Lizzo Hosted a Mass Meditation "for those Who Are Struggling" Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
The singer took to Instagram Live "to promote healing during this global crisis."
Sitting in front of a bed of crystals, the "Cuz I Love You" singer opened the meditation by playing a beautiful, calming melody on the flute (Sasha Flute, as she's known).
After she finished playing, Lizzo opened up about the "helplessness" she, and many others, have been feeling as the coronavirus pandemic continues. "There's a lot I want to do to help," she shared. "But one of the things I thought of was that there is the disease, and then there is the fear of the disease. And I think that fear can spread so much hatred [and] negative energy."
Lizzo's not the only one concerned about fear spreading faster than the coronavirus itself, BTW. "As a mental health clinician, I am concerned about the hysteria brought on by this virus," Prairie Conlon, L.M.H.P., clinical director of CertaPet, previously told Shape. "Those who have not struggled with mental health symptoms in the past are reporting panic attacks, which can be an incredibly frightening experience, and many times end up in an emergency room visit." (Here are some panic attack warning signs—and how to deal if you experience on.)
If you're experiencing some of that fear, you're not alone—and that's Lizzo's whole point. Her goal in hosting a mass meditation was to "empower" anyone who might be struggling with the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation, she continued. "I wanted to let you know that we have the power to eliminate fear," she said. "We do have the power—at least in our own way—to reduce the fear that is being heightened. This is a very serious pandemic; this is a very serious thing that we're all experiencing together. And I think that whether it's a good thing or a tragic thing, the one thing that we will always have is togetherness." (Related: How to Prepare for Coronavirus and the Threat of An Outbreak)
Lizzo then shared a meditative mantra to say aloud, think to yourself, write down—whatever your jam is—in times of anxiety: "Fear does not exist in my body. Fear does not exist in my home. Love exists in my body. Love exists in my home. The opposite of fear is love, so we're gonna take all this fear and transmit it into love." She also encouraged people to think of fear as "removable," like a jacket or a wig ("Y'all know I love a wig," she joked).
"This distance that is being wedged between us physically—we cannot allow that to wedge us apart emotionally, spiritually, energetically," the singer continued. "I feel you, I reach out to you. I love you."
Maybe meditation is only something you've heard of ad nauseam (who hasn't?), but never really tried before tuning into Lizzo's Instagram Live. If so, here's the thing: As Lizzo showed, meditation doesn't just have to mean sitting on a cushion with your eyes closed for 30 minutes.
"Meditation is a form of mindfulness, but the latter is more about dropping into a mindset than it is about carving out quiet time and sitting a certain way," clinical psychologist Mitch Abblett, Ph.D. previously told Shape. Translation: Doing things like playing an instrument (or listening to music, if you don't happen to have your own Sasha Flute), exercising, journaling, or even just spending time outside, can all be mindful, meditative activities that bring you a sense of calm in times of unease. "The more you practice mindfulness, the more present you are in all the moments of life," explained Abblett. "This doesn't block stressful events, but it allows tension to move through you more easily." (Check out all the benefits of meditation you should know about.)
Lizzo's message of unity amid the coronavirus pandemic hits home as well. Now may be a time of fewer face-to-face interactions for many, but that doesn't have to mean total isolation. "Modern technology, fortunately, allows us to FaceTime our friends and family to stay in touch, thereby helping to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation during this time," Barbara Nosal, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., L.A.D.C., chief clinical officer at Newport Academy previously told Shape.
The singer's reminder is an important one: Connection is part of the human experience. As researchers wrote in a 2017 review of studies examining the psychological importance of social connection: "Just as we need vitamin C each day, we also need a dose of the human moment—positive contact with other people."
Lizzo ended her meditation session by imparting one last sentiment: "Be safe, be healthy, be vigilant, but don't be afraid. We'll get through this together because we always do."