes, under- or unemployment, or even sneaking a piece of banana from a pig’s trough due to ongoing hunger. Look at Depression-era photos to see the hardship, the stark contrast to what many of us have not experienced in our comforts in life. It is this contrast between comfort and anticipated lack that drives people to buy up stockpiles of toilet paper. Fear does that to people. Nobody wants to feel pain or disruption of the status quo of abundance of life’s simple niceties.

People are contracting this Coronavirus, worldwide, and many are dying from it. People are anticipating or even dealing with loss of employment. The media memes of big box store supply-hoarding are starting to wane because the dreaded virus has finally become relevant in their midst, to their community. It’s no longer something to poke fun at because it’s become real. That doesn’t mean rule out humor, however, because when life gives you lemons, laughter really is the best coping mechanism.

So how else do we cope during this time of uncertainty? Prayer has been a lifeline even in good times, to voice gratitude; in times of turmoil prayer is the manna—that deep-down nourishment that sustains the soul—that cannot be substituted. Purpose may feel a bit muddled for the moment, but we will find it and run with it, because it too nourishes us.

A fulfilling purpose is service. Service in the home, and even while we are separating as a community to quell the spread of illness—particularly for those most vulnerable—with technology in place we can still serve in our community, even worldwide, through social media and other measures we feel inspired to do. Perhaps some may drive around our communities in their pickup trucks—their self-contained quarantine-mobiles—and fly our nation’s flag like we did after 9/11, reminding us that we are undivided and cannot be thwarted.

We can also cope like generations before us. We can “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” as needed to the best of our abilities. Learn to crochet reusable washcloths via an online tutorial or call up Grandma for wisdom. We try to grow our own food and chase away the snails and slugs from dining on our sustenance.

Previous generations endured polio and Spanish Flu, among other illness, World Wars and much more, without the medical know-how of today or the connection we have of social media and other technology to bridge the physical and emotional distance. Yes, that “connection” from technology that some lament that isn’t real or in-person becomes a lifeline of sorts as well. And if it were to dissapear during quarantine there is still prayer, prayer to a loving God who is not punishing us with a pandemic. It is what is is. Now we need to make the most of our situation and remember that we are never truly alone or forgotten.

In times of trial we more readily listen to that still, small voice of inspiration, and we innovate. We adapt, if needed. The lines of politics fade during times of necessity, because in times of necessity we seek the meaningful, the things that don’t divide but heal and uplift.

We are in need of spiritual support and sustainment. The body and mind can only take us so far. Strength of spirit is our real measurement of who we are as individuals and as a collective society.

Gratitude is a meaningful practice and perspective that enhances all situations. As we consider what it is we really need to endure the unknown, may we cultivate gratitude. And yes, we can be grateful for toilet paper.

Coronavirus may be a very brief blip on the radar of life, especially in the grand scheme of things. What we do during this “downtime” can influence us for good and for eternity.

—Loretta Boyer McClellan, March 14, 2020

May Peace Eclipse All

Sun in Alaskan Sky by Loretta McClellan

Getting ready for tomorrow’s rare #eclipse. As a #creative and sensitive soul, the emotional climate in the media and vicinity deeply affects me. My personal measures to promote #peace and #healing are #meditation and #prayer, which I believe affect within as well as collectively as a society. #Charity, or pure #love, begins with me, then radiates infinitely.

An Open Letter with Open Arms to the Suffering, Sick, and Afflicted

An Open Letter, with Open Arms, to the Suffering, Sick, and Afflicted:

heart_from_leaves_photokanok_of_freedigitalphotosdotnet2Pain…  We take it upon our hearts, our minds, perhaps our bodies.  When we’ve tried all that is asked of us to the point of exhaustion to heal, including faith, prayer, the blessings of others—to no avail—yet we suffer further, so we ask, “What should I have done differently?  Am I meant to live in pain and suffering without parole?”  So we settle in to defining ourselves by sickness or lack, this malnourishment of the human experience.  It isn’t meant to be this way, this self-affixed punishment, this harassment of the helpful self, as we are all meant to heal—to be healing, as we are already entirely whole.

Let us not be short-sighted in believing healing is only health-related.  Let us remember we are not the sum of our parts—healthy, or otherwise.  We are pure awareness, which constitutes an amazing testament to preserve ourselves against the conflagration of our essence—in being our true nature, our pure, authentic self—as we are limitless.  That being said, we may ask how that applies in the here and now, where life may feel limited by gravity, by trials, and by doubt.

So we listen.

Broadly speaking, we tune-in to the stillness within.  It’s in there, and has been there, all along.  Let it be our hearts, our spirit, and our forgiveness of limiting our truth by being bound by boundaries of will.  May we cast this self-imposed prison to the wind, and embrace the freedom that comes from being open to receive—to let “It is what it is” become a declaration of unparalleled beauty.

In its purest state, this desire to heal is a cry out to the universe to be loved.  To have love.  To be love.  And we are loved, truly.

Joining together along this path of re-discovery is a most-joyful experience, of which gratitude is the clarifying measure.

Love Lori

In the spirit of love, The Nature of BEing: A Healing Journey came to fruition.  It is a memoir cultivated over five years of intense suffering and reflection, taken from deep within and poured out in abundance.  It is a communal message of inner truth: that love is lasting, and the self in healing is not really the self at all, but the WE of Well-BEing.

“My physical well-being is only a fraction of my healing equation, and of who I am as a person in this multi-dimensional existence.” —Loretta Boyer McClellan, The Nature of BEing: A Healing Journey

“When we live as we breathe—in essential expansion—we release the self-defined parameters and walls, the quantified and compartmentalized. We then are free to roam about the consciousness that is our healing experience.” —Loretta Boyer McClellan, The Nature of BEing: A Healing Journey

Text, “An Open Letter with Open Arms to the Suffering, Sick, and Afflicted,” and logo ©2015 Loretta McClellan; all rights reserved.
Author photo by Frank Leonard; used with permission.
“Heart from Leaves” by Photokanok of; used with permission.

headshot_3x3_web_copyright2013_loretta_boyer_mcclellanAmerican Author, Artist, and Poet, Loretta Boyer McClellan sees the art of writing as an exciting medium and source of abundant joy in the creative process.  Her multilayered career as a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; conscious PR, brand, graphic design, and communications; and as an Arts instructor, journalist, and artist, “sized the canvas,” so to speak, for a fruitful life of expression.  Lori creates from the heart.  Writing, meditating, and painting—particularly in watercolor—is her connection to the Infinite.