The Kenwood Press|
Our deeper selves – reweaving ourselves during lockdown
For days, I sat thinking about what I could contribute for this edition, feeling helpless knowing that people are losing their jobs or businesses in droves. Financial hardship and so many business failures for so many people seem overwhelming. As if the financial worries and helpless feeling weren't enough, people are dying in record numbers worldwide from the COVID-19 pandemic while the constant barrage from media continuously hammering our political divide pulls us further and further down the emotional rabbit hole.
I asked myself what truly has meaning and inspiration for others. One person who has always given me a calming reset of mind and heart is the poet John O'Donohue. The Coronavirus pandemic has been described as the invisible enemy. This is an excerpt from O'Donohue's book, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace.
The voice of your own soul
"When you take the time to draw on your listening-imagination, you will begin to hear this gentle voice at the heart of your life. It is deeper and surer than all the other voices of disappointment, unease, self-criticism and bleakness. All holiness is about learning to hear the voice of your own soul. It is always there and the more deeply you learn to listen, the greater surprises and discoveries that will unfold. To enter into the gentleness of your own soul changes the tone and quality of your life. Your life is no longer consumed by hunger for the next event, experience or achievement. You learn to come down from the treadmill and walk on the earth. You gain a new respect for yourself and others and you learn to see how wonderfully precious this one life is. You begin to see through the enchanting veils of illusion that you had taken for reality. You no longer squander yourself on things and situations that deplete your essence. You know now that your true source is not outside you. Your soul is your true source and a new energy and passion awakens in you."
These are unprecedented times that require each of us to let go of the non-essential and "to see through the enchanting veils of illusion that you had taken for reality," as we watch our incomes disappear and investments disintegrate.
As we shelter in place, what feels more realistic today is drawing out the deeper aspects of ourselves - our passions, interests, and abilities - because suddenly there's more time without the familiar routine. These deeper aspects have always been there, but lying dormant in part due to society's addiction to speed, productivity, and money. Being in touch with often ignored aspects of our lives allows us to connect more meaningfully with our children, significant others, and friends. Get outside. Feel the earth beneath your feet by gardening and getting the soil between your fingers. Read from the pile of favorite books waiting for you on the desk and call family members you haven't spoken to in a while. Meditate for an hour instead of 10 minutes. Retrieve the magic of the ordinary and rediscover the sacred in each thing. As time passes you may adopt routines that today feel strange and new but result in a stronger, happier you.
What is being rewoven in your life? What are you leaning into that's green and juicy and brings you a deeper sense of peace? I started a "reweaving" collage of what's altering in my life. I saved a small, open weave burlap bag that once held organic coffee and placed it in the center of my collage with beautiful images emerging from it and all around the bag depicting the rewoven parts of me. It's a beautiful reminder of transition and the realization that I'm on the threshold of a different "me."
I hope you're finding support during this time, possibly from unexpected sources. It seems that only when "normal" dissolves that we awaken to new possibilities...even if they were available all along.
A colleague of mine, Cynthia Riggs, a successful business owner for 40 years, owns Biz Diva, a business coaching practice. She wrote "Financial Self Care - Concrete Options for COVID-19 Relief" listing ways to help businesses stay afloat during the shelter in place lockdown. I've listed them below. She's also giving away a 30-minute conversation offering guidance. A great value! Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.