Finding pandemic peace through mindfulness training

·3 min read

EASTERN SHORE – Working from home during the ongoing pandemic brings challenges. Mental health is suffering as people juggle home and work responsibilities. Caring for children whose social lives have been affected during health protocols with the cancellation of afterschool programming can be exhausting.

People are searching out new ways to stay grounded and to get to the other side of the pandemic, now into its second year.

Lori Taylor of Clam Harbour – an entrepreneur for 25 years and single mother of four, and self-professed nature lover – works to heal people who are suffering or in need of solace by providing fitness and wellness opportunities.

“The pandemic changed my work in a big way, as it is challenging to get to together in person. I live in an area without stable Internet – so online has been hard too,” Taylor told The Journal via email. “Demand has increased as mental health issues are rising. People are in crisis with nowhere to turn. A lot is outside, even though it is winter – people definitely want to do physical activity outdoors, more than they ever have.”

Taylor spoke of her beginnings as a personal trainer, adventure team builder, meditation and mindfulness trainer and eventually becoming a Reiki Master and studying many Shamanic traditions.

“In 2010, I began to travel as a humanitarian and volunteer and have witnessed human suffering – and also the beauty of people and earth.”

“Lori’s positive energy was evident immediately,” said client Eleanor Clarke. “[Her] encouragement for curiosity in exploration of our energy pathways throughout the yoga practice resonated with me … This wasn't my first experience with yoga, but it was the most holistic approach I had yet to encounter. During the isolation and changes in social activities – brought on by the pandemic – I have welcomed the mental relief Lori has offered me when I engage in these activities.”

Taylor concentrates on teaching acts of mindfulness, which she defines as paying attention to purpose.

“You notice each moment and everything in your awareness with gratitude and grace. No longer do you live a life on autopilot; you become an active participant in your life – breathing, walking, doing everyday tasks, eating, engaging with others, connecting with the natural world. You are awake and aware.”

Janet Briggs – another client – spoke to the help with coping skills during a time when being with loved ones regularly is not a given.

“Her work provides a sense of calm and grounding – which is especially important during the dark days of not only COVID – but also when life throws you a curve ball. We are blessed to have someone with Lori’s skills and abilities living on the Eastern Shore.”

Taylor specializes in working with those living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She described the affliction as caused by significant trauma, threat to life, a loss or death, abuse, serious accidents, exposure to traumatic events, serious health problems and torture.

“The work I primarily do now is offering transformational, healing opportunities. I do a lot of work with those that suffer from PTSD. I am intuitively guided and work energetically - with the help of Mother Nature.

“Since 2014, I have working privately with veterans who are suffering from PTSD. In 2019, I had the opportunity to work with a non-profit – Fundación Etica Visionaria (FEV) – an organization engaged in poverty, justice and the environment,” Taylor said.

The Reiki master suffered a significant health crisis in 2012, one caused by a frightening recurring blood clot in her eye.

“Of course, I now know,” Taylor said, “… it was a necessary message for change and balance – thus, I became a yoga teacher with specialties in trauma.”

Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal