Whatever your politics, whether you think Johnston and co. are doing a good job or not, or the government of your country wherever you are*, I think we can all say that our expectations for the start of 2021 were not well managed.
Christmas was to be a time where we could meet with family and friends again. It would all be over soon and the track and trace and vaccination programme would clear the way for a return to ‘normality’.
George Monbiot has a great piece in The Guardian about the total lack of clarity we are experiencing in government, and says it all way better than I ever could.
But what I do want to write about is the parallels between our public and private lives and what we can do to move forward out of the chaos and into something better than we had before.
Chaos can be a good thing, obviously not a global pandemic and millions dying, but the overturning of the status quo, the constant swirl of uncertainty, allows for the possibility of something new in a way that a constant never changing system never does.
We get used to things, no matter how hard, how disagreeable and uncomfortable and they become familiar and in that familiarity there is comfort.
The complaining about it, whether it’s that there’s never enough, of things being tough and it’s a constant struggle. The repetition of complaining brings us comfort. We know our pain, we live it every day and sure we’d like to change but not enough to do anything about it.
Chaos disrupts everything. All the old familiarity is gone. And we don’t like it. There’s nothing to cling to and every day it seems like there’s more disruption of our accepted normality.
But, what if the chaos brings something better in its place.
What if this is like a birthing of a new way of life?
There’s nothing more messy and disruptive than giving birth. And yet, the fear, pain and hard work to get through it is all forgotten in the joy of holding the baby at the end.
What can we give birth to today in our current state of chaos?
Maybe you could ask yourself some questions like the ones George asks of the UK Government in his article?
He asks, ‘What are the objectives of the current lockdown? What are the criteria for deciding when it should be lifted? What are the criteria for imposing other restrictions following this lockdown?’
For our personal transformation out of this chaos we could ask ourselves:
What are my objectives for this current lockdown? Mine is to read more ‘good’ books. One a week is my newly acquired target.
What do I intend to learn/gain from this time? I am going to learn how to breathe properly for health.
How can I make a positive impact on my community? I have recently started taking videos as I feed the swans and posting them on my Facebook page to encourage people to get out and experience Nature and Nurture.
What can I do to help myself and those I live with feel better emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically? This may be as simple as organising a movie night where you all sit down together to watch and share the experience together. Giving each other space, having a pre-agreed signal when you want to be left alone rather than trying to avoid making eye contact or asking to for the space to vent and simply air your frustrations and feel heard vs having a conversation.
How do I stay still and peaceful in the face of this chaos? There’s no doubt we are all facing something we have never experienced and on top of that are all the issues of normal life. Yep, global pandemic or not we have to pay our bills, keep a roof over our heads, prepare meals, tidy the house, do the washing and look after our personal mental and physical hygiene That can be all we get done and that’s okay. There’s no pressure on anyone to do more.
What you do need to commit to though is taking care of your mental, emotional and physical health.
This is as simple as practicing mindfulness, meditation, any method you use to clear your mind and body of stress and tension.
The easiest way I know to do this is to focus on your chosen end result, what is your preferred outcome? And what feeling embodies those words?
For instance as I sit right now needing to find a new place to live in the middle of the pandemic and currently living in a town I where I know few people, instead of panicking and feeling stressed by it I choose to focus on my preferred end result of living in a beautiful home in a beautiful place with lovely places where I can walk Amelia.
The feelings I want to invoke are those of being safe, warm, nurtured, protected, loved and taken care of.
I’m not looking beyond the next four weeks. And the most important consideration is am I safe right now? Have a got a roof over my head and food on the table? Then that’s more than so many have and I get on with what I have to do.
And thinking about my chosen preferred end result and the feelings it invokes makes me feel safe, warm, nurtured, protected loved and taken care of. A much better state emotionally, physically and mentally than stewing in stress, tension and anxiety.
Chaos is a powerful change agent. The thing is we want changes that bring about a better world, better living standards and improved opportunities for everyone, not just the privileged few.
And we want changes at a personal level. There’s no clinging to the way things used to be, that’s being swept away by a force that’s sweeping across the global and changing every life on the planet in some way.
There is no comfort in the familiar anymore. Its gone. Its up to us to now carve out a place, an identity, a life that works for us, and lets hope we’ll create something that doesn’t inspire constant complaining.
Instead, imagine a life even better than you could have ever dreamed it being.
That would be lovely. That’s what I’m thinking of now.
*Unless you live in Taiwan, I think that is the only country whose leaders can claim good leadership in this disaster. And New Zealand, of course.
PS. Feeling stuck? Anxious? Unable to break out of that cycle of doom and gloom thinking?
Then get in touch, that’s what my work does and does it damn well! This program is designed for men but the same is available for women. Don’t stay disconnected a moment longer. Find your way back and reconnect to who you were born to be.