Retreat vs lockdown: Use Virtual Presentations to Sell Books or Programs Without Leaving Home

I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.”~ Anne Frank


E.M. Forster said, “Only connect.” I’ve held this as my motto for PR and it also applies to all of us in this moment of “social distancing.”

I just received an email from psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach who wrote: “Many of us are maintaining social distance by staying at home in what has been called a lockdown. You might instead consider that this is a retreat, and take the time to nourish your spirit — love those you’re with, connect (online or by phone) with wider circles of dear ones, offer help to our world however you can, and join in live-streamed meditation classes offered by myself and many others.” or create your own home retreat.

One of my most favorite quotes from the poet Rumi is:

“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

During this time of separation there can still be a lot of togetherness and “hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”

Here are some:

Join the Good Fairy Group.

Inspired by a group of school children in Austria this was posted to my NextDoor online neighborhood group:

Show the virus what we’re made of – join the Good Fairy group: Connecting those who can help to those who need help in our community. Can you pick up a prescription or books or a pint of milk, take a dog to the vet, take donations to Goodwill, send a parcel etc. from say, a senior social distancing from the virus?
Do you need support or know someone who does? Just post what you need to this group and a good fairy will pick it up. No task too big or small or weird …I think we’ll maybe take that as a challenge.

A 21 year old girl started this by volunteering to help saying that she wasn’t afraid of the virus and was in good health. Her bravery inspired others and the post about the Good Fairy Group popped up. Once one person steps forward in generosity and kindness more follow.

Share your bounty.

If you grow veggies, fruits or flowers share them with your neighbors. We don’t have fruit trees ourselves, but many of our neighbors do. When I see oranges, grapefruits, lemons and apples rotting on the ground I knock on my neighbors’ door and ask if I can gather their fruit and give it away. I’ve always gotten an enthusiastic “Yes!” I’m now known in the neighborhood as The Apple Fairy. I walk every day so I’ve just incorporated this into my routine by carrying plastic bags to collect the fruit. One of of my neighbors who loves lemons and apples has a 3-year old son with a Tonka truck on their porch. I load it up with fruit so he can “discover” it. So much joy can be found in these tiny moments.

Support your local businesses.

I suggest purchasing gift cards from your massage therapist, yoga studio, cafe, restaurants so the merchants in your community you count on can survive without their usual influx of customers (you).

Send cards to people in assisted living/nursing homes.

Since loved ones can’t visit their family or friends now you can send or deliver cards anonymously to brighten an elderly person’s day. I’m going to do this for the assisted living home near me and perhaps enlist my neighbors to write cards as well. My wonderful friend Sherry Richert Belul is an expert in writing love letters and for her book, “Say it now.” I couldn’t think of a better time to tell the people you love what you adore about them. For people in line shopping for food and supplies you can say something nice that you observe about them, share a recipe or brighten their day with a humorous story.

Meet virtually.

My Wild Writing group with the wise teacher and dear friend Laurie Wagner, is now meeting by Zoom. When meeting in person we began by eliminating the chocolate nibs and nut bowl that we would all reach into for sustenance and joy during our deep dive into excavating our experience to put on paper (yes we use pen and paper. No computers). It helps to see everyone’s smiling faces and to continue to share our stories with each other virtually.

Author Glennon Doyle decided to create story time. For adults she’s reading from her new book, Untamed and from other authors’ books who have had their book tours cancelled. For all the moms at home she’s reading to children for 20 glorious minutes a day. Check her feed for upcoming story telling times. Fantabulous.

Share resources.

If you find something online consider sending the link to your friends and family. One thing you might not know is about how your prescriptions may be limited or difficult to refill.

According to NorthWest Pharmacy “Global supply chains in numerous industries are affected. When it comes to pharmaceuticals, the vast majority of the active pharmaceutical ingredients or their components used to produce finished dosages in the entire worldwide prescription drug supply chain, including the drugs sold in the United States, are manufactured in China, where the coronavirus has had the most impact on factory production to date. Further complicating things is that some countries, including those our suppliers source products from, have begun to ban the export of at least certain pharmaceuticals in an effort to preserve supplies for their local populations. At this time, we have access to adequate supplies of most of the products we offer but we do not know whether this will remain the case.” Consider calling your doctor now to get an extra supply of your medications now.

Enjoy a virtual tour of twelve museums from across the world.

Wishing you could travel? See these marvels from your home.

Read aloud to friends and family.

Before your local library closes check out as many books, magazines, movies and tapes as you can so your family can have cuddly together time. If it’s already closed visit your neighborhood free library and exchange books with your neighbors (wipe them down with a sanitized wipe before bringing them into your home).

Make your own healing tonics.

I bought a bunch of organic Turmeric that I boiled in water for about 4 hours. I fill up empty glass Kavita bottles which are easy to store in the fridge. It’s a simple, potent immune booster. You can squeeze in fresh lemon juice for a refreshing and healthful drink. (NOTE: Tumeric stains everything. I learned the hard way on our white countertops so do your pouring from pan to bottle in the sink!)

Take an online course and boost your learning, expertise and happiness.

Now is a fantastic time to share your expertise on the media — especially for mental and physical health professionals, financial advisors, and creative spirits. We need all your voices for practical and uplifting ideas and advice.

Here are a few of my free trainings:

Attend a virtual yoga class to flex your body and mind.

Commune’s Yoga and Meditation Virtual Studio will be practicing daily as a community.


You’ve seen that poster and all it’s hilarious variations: Keep calm and carry on. Not easy to do when we’re blasted with so much drama/trauma and dire news. One of my coaches has advised me to stop every hour and meditate for 1 minute. I’ve set my alarm because I get going on something and forget. I love the idea that I can “command calm” and “command my mind in a moment” from this practice. If you’ve never meditated before you go here where I’ll lead you through or just sit comfortably and follow your breath and note your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations without judgement when they arise. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh suggests as simple practice I’ve always loved: smiling to yourself.


Dawson Church of EFT Universe made a meditation (“Fear of Infectious Disease “) that incorporates EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique — Tapping) and EcoMeditation, and he is distributing it free to as many people possible. (If you want to skip right to the tapping start at 7: 23) Please share!

Play with your pets.

Pets can sense when you’re stressed and need extra love. Petco noted in their newsletter that it was reported that people were abandoned their pets believing that they could carry the virus. Dr. Thomas Edling, a 25-year veterinarian with a special interest in infectious and zoonotic diseases and a member of the Petco Pet Wellness Council advises, “Pet parents under no circumstances should be abandoning their pets because of COVID-19.

The most important things pet lovers should know today are:

  • According to the CDC, there is currently no known reason to believe that any animals, including pets in the United States, can spread COVID-19.

  • To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.”

Keep nuzzling your pets for their good and your own to keep calm and connected.

Keep your sense of humor.

This is from friends of Elizabeth Gilbert in Rome

This was my favorite from NextDoor (given the toilet paper shortage):

An open invitation to toilet paper our house

DM me for address


Fun Resources:

What I’m loving right now: Inspiriting talks about presence, listening, being who you are here.

This show on exploring #MeToo from both sides.

This makes me laugh so hard.

Feels good to give. All you have to do is click daily and this site will give to animals, autism, veterans + more.

Your publicity insights + how to live a joyful, curious, expansive life [Read, Watch or listen]

  • How to Use Virtual Presentations to Sell Tons of Books or Programs Without Leaving Home [Training THURSDAY]
  • My most stolen blog post (the purloined post).
  • Meet the media in person AND virtually 2 for 1 bonus. This is an unprecedented opportunity to personally connect with the media—at a bargain.
  • Discover your big idea, write your speech + perform it — with professional feedback. 3 days worth of coaching and community March 25-27
  • 50 national radio shows that will interview you [PDF list]. Now is the perfect time to do a virtual radio “tour” while you stay at home during these trying times.
  • 7 Ways to tame your speaker’s nerves, relax and share your stories [PDF download].

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Disclosure: Some of the above may be affiliate links that I will be compensated for at no cost to you. They are products or services I’ve either used, vetted or trust. Enjoy!



Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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