News of the pandemic and the resulting economic disorder can fill us with fear as we are barraged with bad news. Every day feels overwhelming, and we need to call on our resilience, our willingness to go. One way to summon our resilience is to go to a refuge in our mind even while we’re homebound.  

Remember a place where you felt safe and supported. Maybe it’s a tree house in your parents’ backyard or a rocking chair at your grandparents’ home. Perhaps it’s a bench in your garden or a favorite spot beside a lake or waterfall. 

  You can become calm by picturing yourself in that setting.  It can become your refuge. Envision that place and recruit all your senses to deepen the experience of being there. Are you standing or sitting? Are you in the sun or the shade? Are you warm or cool? What do you smell? What do you hear? Who’s with you? What are you wearing? What emotions do you feel? See your refuge with the clarity and degree of detail you would if it were shown on a wide screen. 

Open yourself to the feelings the image evokes. Downplay your fears, eliminate any doubts, and picture yourself safely tucked away. It will become your refuge, and it will feel as real as it would if you were present. 

When I need to take refuge, I think of the valleys filled with chaparral and hills dotted with oaks that filled the view from a ranch I once owned. A clearing shower provides a rainbow. I feel the warm sun on my back and inhale the fragrance of the white sage. My dusty boots are propped on a railing. A red tail hawk cries as it circles overhead. My dog sits by side. I feel safe, contented, and at peace. 

Take a few minutes and visit your own refuge. Enjoy the respite from the madness swirling outside your door.