I admit, the most recent lock-down sent me spiraling to places I prefer not to mention and thinking in language not suited for this column. I am human after all. Wisely my husband, who is a ‘live in the moment’ kinda guy, reminded me that my planning instincts and thinking about all my tomorrows are not really serving me well. The future is a complete unknown at this point and when I consider it, my nose dive into the wilderness of uncertainty creates a lot of inner chaos. I know living in the moment, considering today and what it has to offer, is my best option. Now to train my mind. Of course, outside all of this pandemonium, there has been plenty of time to read, reflect, observe the signs or Sacred Synchronicities, and of course learn, so here are a few of the gems that have appeared on the screen of my life over the last month.
Bouncing Back or Forward
One of my favorite people to catch up with during these times is my friend and fellow coach Aileen. Hailing from Aberdeen Scotland, I admit I am also attracted to her Scottish Brogue and the way she expresses herself. In a recent conversation we were discussing resilience, the importance of self-care, gratitude and bounce. Okay, self-care and gratitude are well known to me I thought, but bounce? Aileen went on to share that she is curious about the question “what is your bounce?’ Typically we think about bouncing back, meaning that we are able to recover from difficult challenges easily and hopefully, effortlessly. She explained that make we don’t want to ‘bounce back’, we might want to ‘bounce forward’.
I admit, this got me thinking. When all is said and done and we consider all the lessons learned form these COVID times, do we really want to bounce back? It implies that we are returning to the way things were rather than moving forward. And let’s face it, things are simply not the same. The times have changed, society has changed and we have changed. Maybe we do want to bounce forward and, given that we have the opportunity now to reflect on what this might look like, perhaps we can begin to consider how we want to be in the world from this point forward. Hummmmm!
Questions from Tina
Can I just say that I have met amazing people from around the globe through the years. Tina, a Chicagoan, now living in San Francisco, shared in a recent Facebook post the following questions:
–What is my truth now?- How can I show up for myself more?- What am I ready to allow myself to ….?- On what do I want to invest my energy? Attention?- What are my intentions for this season?
Rilke wrote the following about questions: Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.I love the idea of living my way into questions rather than demanding an answer. This is what I have been doing with Tina’s questions – reading them, savouring them, considering them and knowing that as I do so, answers are appearing. I offer them to you with the same intent.
I am a self-avowed fan of Huff Post and Adrianna Huffington. Two Sundays ago, in her weekly column, she described an idea which again, ding-ding, felt like an Ah-Ha moment, upgrading our personal infrastructure. I say what?
Okay, we all hear about infrastructure, you know the roads, bridges, sewer systems, electrical grids and more that are aging at an exponential rate and how government needs to dedicate time and resources to upgrading them or society will disintegrate. Phew, but how does that apply to us?
Again, she asked a few questions (I know, stop with the questions already!):-Is your infrastructure in need of repair?- How solid is your foundation of well-being?- Does the architecture of your day and your space allow you regeneration time?- Do the walls between your work and the rest of your life need shoring up or rebuilding?- Is technology ruling your life?
I thought these to be really important questions to consider given the circumstances many people find themselves in – working from home, blurred boundaries between home and work life, technology invading every corner of life with the addition of Zoom and similar platforms, flexible schedules and where are you in the schedule, and more.
I am somewhat fortunate as I have had a home office for the last 24 years and had the luxury of learning boundaries early on before technology took over. Never the less screen time occupies a portion of everyday from social media to meetings to family conferences to friend time replacing the many face to face encounters of the past. It can and is overwhelming. So it is time to consider my infrastructure, whether my foundation needs repair or shoring up, and what my boundaries are. This is an important exercise for each of us to examine and address as who knows how long these circumstances will continue.
Finally, Pandemic Pandemonium
It is easy to drop into the downside of all the restrictions imposed on us at the moment. I am not immune to impatience and frustration. At the same time, this time and space offers great opportunity to see the SIGNS, reflect, consider and learn.
Pandemonium, defined as wild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar describes fully the chaos we have been thrust into. And in the chaos lives change and growth.
Until next time, Betty Healey, MEd., CAPP
Your thoughts and strategies are always welcome and if you care to share you can reach me at: [email protected]