What is the essence of happiness for you? I have discovered that due to the coronavirus, the essence of happiness for me is the gift of time. I was writing my morning pages yesterday. (Morning pages are a tool for creativity from Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way.) First of all, I had the time to write them. The feeling of release from time pressure means my belly feels relaxed. While writing, Sid, my big black furry cat friend, jumped up and sat on my notepad. I put down my pen and gave him my full attention and we had a furry love-fest for a few minutes. He put his head down and went to sleep very happily. I abandoned the writing, knowing I had the time to do it later. (And whatever you do, don’t disturb the cat!) I have had time to do my Tai Chi practice every day, and sit in the garden and practice my body scan. So I have been practising writing, practising Tai Chi and practising mindfulness. One of these days I might become a whizz kid at any or all of these things, but I really don’t mind. I am happy to have the time to expand, rest, refocus. I have time to send healing out to the all those affected by the virus, to the animals, and the planet. Even in this time of apparent loss of freedom, we have the freedom to choose our response. We can become calm and allow that grounded calmness to radiate out to others. We can say a prayer or send light. We can share a smile in the long queue outside the supermarket. We can bless our food with gratitude, to all the hands that brought it to our table. We can clear our heads and our cupboards. We can text our friends and check on a neighbour. We can be here in the present moment, which will allow us to savour life when all this passes, because it will pass. Spring is here and the blossoms are opening. Afterwards, we can choose to hold on to the practice of kindness and make the world a better place. In the meantime, here is a link to calming resources from Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Stay well and find peace today.