I have heard many people around me talk about feeling emotional, tired, unfocused, unbalanced, ungrounded. Some are even skirting burn out. I don’t know where you are at. But I wanted to address that. Within this period lies a gift. But we need to know how to invite it in.
Make Time For Process
The last few months with Covid have been challenging to say the least. At best stressful. At worst traumatic. We have been dealing with its physical and economic effects. Now it’s time to address its psychological effects.
Our body waits until an extreme stress or traumatic event is over to process it. So you might think that the mental impact would have come during lockdown. But actually our system will wait until the end of lockdown to process it properly. So it is important to watch out for the signs of that.
Signs can take different forms. Feeling emotional and not really knowing why. Feeling intensely angry or sad. Feeling exhausted and having no motivation. Difficulty focusing and being unproductive. Having trouble sleeping.
Other signs go the complete other way – creating as much distraction as possible so as not to feel. Trying to pretend that life has ‘gone back to normal’. Filling our agendas to the max with all the things we feel we missed out on. Anything so as not to experience the grief, the confusion, the fear.
First know it is all normal. As I am writing this with the beautiful sunshine streaming through my bedroom window. I can hear the voice inside my head: ’Just go and enjoy the sunshine – why write about this?!’
The thing is that we need to spot the signs so that we can take care of ourselves and others around us.
Avoidance is futile. The underlying emotions will just be stored until we process them. They demand we acknowledge them and that we become present to our own internal process. So that we can catch up with ourselves and know what we need now. By honouring our feelings, we connect to our real needs, rather than our artifical ones. We can then nurture ourselves in the right way. Ultimately we can meaningfully reorient in this new reality.
On top of that, we are also now processing how we have shifted from certainty to uncertainty.
Life was never certain – but in our comfort zone it seemed that way. The threat of illness is still very real. Many are trying to get to grips with the impact on their livelihoods or businesses. The new conversations in the US around race are asking we clean up our act. Second waves of Covid are already happening in South Korea and Germany.
We have entered a time of uncertainty. Where we are not sure how this is going to play out. And humans for the most part hate uncertainty. So we tend to either try to ignore it or we imagine the worst.
What if there was another way? What if within this process lies a huge gift? And it is up to us to choose to embrace it.
Embrace Your Creative Potential
In all of this lies the gift of potentiality. It means embracing your creative potential. Your ability to create something completely beyond the existing structures of your life. Possibilites are always limitless. But we tend to ignore that and instead keep trying to fit into what is in front of us. Deep down we are prisoners ‘of how things are’.
As long as we are attached to the illusionary security of the known, we will be stuck creating within its confines. The key is to trust in your creative potential. And be brave enough to shift paradigm entirely.
Take Time For You
So what do you do with all of this and where do you start. The key is to take time for yourself. Time just to be. To be in the quiet, To catch up with yourself. To daydream and be gentle. To see how you are really doing. To tune into what you need now. To listen in to your current desires. To explore how all this has impacted you. To feel into your priorities and what matters now.
The 4Rs of retreat is a good way of thinking about it – Renew, Reconnect, Reflect, Realign.
This is an amazing initiation into defining yourself and leading rather than be defined by the world around you.
There have always been two paths – the conform path and the inspiration path. Up until now the certainty of the conform path was the most attractive. But as the known boxes fall away, the only certainty will come from inside of you. By knowing who you are, trusting in your innate potential and confidently positioning and contributing your unique value. Suddenly the inspiration path is coming into its own.
Welcome to the opportunity of pure potentiality. What will you do with it?
Until Next Time,