Lockdown Learnings

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?

  • Lockdown
  • Self-Isolation
  • Social distancing
  • Pandemic
  • Quarantine
  • Furlough
  • Crisis
Lockdown Learnings
I thought I’d add an image to intensify the effect – scary isn’t it?

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…

Time to Pause

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?
Lockdown Learnings

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.
Instead, create
a clearing
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!

Check out my Youtube Channel for more videos and don’t forget your 50 tips for self-care guide here.

8 thoughts on “Lockdown Learnings”

    • Thank you Teodora. It’s always so good to know I’ve helped someone else by sharing my own experiences. How are you getting on? What are your learnings? Shall I enter you for the free coaching draw?

  1. I quite enjoyed this temporary change although with 2 young children it was challenging. It also reminded me that us humans think that we are in charge of the world but we are just small atoms in this wonderful universe.It taught me to appreciate things, people even more than before. Taught me to be greatful and realise how precious is spending time with our loved ones. I always adored nature and spending time outdoors and it became even more important. Its not just relaxing but also healing. Also taught me to be more patient and listen more carefully to others.

    • Wow Judit, those are some great takeaways you’ve discovered. Time with family and nature is precious and oh so healing!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Sally. Like so many I guess, at the moment I feel like a rabbit dazed by headlights temporarily blinded and confused having no idea in which direction to go but knowing I want to find a positive way forward. Reading your blog which I have done many times over and over it is only now starting to bring the situation back to a reality, one which is personal and one which is not sensationalised by the media be it factual or fake news, more importantly one which I can influence with my own thoughts and actions. It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and even more difficult to stop, or as you say “pause”! 
    So thank you Sally for reminding me that we can each choose our own thoughts and attitudes to influence our personal wellbeing no matter what else is happening around us.

  3. Thank you Sally for reminding us to keep focusing on the small things and taking that time to breath. It seems that so many people are rushing to finding something of the old normal, that they are forgetting to hold onto some of the peace and calm we found when we were forced to take that time to pause. Nature has been my constant joy through this roller coaster ride – I hope it doesn’t get trampled in the race to regain what we think we need!


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