It feels like an understatement to say the world has changed somewhat since my last post… For the past few weeks I’ve felt driven to document the history that we are creating right now, but yet too exhausted to put pen to paper… lacking the head-space to fully process my thoughts… it’s all too surreal!
Schools closed… exams cancelled… pubs, restaurants, shops and offices all shut down and standing empty… construction sites abandoned… flights grounded and non-essential travel stopped as we are repeatedly urged to STAY HOME…
We queue for hours to get our groceries; use skype to see our friends and family; attempt to educate our children whilst taking a conference call; and that’s the lucky ones who still have a job…
We try not to forget the NHS staff, emergency services, carers, teachers, supermarket assistants and other key workers who are risking their own health to keep our basic needs met…
Meanwhile the planet is able to breathe again; the skies are blue; rivers run clear; bees and butterflies fill our gardens as nature thrives all around us…
For a little while I succumbed to the fear and panic around me – quite understandable when the world as we know it has been turned on it’s head. While some rushed to convert to working from home, moving courses on-line, touting their business on social media in a bid to maintain some sense of normality; I found myself floundering in the face of all this ‘productivity porn’ – to quote prof. Aisha Ahmad.
I felt lost… what did I have to offer this new world?
It turns out I did the most sensible thing I could, though I didn’t realise it at the time. I turned off my social media, spent time with my family, made sure we could get food and took some time to figure out what’s really important to me. I realised (with a little help!) that my mental and physical health were more important than my business, because without them we would have no business at all.
My connection to nature and the world around me has always been central to the core of my being… my inspiration and life-source… the one thing that will always get me going again. And it has led me back online, finding my own tribe in our Positive Earth Community Facebook group. Through talking about our shared experiences, appreciating the beauty of nature and feeling connected to others all over the country, despite the restrictions which keep us physically apart, we are coming together to support each other far more than ever before.
A common theme I’ve noticed is that, despite our collective trauma, financial struggles and uncertainty for the future, many of us are experiencing some benefit from this slower pace of life. (Apologies to those of you who I know are still working and risking your lives on a daily basis for the rest of us.)
I’ve known for many years that I needed to truly slow down… to change the way I structure my days and what I choose to prioritise… to be more present in each activity instead of always thinking about the next project; worrying that the last wasn’t good enough; ‘busying’ myself with unimportant tasks while avoiding the ones that matter! However it’s not easy when society on the whole rewards being busy. Multi-tasking is seen as a necessary skill for so many jobs even though it’s actually counterproductive and for decades we’ve been conditioned to push ourselves to achieve more, sell more, earn more, ‘be’ more – even our children are being driven by targets and taught to judge their self-worth by academic grades…. Grades which for many 16 and 18 year olds have become meaningless overnight!
Our capitalist culture has become a monster which is systematically destroying our planet and our well-being… we ignore our hard-wired natural instincts then wonder why our lives are filled with stress, depression and anxiety… the world is moving too fast and we’ve all been too busy to notice the warning signs… this may sound controversial but it’s almost like Coronavirus is the medicine we need in order to change the world. Nature’s own revolution!
Not that I’m disregarding the pain and suffering it has also caused and will continue to bring for a while yet… let’s hope that the deaths, grief and loss are not all for nothing.
Let us seize this opportunity to reconnect with the earth that feeds and nurtures us; to rethink our values and priorities; to rebuild a better world….
How do we want that world to look?
Until next time…