Dealing with Challenging Circumstances During a Pandemic

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Staying Calm During Stressful Times

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One of my best friends in the world is Jeannette Bessinger, also known as The Clean Food Coach.*

Earlier this year, she heard the words no one ever wants to hear from their doctor: You have cancer.

And then the pandemic happened.

Well, it all worked out, (Jeannette is amazing and if you don’t know her inspiring work, check her out here). She recently sent out a newsletter asking an intriguing question:

How do you deal with your own stuff in the middle of a pandemic? I’ll bet a lot you are asking yourselves the same question right about now. After all, relationship issues, body dysmorphia, economic worries, personal insecurities … all that stuff doesn’t just disappear because we’re in lockdown. Under these weird, unusual circumstances, many of those issues actually seem magnified.

What to do, what to do … Well, I don’t have the answer to that question. But I do have a roadmap for how to solve it.

I simply ask myself: “What would Rob Kapilow do?”

What Would Rob Do?

About a hundred years ago when I was a pianist/musical director in New York City, I studied with an extraordinary conductor named Rob Kapilow.

You don’t know him, but imagine a young Leonard Bernstein. Conductor, pianist, composer and world-class teacher who also happened to be a Division One level tennis player with a black belt in martial arts. A cheerful, upbeat guy with a kind of inner Zen that made everybody want to be around him.

One day, Rob gets called to fill-in for Sarah Caldwell, the quirky, legendary conductor of the Opera Company of Boston. Caldwell was sick, and they needed someone to conduct the weekend performance of a famous Verdi opera. As I remember, the opera was about three hours long and the score was several hundred pages.

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