There are endless angles we could look at our present situation from, and one that has been present for me is how this is waking us up freshly to what really matters.
Just one street down from me is a native forest which I am constantly grateful for. It’s full of walking tracks and during a typical week I walk down there a few times. I know I take it for granted that I can go anytime, so sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I think, ‘oh I can easily go tomorrow’. Although if I’ve barely gotten down there during the course of a week, I consider my week has not been in the right balance. I feel as if I’ve somehow deprived myself of something essential. And those weeks of not-quite-in-balance happen more often than I would like.
Now that we are in lockdown I walk there every day (and when there are as few people walking for obvious reasons). As many of our daily freedoms have been taken away, I strongly feel the pull towards what really matters to me – moving my body and being in nature. I KNOW that I simply must walk whenever I can, rain or shine, perhaps because I don’t know when that might be taken away too?
Have you noticed since we’ve been in this pandemic situation that you have a more razor sharp awareness of what really matters to you? Are you finding you’re not willing to settle for certain circumstances or relationship dynamics or behaviour? Are you feeling more and more clearer about what really matters to you?
It is in calamity that I think this crystal clear ‘knowing’ of what is true for you and what matters most comes through. This clarity and even connection to our values seems to be less intense in ‘normal’ day to day life. The nature of the every-day somehow numbs us out and captivates us – often away from our core values or at least blurs them like an out-of-focus camera lens. Our busy lives in the foreground, our values in the background.
It is in calamity that I think this crystal clear ‘knowing’ of what is true for you and what matters most comes through.
I was recalling the story of Oskar Schindler this week; a man who protected Jewish families during World War Two in Poland after reportedly witnessing a child being shot in the street. I believe he and his wife he witnessed numerous atrocities, and their sense of what was right and what they believed in sharpened into 20/20 vision. And from there they acted.
We are sifting and sorting for what fits and what doesn’t fit, what is missing. It’s as if our values are erupting from inside us through the sheer magnitude of the situation we are in, and in a way that makes them undeniable and impossible to ignore. I’ve been picturing a giant hand reaching into my heartspace and pulling out of me what matters most and then holding it up in front of my face so I can’t miss it.
As we move through this situation and as the months go by people will divorce, embark on new careers, close down businesses or begin new ones, and many will never return to a 9-to-5 work week again. A couple of clients have already told me this, and with great delight in their voices. As well as divorces, there will be reconciliations. As well as people changing careers, many will return to their work with renewed appreciation and passion for what they do.
We are learning to re-value life itself.
As time goes on we will know with more and more clarity what we stand for, what we believe in and what we truly value. It will be unique to each person and of course there will be themes. And just as this current situation and particularly being in lockdown is affecting people in all sorts of different ways, people will respond to the new normal and the new freedom in many different ways too. Some will decide that being at home and being in their own country is good enough for them and will cease any travel. Some will get on the next plane and make sure they visit some of those places they had always intended to see. Someone will never return to the work they had been doing and some will return to their work with new gusto and passion and appreciation for what they get to do each day.
There will be no one right way. And the creativity imbued in these new choices will create jobs and organisations and opportunities few of us have imagined yet.
We are learning to re-value life itself.