I hear more people focus on simple living, self love, resources, resilience, confusion and the power of connection during this high level of adversity. The chaos, suffering and great pain, for me, unleashed many unexamined and sometimes dark parts of my own personality and made me think and write a lot about our collective (dis)functioning. When I handle what I find and do not like about myself, or the results I now face as the result of my own thinking, beliefs and actions with grace and calm, I learn much things that help me connect and honour other’s differences a lot more.
I tend to spend more time rethinking how I used and plan to spend my existing resources. Here are some things that I learned from speaking and working with the people I most admire who helped synthesize some (hard) lessons from this experience:
Setting the bar right and letting go
Many people can experience a strong routine change and shift of their relational and life paradigms. There are so many aspects which now, almost by force, have most of us take effective and very directed action.
I rethink the roots of some persistent issues, the ways in which I behaved and responded and how present I really am in all parts of my life. What I take, do not take, and should take to heart, is seen a bit differently. The strong physical social and health changes have led me to re-examine my competitive nature to constantly perform on high levels and reinvent the ways in which I show up to my loved ones and for myself. I learn that I can let go of what I really must and can finally let more things be.
It gave me a chance to set the bar right, where it used to set very high or lower than I could honestly handle and it helped me find out that I “fail” less than I thought I would and became, somewhat, more productive and useful. I know that many high achievers are looking for opportunities to help their businesses and their relationships survive this very strange reality and without much certainty, and I admit that changing your energy, thought and emotions, is really hard when feeling this level of unfamiliarity, is really hard.
Letting things work for me, rather than control who I become
Being in constant control does not always feel like it allows for much room to change perspectives and change how I spend most of my time. I spend so much time on the go, travelling, reaching, so much time thinking about solving problems, and most my time working, so I can reach goals faster. When I now notice that to be sucked out of my routines and experience a total loss of some aspects I used to control, I tend to focus more on the things I was not noticing anymore.
I see how many women are demonstrating enormous resilience, patience, clarity of mind and hard work to help themselves grow through this time, and that many of us also -somehow- find it in them, to help others where possible.
Changing the way we handle our own space and others’ through the power of acceptance
I learned that I may also choose to evolve and grow and face things head on, instead of (literally) going someplace else, because now I cannot escape my personal environment. This experience can require us to train the way we handle our own pain and react to the pain of others.
If in the past I viewed others, their work or my entire relationships as the problem instead of the situation and focus on conflict, now I prefer to finally have those real talks, dare myself and others, and try and solve any conflict in ways that are beneficial for my own personal development. Allowing myself and others their own space, freedom and autonomy and better understanding the importance of my own and each other’s need for individuality and boundaries has become a though lesson I needed to do better at.
This is where my self-care, self-love and development may have become lacking and I find myself considering how and where my boundaries and levels of assertiveness are and how I feel about this and the results that it manifested. To guard my own sense of wellbeing and desire I also need to feel that I have enough space and air between myself and others and learn to ask for it and give it, and point it out in areas that I feel I miss it.
I became more aware that I tended to be silent and kind and lacked a transfer of my own business skills into my personal life when it came to uncomfortable situations and behaviours and rejections from others. Where I would speak up to the highest person in the company hierarchies and advise them, I would in my personal life avoid conflict and focus on harmony, and let things in a lot more without questioning their criticism about who I am and questioning how to address their possible projections.
Understanding I have underestimated the value of simple things in life
This is obviously a world old cliché, and reason for agony in many generations who tried to enhance our levels of wisdom by installing more wisdom in us, but the truth still is that I tend to see some things as small when they are most important. Now that I am forced into simpler living I rely- again- on the power of connection in adversity.
I, and we all, greatly depend on our social bonds and its messages and the shared information since prehistoric times. These are the tools designed for our evolution and survival. And we have not done bad by using it, until now…knowledge is wired in our brains, body, and instinct. We used to protect each other from danger and treats by attaching great meaning to these messages. This is the reason that I, and many others are so very sensitive to rejection, but also to affection, and most of us have come to ignore much of it since the time of the industrial evolution.
The global crisis we are now in could be found to restore a sense of (inter)dependency and make us aware of our high social needs. I, undeniably realised that we need each other, and that our collective wants could be found to be very simple and maybe even primitive, but of great meaning. Being seen, heard, helped, felt and present with and for each other’s lives functions as an antidote for much pain, fear, anger, frustration, and confusion for me.
Connecting with nature and making meaningful connections with self and others in time of crisis
I find a deep desire now, more than ever to connect with nature and I appreciate it a lot more. I find myself wanting to connect with my own and each other’s natures more. We have been so very destructive towards nature, its animals and life and are now learning that it is not only wrong, but that it absolutely backfires. I often forget that we too, are part of nature and that we put out into it at some point can reach us.I now feel that nature wants us to start treating it differently because that the way we collectively consume, behave and live is harming us all.
We are interconnected but have also become accustomed to overconsumption and success and forgot to look over to the things which appeared to be of less importance. I find myself talking about shared problems, realisations and emotions with others because we are in the exact same crisis. Although keeping the distance is critical, many people around me also seem to find so many ways to really connect with each other in much more meaningful ways and try to help each other out.
Activating Resilience and appreciating the strength of talent in our global community
I have experienced tremendous outreach in groups and on social media where I was asked to help in some projects or by doing something for others, and I was so touched by the stories of how resilient and strong and caring people were, in spite of being in such an uncertain experience themselves. Many people connected with me and shared ideas and solutions and helped me understand that the financial and health pressure is hurting many and causing great problems. We are massively reaching out to each other and connecting with people we would normally never speak with. Maybe this is because there is more time to notice the needs and the precious talents of others that (virtually) surround us.
I became more interested in what others are doing and in their stories and identities, in what drives them and I find myself becoming more real and genuinely interested. Maybe there is a greater desire in many of us to embrace and look after each other’s wellbeing, success, creativity, and true desires and needs, because we understand that we are in the same boat.
This situation can inspire thoughts about what we would like to keep, change, and leave in our lives. Thoughts about how our active interconnectedness is helping us make things happen faster than we might have experienced before, or how it can be used to change and stop collective dysfunction, outer pollution and destruction.
Understanding that many of my resolutions were just about me flirting with possibility, not real desires because I did not make them into concrete and properly scheduled plans
My focus on personal developmental areas and evolving takes much power, discipline, dedication, and patience. I still work, but do have more time now, and it goes by regardless, but I am now able to clearly see that even when time is made available, some resolutions were never real plans or priorities. This is because I never really wanted them, and they – very likely- never originated from and for myself in the first place.
For me this meant asking for guidance on areas of struggle or where stagnation is still experienced, and where I don’t seem to change or get the same experiences and results over and over again because I am doing something wrong or not changing something I should. I analysed it and concluded that these resolutions were only temporary flirts with fantasy and a curiosity for possibilities, from the very start. I desired and lusted an image I had about my ideal self and my true essence for a moment, but even if I would reach it, it is still not congruent with who I really am and want to become.
This is a time where many with me will likely separate from our own falsehoods and attach greater meaning to becoming closer to our own truths. For me this time now results into taking greater action and making structured scheduled plans which help me make those genuine lifelong connections which help me on my own true path. I choose to invest and dedicate much more resources, time, and power in making big steps in my life, physical health, the work I choose to do, friendships, romance and in my family and goals.
I feel that this experience finally freed me from a lot of thoughts about myself and others which were really mostly illusions and it helped me realise and remove the things that weren’t really good for me. If anything, I now see that they would have ended in some level of disaster or ended up making me very unhappy. My friend tells me: “Want only that which is good for you”. And I realised that the things we might think we desire, aren’t in our lives because we know they aren’t good for us. I freed myself from those long held beliefs and ideas that were mostly created and believed for me and installed in me by others.
It seems to me that I am not alone in experiencing the results of this time as not just being physically separated to protect others and myself, but also as a time where I separate myself from many other things which never served me to get closer to what does and truly belongs with me.
We can’t help but notice the unified rise of global respect for those whose works puts them on the frontline and away from their families
There has been massive sacrifice on behalf of the true global hero’s whose service is going on for a very long time now. Many have not properly rested, seen their families, and worked incredibly hard without end to help us stay as safe and healthy as possible and to help those in need. We owe them a tremendous deal and we owe them to stay unified and respectful to one another.
This situation has had a disastrous toll on families, business, live and health in the lives of many who we love and love us the most. Although there is much light still left in the darkness, these are undeniably hard times. If we can help, by connecting and reaching out, we should. If not now, when?