“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it”
J.M Barrie – Peter Pan
Consider this: how has governmental imposed self-isolation affected you? If, you were already struggling before this pandemic, has the ‘lockdown’ clipped your wings even more? Did it necessitate a paradigm shift? When we were plunged into this situation, we had no roadmap to navigate and plan for how we would cope!
We find ourselves thrust into fear mode and thoughts of our own mortality. Let’s face it, every time we turn on the news, we are given the death toll for the day and the projections for the future. But there is more to this. We have been given a unique opportunity to appraise our lives; make changes or modifications where appropriate. A time to appreciate the things we already have and more importantly, the relationships which add depth to our lives. Our lives have been distilled down to their essence. Everything is simpler with less noise.!
Ask yourself the following questions and really take your time (there will be others not listed below, specific to your life):
What were you struggling with before?
- Was it with your significant other? What aspects of the relationship were you struggling with?
- Was it your diet and weight? Too many takeaways, lunch on the hoof?
- Was it your job? Has the ladder been leaning against the right wall?
- Was it a yearning to go on an inward spiritual journey? Something missing?
- Was it a lack of sleep?
- Was it your financial situation?
- Was it with an addiction of any sort? Maybe technology?
- Was it a lack of connection with those close to you?
- Was it a lack of time each day?
- Was it with a sense of being out of control?
- Maybe you weren’t struggling; then now is a perfect time to audit your life?
Now I want you to find a quiet place and journal through these life issues, examining how and if the lockdown has impacted them. Maybe now with fewer distractions, you have been able to really reflect on them; allowing them to come to a head and a new path to emerge. Maybe when you surface from the cocoon, you will have to make some tough decisions – perhaps you will find that your relationship has been one of convenience; maybe that job was not really fulfilling you; maybe you need to modify your lifestyle to improve your mental and physical health; perhaps you have lost all spiritual meaning in life and wish to find it!
The good thing is that you are now time- rich!
Now, look at what positive things have come out of it.
What have you discovered about yourself?
- How resilient are you?
- Are you learning patience rather than instant results? Think of the queues you must now join to go shopping. How have you come to terms with these things?
- What can you really live without?
- What really matters to you?
- What new talents / hobbies have you been exploring? Maybe a new language, musical instrument, art, e-learning skill, gardening?
- How to manage your finances better?
- Could you work more from home when you emerge into the light again?
- How to communicate better with those around you?
- How spending more time really interacting with the kids has deepened your bond with them?
Think about it, how many of us will have been on a retreat where we have been able to press the STOP button? Now we all have. This experience has been a once in a lifetime opportunity to reflect en masse. Best expressed in the famous dictum by Socrates: “An unexamined life, is not worth living”
During this time, I have cleaned and rearranged the house top to bottom. Everything now has its place, and this has helped put order on things. I have really given attention to the garden where I have virtually stood over flowers and silently said, ‘bloom already’. Funny as all this seems, one thing for sure, is that I have been very much in the NOW. Things I never noticed before, have taken on a new hew, a new intensity.
As my busyness on distractions outside away from the home have diminished, I have focussed on areas closer to home and indeed to issues within myself.
“Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy.”
— Søren Kierkegaard
For me it has to do with what matters, truly matters. Busyness can come at the cost of intimacy. Intimacy with ourselves, others and what really is deserving of our finite time on this planet. Enforced lock down has quietened my mind, so that I can deepen my spiritual journey. Think about it; we deal pretty well with all our physical needs; but never get time to deal with the real questions like, why are we here and what’s it all about in the greater scheme of things. Our sense of purpose if you will. When you peel away all the things, the masks we identify ourselves by, be it position in our workplace, how much money we earn, the car we drive, how many qualifications we have and so on; who are we really? What’s our real purpose on the planet? What justifies our existence? What will people say about us when we go? Who will we have touched and why? How much will we have truly accomplished in that dash on the headstone between the dates of birth and death?
Tips on dealing with the fear surrounding Coved-19?
- Stop watching every news bulletin 24/7.
- Focus on areas of your life over which you have control.
- Get out for exercise at least once a day.
- Limit scrolling time. Stay away from the scare mongering that has spread though out the medium of WhatsApp and other such forums. This can be more contagious than the virus and often, comes from questionable sources.
- Concentrate on the good things in your life and focus on what you are grateful for.
- Create your own daily routines and schedules. This will give you a sense of normality.
- Let the inner child out to play……..if not now, when?
Charles Dickens opened A Tale of Two Cities with the classic line: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” This could have been written for us. Who decides which one it is? You do.
We still have choices and we get to decide what way we make use of this time. Maybe we will fly!!
*Giselle Marrinan is a Life Coach and is the the author of the book, ‘Another Zero’. She contributes monthly blogs to the Book Hub Publishing Group media platforms.