We’ve all experienced how natural it can be to run on an autopilot and just “do-do-do.” I often find myself adding more and more to my plate, and so does my husband, Philip. He teaches piano lessons online, and over the past year or so, has noticed that his K–12 students have been struggling to succeed.

Parents would share with him that their child didn’t have time to practice because their time was just too stretched — they were also enrolled in other activities like soccer, tennis, trumpet, or even language courses. Sometimes, their child would be so busy, they had a different activity scheduled for every night of the week.

Of course, on the surface, it seems to be a good thing to enrich our lives and our families’ lives with so many opportunities. In reality, it’s possible that not only children, but all of us can become stretched too thin. With too many balls in the air to juggle, our focus can become so scattered, that it’s almost impossible for us to manage any one thing well.

As we are pulled in so many directions — home, family, work, community — we simply try to “do it all” without taking anything off of our plate to compensate. When our body and nervous system’s mode is set to “ON” all the time, we lose the important ability to rest and nourish. 

We just don’t realize that we need to let go to stay balanced. And when that happens, life seems to have creative ways of resetting the power button for us! However, it’s always more difficult when we are forced to change, then when we step into change for ourselves.

Recently, as the Coronavirus pandemic has spread, social distancing has forced us to change our patterns and behaviors. Schools have closed, places we frequent have shuttered or limited their hours, and families are hunkering down at home. We are all feeling uncomfortable in our skin.

Amongst the turmoil though, a gift in strange wrapping paper is hiding. A gift of change that invites us to reset our perspective and reel us back to living more in the present moment.

Unanticipated change is so much harder when we resist it. Why not invite it in instead? Embracing and designing change for your life is so much more self-empowering than falling victim to it.

As you experience the quiet that comes with this time of pause, I encourage you to shift your perspective and look at all that has changed as a way to provide space for the new to come in. When we remove something from our full plate, we make room for something new, and perhaps, even more delightful.

Envision this strange gift of more time to cultivate important relationships by connecting with family and loved ones as an opportunity that you may have missed on busier days in the past. Take the time to ask yourself what you would truly love to be doing. Take this opportunity to connect with your heart, and realize what you really desire for you.

Why not change the angle of your viewpoint? What you see as a problem may be something you’re ready to take off your plate to create space for the new in your life.

This weekend is the spring equinox. Just as nature is sprouting new leaves as spring begins, you too are getting ready to sprout forth anew. Embracing this perspective shifts away from a defeating energy of failure and into one of growth and opportunity. It’s the perfect time to recognize this energy within yourself and invite in the new.

Not sure where to start? Take time to physically clean your house or yard. Donate items, de-clutter, and identify how you can actively clear out the old to allow room for the new to come in with more ease and grace.

Have faith and realize that seeds are buried in the ground, completely in the dark, before they begin to sprout and see the light to grow.