I want you to imagine that you and I are sitting chatting in a garden, it’s a beautiful day and we are listening with interest and compassion to one another. Sharing our thoughts, feelings and experiences, feeling heard and validated. I’ve been so blessed with opportunities like these and I’d like to continue the conversations with you now. At the end of this blog please join in the conversation with a comment. The first 10 people who do that, share this blog with others and email me will be entered into a draw for a free 1-2-1, 1-hour coaching session worth £80! Everyone else will be offered a half-price session. Let’s change the world one conversation at a time.
What do you think of these words below that have now become commonplace in our everyday language? How do you feel when you hear them or use them? Tell me, is that different from how you felt in the beginning?
- Social distancing
I’ve actively avoided most of these words wherever possible. In my opinion, words themselves have power and I didn’t want to add any strength to them. I generally use alternatives and speak instead of the ‘current situation’. I absolutely loved it when my friend told me she’s been using the word ‘pause’. Think for a moment about the impact of that word…
How does that feel different for you?
So now I come to the point of my blog, I realised that in some ways this period (you see how I’m still avoiding those words?) has been a real gift for me. I’m not suggesting that it’s been easy, far from it. I too have experienced the ‘Corona-Coaster’ of emotions from day to day and moment to moment and my income has been severely affected as I’m unable to work face to face. But I am also so very grateful to have had this time to pause and to stop. The world seemed to spin a little slower for a while, the noise levels reduced, there seemed more space to breathe and within those moments of what felt like suspended animation I had the opportunity to become more present and to see things more clearly. I took time out in nature and in my garden, I grew vegetables, watched the shadows, the insects and listened to the birds.
I read books, one of them was ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl, about his experiences of survival in the concentration camps in Germany during World War 2. He wrote about 3 possible sources of meaning that sustained those who survived: purposeful work, love and courage in the face of difficulties. Well, that book certainly put everything in perspective, it also provided useful explanations for mine and other people’s reactions to lockdown and it taught me how important love and hope is for everyone to thrive.
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.Victor E. Frankl
…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way.Victor E. Frankl
Over the last few months I became more focused, more creative, I had time to dream a little more about the future and what I’d like it to look like and it became clear to me that I don’t want things to go back to how they were, I’d like my own version of a ‘new normal’.
What are your lockdown learnings?
I invite you to spend a little time reflecting on these questions and write down your answers to each one. Notice how you feel with each.
- What has this period been like for you?
- What are you grateful for?
- What have you created?
- What have you learned?
- What is it you want to let go of?
- What are you sure that you want to keep?
- What would you like to create next?
At one of my low points, a dear friend read me this poem…
Clearing – A poem by Martha Postlewait
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself to this world
so worthy of rescue.
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude towards life. we had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.Victor E. Frankl
Back to normal v New normal – what would you like it to be?
As we begin to emerge again from these surreal times and people begin to rush impatiently towards their new normal, whatever that may be. I invite you to take more moments to pause, to honour your own rhythm and timing rather than get caught in the tidal wave created by others. In this stillness, if you listen carefully enough, you can hear the whispers of your soul, the wisdom that resides within your own being.
Whenever life gets a little overwhelming and you need a moment to pause this short video that I made might be just what you need. Enjoy!