We can’t have it all.

This has been a group coaching exercise I’ve offered to my clients who yearn for more contentment and feelings of enoughness for about a decade based on Barbara Ras’s poem You Can’t Have it All.

And, right now in the mist of this global pandemic there is far too much we can’t have that we’re used to having in our lives.

We can’t have freedom to move about the world as we wish.

We can’t pick up whatever we want — or even need — at the store.

We can’t hug people when all we need is a hug.

We can’t lean in and have real life conversations the way we used to.

We may not have the security of our jobs and pay. We may not have our health. We may not have enough toilet paper though I can’t imagine that to be true for anyone.

It would be easy to count and list all the things we cannot have right now.

But then when can we?

The group coaching exercise is never about listing what we can’t have; it’s always about seizing and maximizing what we DO have instead.

And right now we have so much.

This morning, I couldn’t have it all but I could sit in the pure silence of the world and allow God to speak healing words to me in only the way she can in difficult times like these.

I couldn’t have it all but I could take my time to slowly water every single one of my houseplants and talk to them with love as one does in lonely times.

I couldn’t have it all today but I could eat homemade quiche with a side of avocado, potatoes and wheat toast from the bread my husband scooped up at a grocery store out of town earlier this week.

I couldn’t have it all but I could have the sweetest moment of darkness standing on my front porch listening to the symphony of birds singing the sun to its horizon and the deep, deep breaths that the fresh morning air brought to my nervous system.

I couldn’t have it all but I could have the rare glimpse of a dear Robin taking a morning bath in a rain puddle in our backyard that’s been formed from so much rain. I had the pleasure of watching her dip her head in and shake her tail feathers over and over and over rapidly as if she was in a hurry to get back to the nest of things. I couldn’t have it all but I had the smile this brought to my face.

I couldn’t have it all but I had time to peel back the curtains, the blinds, the darkness and open my eyes to the bigger, deeper beauty that is just beyond my own reality of small-minded living.

No, I can’t have it all.

But I open my eyes and realized, I already do.

I always already have it all. I only have to see it all with new perspective, new insight and to wrap it all in a holy fever of yes this.