Sixteen months ago I forced myself to slow down and I was fortunate enough to get the chance to do so. To leave my life as I knew it for what it was and go within to discover what I wanted it to be. And although, materially it might seem it hasn’t brought me much yet, on a whole different level it did. In fact, I dare to say that although I didn’t make a single dime in the year of 2019 it was the most valuable year of my life (although 2020 is taking a run for this position already).
Over the course of sixteen months I was forced to slow down more and more. Releasing myself from past burdens piece by piece and really going within to ask myself what is important to me, who are important to me and what do I want? And it wasn’t easy. Hell, it still is not easy. Because it means not doing things the way society has designed it, but really following your gut instinct and letting go of the things that do not serve you anymore.
In the light of this journey, I actually promised myself not to get caught up in any of the coronavirus ‘hysteria’. This does not mean that I do not take this virus and its potential consequences seriously. And it does not mean I do not live with the necessary precautions, but it means I keep my head and guts in the game. However, the whole crisis is quite inspiring to me. As a full on analyst, I am actually seeing quite some similarities with my own journey.
I can hear you thinking now ‘what the fuck is this person comparing her inner struggle to a worldwide pandemic for?’ Well, whereas I was forced to slow down personally, I now see nature forcing our society to do the same thing. First, nature has shaken all things up by all the storms in the past few weeks and now it is testing us to go completely silent, take care of ourselves and protect ourselves. You know what they say about storms, they destruct, reveal what is underneath and create space for the new. So whereas the social isolation in combination with the worrying news items can easily lead to more exclusion, fear and loneliness, and most people see fear and hysteria in the coronavirus, I see opportunities, creation and release.
Nature is literally forcing us to go within, to stay in, go into nature and take a deep breath. To slow down. (Not only by the coronavirus keeping us in, but also by the maximum speed being reduced to 100 km/h). It is giving us time to reflect, to not get distracted by day to day life and to really ask ourselves what is important to us, what are we not ready to lose, who do we still want in our lives and do we perhaps fancy a different lifestyle or a different goal in life? If I am really letting my heart do all the talking, what is it that I want for myself, my family and my environment? What do I want to give to the world and how can we help others in this time of need? Whereas I went to Nepal, Thailand, therapy and a lot of meditation to go within, nature is now giving this moment of silence and reflection to us all. It is actually shutting everything as we know it down (except for the essentials), so we can reflect and built a new life upon this solid foundation.
However, I believe it is not only time to look at this on a personal level and enrich our own lives with this new found inner quiet and knowledge, but that it also enables us to take a deeper look at our societal values and systems. Do we really need them as they are, did we complicate things too much, what is it really that we need and value? How can we create better systems out of positivity, love, compassion and trust, instead of fear, control and anxiety? What is it we really need? Can we design things differently? Whereas we have been seeing loneliness as a serious problem for several groups in the past few years, now we are all faced with it on a certain level. And suddenly, creative compassionate solutions present itself. Are we able to pursue these great initiatives into the new era (during and after corona)? The analyst in me cannot wait to find out how different systems (for example the healthcare system) could change for the better with the knowledge we are going to gain from this experience. So call me naïve (if you want to) but I think there is a lot to learn from this and I do see a lot of opportunities if we all start to open up our hearts, help each other and create with love and compassion.
So I definitely think we should take this virus seriously and not put each other in more danger than is absolutely necessary. However, I also think this is an opportunity for us to keep our heads and guts in the game, reflect on our own lives and perhaps design a whole different life for ourselves (if that is what we desire). So, thank nature for this opportunity, use this time to rest and go within, keep calm and help others where you (safely) can. Honor those people that are constantly working for the sick people and help each other a bit during these difficult times. You will see we will all change for the better because of it.
And for those of you who are in the unfortunate position to get sick (which in the end might as well be me as anyone else, I am very aware of that), I wish you all the strength and light to get better.