J.O.M.O.

F.O.M.O. is the fear of missing out. Right now in these pandemic times, we may have a bit of F.O.M.O., though we know there’s not much happening, so it might be more of a missing of what was. How normal. We have had the rug pulled from under us with this pandemic. None of us could have really imagined or expected it.

We have been known to be social creatures who thrive in relationship and some solitary time is good for us, but the thing about this pandemic is we didn’t ask for it, we didn’t choose it, it just came creeping in. So, I want us to consider an alternative to F.O.M.O. and that’s J.O.M.O., the joy of missing out. Can we be joyful in missing out?

Can we sit back in stillness and chill. Don’t get me wrong, I know we’ve been doing this for almost 9 months, but we’re at a point where we have to really lean in. We need to see family and friends over Zoom or talk to them on the phone, we need to connect, but we also need to lean into stillness, to find JOY in being alone or in our pandemic state.

We may have different reactions to stillness: boredom, anxiety, it may bring up trauma or memories of trauma, worries, negative thoughts. I am not saying lean into the negative stuff or fears it brings up, I’m saying, lean into stillness and see what comes up. Whatever comes up is likely showing you where you may need to focus a little extra love for yourself, what you need to work on a bit more.

The stillness does not create the fear or worries or anything else, it is what allows it to emerge. That emerging is not a bad thing as long as you take care of yourself around it.

And maybe we can have both F.O.M.O. and also J.O.M.O. Maybe we feel we are missing out and also like we can find joy in what we are missing right now, joy in being with ourselves.

This is a temporary state. The pandemic will end. We need to be able to ride out the storm. We can do this. We need each other to do this, to connect with, to check in with. We also need to lean into stillness and be able to hold ourselves through it.

So, today, let’s write on this!

Write how you lean into stillness. Think of stillness as an absence of disturbance. Do you have that in the pandemic? How? When? Where? What do you do to find joy in the missing out? What do you miss right now? What do you cherish? What is in the depths of that stillness? How can you nurture it and nurture yourself in dealing with it?

Begin however you want, but if you aren’t sure, begin with the phrase: I lean into stillness…

Use your 5 senses. Lean in and care for yourself around any difficult feelings that come up. These are things you may need to deal with. The stillness is encouraging them to emerge and giving them back to you as a gift to work on. Thank stillness for that. Thank yourself for that. Practice leaning into stillness.

Stillness can bring us answers to important things in our lives, can make us have less F.O.M.O. and less anxiety, can make us feels stronger in ourselves, can make us feel restless and also at peace. This is you hanging out with you in the stillness. That is by no means easy, not because you aren’t great, but because it’s hard.

Practice caring for yourself around stillness and practice writing about it.

Thank you for writing with us today. If you would like to write every week, please follow the blog.

May you be still and may you be well. And may you find the J.O.M.O.

Take care,

Liza

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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