Life, Business & Mental Health
As the Pandemic Lifts…Where Do We Go From Here?
As the Pandemic enters its phases into lifting, we are still left trying to establish the truth and the facts. There is still an extraordinary amount of misinformation and our lives are left in disarray. We are sitting in the eye of several storms that will forever be etched into history. We have been put on standstill as a massive pandemic hit all over the world. We have people who never believed it was real while others have lost their lives because it was real. We have seen friends and neighbors act with incredible kindness and we have witnessed many other friends and neighbors act cruelly with outright negligence to everyone but themselves. We have seen people turn on each other in the most vicious ways and we have seen the best in people just as often. We are coming into big truths about who we are, how we perceive and treat our fellow brothers and sisters and which side of history we are choosing to stand. People have not only lost relationships with friends and lovers but as the vitriol on social media continues, we are seeing people for who and what they are really about. For many, this can feel as heavy as the pandemic itself.
Respect for people that have been in our lives for many years has vanished as we watch them spread hate and prejudice or turn a blind away and pretend that so many things are not actually happening in the world right now. Others feel the pressure to choose a side and they are not the kind of person who wants to take a stand. I personally have lost a great deal of respect for friends and even mentors as they spew hate and misinformation around the internet. Suspicions about people I’ve known all my life are being confirmed by the posts they make on their social media pages. All of our relationships have begun to change during this time when personal contact has been extremely limited or cut off entirely. We are getting to know people on a very different level right now as we collectively watch friends and strangers falling apart and also coming together. The behaviors, the words, and actions as well as the reaction patterns that are being set all over the world right now are utterly disastrous and the concept of unity feels as if it never existed in the first place. This is true inside our homes and on our screens and it is equally true on the outside as we are either joining in with marching and protesting or witnessing through the screens the massive riots and outcries for help, and for support and God forbid…for LOVE. No one can feel truly at peace during so much chaos unless possibly you are a Buddhist Zen Master and then likely you would not be reading this piece right now, nor would you need it.
Many have lost their life savings, their health, and their businesses during these many outrageous events all happening simultaneously. During this time of the world standing still, many businesses have gone under or been ruined while others have been booming. In terms of anything marketing, book launching, or trying to garner followers on social media, the playing field has been substantially leveled and every single person has the same chance as anyone else to turn that avenue into something bigger or smaller. I used to think that when it came to selling books the thing that separated the bestselling authors from the less selling authors was their willingness to get out and hit the road and market and speak and show up for any gig big or small. Now, none of us have the ability to hit the road and it levels the playing field completely. It is the realization that in that market, no one really has much of an advantage anymore. We are all at home doing the best we can with what we have. Some will emerge as internet stars, or as someone new who has been spending a tremendous amount of time in self-reflection and realizations. Some will come out of this with a whole new lease on life while others can barely get themselves to begin to take the first step out.
During such a precarious time, wherever you are standing right now during all of this, I do feel it is safe to say at least one thing that we might all have in common. We are left with an overall sense of how do we navigate from this point onward? From wellness and emotional health perspective, we have to not only continue to look within and question and define, but also we must learn to look far wider than ourselves and our own lives and help the collective consciousness rise to a new level as we make our way back out into a world that no longer looks like it did when we all went inside and locked our doors.
In this moment that I am putting pen to paper for this article, many things are still closed and the world does not at all look the same as it did when this whole thing began a few months ago. No one looks the same to me; not even myself. When you look at people who have been through a terrible illness and survived it, they do not come out looking like they did at the beginning of the journey. Anyone who ever went through or sat with someone who went through chemotherapy can attest to the quickness in aging and full-scale rebuild of a body that had been annihilated before the rebuild. In a way, this lockdown and change in the world around us, leaves many of us looking much the same way. In most cases, they come out looking weathered, aged, and a mix of distraught and elation all etched into the lines of their faces. It pairs with an unyielding sense of gratitude for being alive. I feel like this describes most of us now as we have weathered this very intense and terrifying time on the inside. We are not going to come out of this looking the same way we did when we all went in. We can’t shake the experiences that every single person has had during all of this. For many, it has been isolating, lonely, and terrifying. For many others, they came out realizing that everything that they counted on in their lives has fallen quickly and hard. And for some others, this time down low was spent either with ourselves or loved ones in a safe space as we watched the world crumble right outside our doors. Even if this has not been a time where we lost everything, no one will come out of this unscathed.
I write books about healing and our ability to heal. I believe in miracles and in miracle healing, this is true. I believe incredible things can happen when we get into alignment within ourselves and then move as a complete unit toward the target of wellness and health. I also know that when it comes to healing, we have to honor where we are in every given moment. When the feelings come and ask us to stay down, then stay down as long as we need to be down before getting back up and creating again. I believe this as a collective, is where we are for the moment. We are down. It doesn’t mean that we won’t get back up, and that we won’t come back stronger and healthier and happier. It means that for now, be ok with being in rest mode and feel all of what is happening.
We are currently and still in the stages of cocooning. We are still figuring out and defining who and what we want to become when the bans lift. What world do we want to have a hand in creating? If our business or personal relationships that we worked many years to build suddenly collapsed during this time, we are having to ask these questions and also bear the extremely heavy burden of the letdown that has been happening all around us. How do we pick ourselves up and begin again? If we do actually have to begin again, is this even what we want to start to do all over or has it played out its purpose of what we wanted to get from it? And then what?
In order to help the collective to clean the house and make a new start, we must begin to realize and establish what our own behavior patterns are and how we can best navigate them. In traditional therapies that I have found over the years for the purpose of balancing my own mental health, I was often asked by the professional to imagine the very worst-case scenario and then work my way back from there into the present moment where you are alive, breathing and safe. We begin with the big question: “What’s the absolute worst thing that can happen?” Then we answer with whatever we imagine to be the very worst thing that could occur. Then we do it again with one step forward asking ourselves “If the very worst thing doesn’t happen, what is the next worst-case thing that could happen to us if we attempted this or that?” From there we keep walking ourselves back into the present time.
For the purpose of our personal wellness as well as the new elevated consciousness of our personal, professional and more interconnected world at large, I would like to propose the option of taking that same idea from my old therapist and turn it totally upside down. We must be willing to ask ourselves now with regard to each individual subject: “What is the absolute very best thing that could happen to me?” From a conscious collective standpoint, you can ask the same exact question. “What is it that we want to be able to come out and create? What do we want to become?” And then we ask it again “If the very best thing does not happen, then what is the next best thing that could possibly happen to me/us in this situation?” Continue with these questions until we work our way back into the present moment. And then be patient as all of your answers unfold. Soon we will find that we are ready to break our cocoons, and in time, we will fly again.