I originally wrote part of this piece in 2012 and it’s interesting that much of it is still relevant today as we face the pandemic of COVID-19.
There is certainly a sense of change growing on the Earth and even more so, there seems to be a real desire for positive change. We can choose to focus collectively on positive change. So how do we do this? Mainly by letting go of fear.
“But this is a scary time!” some people will argue. Yes it is. I am certainly not downplaying the real issues that are bubbling on this planet of ours. As the pandemic spreads across the world and with it a tragic death toll, it’s difficult to navigate a new world of lockdown and isolation. In turn, there are economic effects and as businesses stop and even collapse, all the livelihoods and ideas of what a secure life and a secure future should look like are also impacted. Then of course fear can get a toehold on the collective consciousness. Change brings with it a feeling of uncertainty and if uncertainty is not managed then fear can and will creep in.
But we have to be realistic about change. The clue is in the word and change really does mean change. When what is bringing the change is a tragedy, the process that nudges this new way of experiencing the world can be very uncomfortable and unsettling.
We can make change easier by flowing with it, staying in trust, reaching out to help each other and opening our minds to new ways of seeing and experiencing our daily lives. Or we can make it difficult by resisting, wallowing in fear based thinking and walling ourselves away from our true selves and from each other.
This is where our collective thinking can make a difference. If we expect the best, then perhaps we can nudge our collective destiny onto a smoother path that accepts the harsh lessons that COVID-19 is bringing.
What lessons can we find in this crisis? We can consider our role on the planet; how we treat nature and animals. As we encroach on native jungles and habitats and do it in a way that shows callous disregard for the species that live there and is unconscious to the hidden viruses that may exist then we unconsciously walk to our own destruction. And what about people? Have we traded empathy for ambition? Have we allowed the anonymity of social media to become so mean spirited that all sense of humanity and care for the person reading what is written is lost? Our planet deserves better and our children deserve better.
We live on a beautiful planet. This time of quiet on the earth has shown us globally what it’s like when the clouds of pollution lift; when nature begins to heal and people in some countries can again hear the birds sing and see the sky.
We will eventually get to grips with this virus, but if we are not changed by it we will have missed an opportunity. Do we need to travel so much? Can we use technology to meet virtually instead of always traveling pointlessly to meetings around the world and even within cities? Can we spend more time with our children and not have them on a constant treadmill of activities? Will we appreciate just being able to get outside and go for a walk and begin to appreciate all the people and activities we miss that we took for granted before?
This is a time to sit still and use all the resources available to evaluate our lives, our goals and our vision for the future of this amazing planet.
It is devastating that so many people are dying, but let their lives not be lost in vain. We can learn from this and together dream a better future.
Some resources to help us use this time for personal growth.
Daily mindfulness practice with Jon Kabat Zinn
Daily thoughts on living through lockdown from Prem Rawat
The Work of Byron Katie @ thework.com
3 minute mindful breathing