As I sit here and write today, there is an unimaginable peace outside in the street. It is beautiful. As an introvert and a person who values slower and quieter over faster and noisier, this expanding presence of peace we are being given during the coronavirus lockdown feels like an unexpected gift from heaven.
Yesterday, I went for my walk around Lansdown, Bath, UK and it was noticeably quieter – except for the merriment of chirping birds, who are undoubtedly partying like never before. The sun was out, this single, humble dandelion growing on the side of the road was boldly shining its light for all to see; “you’re not concerned about self-isolation,” I thought as I stopped to admire its perfection and take in its beauty.
The sheep who live on the grassy slope outside Lansdown Crescent (yes really) were communally grazing contently in the peace of the sun, ostensibly oblivious to the worldwide ‘crisis’ taking place.
All was well in their world.
I started thinking (again) about what we can learn from nature. How little, we as human beings actually practice being. If we could be more like the sheep and the dandelion and the birds in the trees, we might feel happier and actually live. We might just thrive if we flowed more. Allowed ourselves to go where we feel drawn, do what we feel inspired to do and stop when we feel tired.
‘Being’ involves allowing, of course. Allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go, to ebb and flow, to wander in our minds where inspiration takes us and to let go again – of thoughts and feelings – and let our imaginations expand.
This is what we see children do when they feel safe and secure. They play. They pretend. They meander from one thing to another and go with the flow. You see them laugh one minute, cry another. As adults, we often feel puzzled by that! Yet, it’s as natural as the natural world going about its’ business.
I wonder what might happen if we all did this a little more? I imagine great expansion of thought and explosion of creativity taking place. Where great ideas collide, as we just talk and share and feel our way through this undoubtedly expansive time! I know many writers and introverts are valuing this withdrawal into ‘self’ – not the reason for it, but the time and space to retreat, pull back from the mayhem we call modern life.
This inspirational quote by J.R.R.Tolkien reminds me that depth, nourishment and connection to ourselves and the earth – rather than chasing solutions, answers or ‘fixes’ – is vital right now.
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
Yes, there will be the opportunists, the criminals, the strategists and those forcing things to happen their way again; the greedy, the fearful, the ‘what’s in it for me?’ which is much like we’ve seen in our supermarkets. Those fearing the future, stock-piling their nests and generally trying to get to the top like it’s a test!
And of course, in many ways, it might be a test for us all.
However, perhaps now is a time to start by resting. Pausing. Just like the earth needs – and is able to do now. Waiting. Waiting to see what unfolds.
I’m not suggesting that we ‘don’t act’. Rather, that we avoid reacting. When we take action on the back of inspiration which comes from within, we’re far more likely to be following a grounded direction that is right for everyone.
Perhaps an idea which feels divinely guided during prayer or meditation, a spark which ignites after hearing someone speak or some inspiration which drops into our psyche while cleaning the bathroom. That’s when much of my inspiration takes place!
There is a risk right now that fearful or anxious steps are taken in chaotic directions with unintended or ‘wrong’ intentions. Or maybe on the back of unhelpful expectations we impose on ourselves (or imagine are coming from others).
Talk to others during this time. Share how you feel. Allow inspiration to come – from those conversations – from your time in nature, from that quiet and nourishing time alone or when you’re in a deeply creative space.
Notice what you notice about how you’re perceiving the world as it’s changing right now. What inspires you? What calls you? Where does your energy feel pulled?
I believe this is a time of great quiet for the world and our planet and we would do well to honour it, giving it the respect it deserves. Perhaps we all need to take care that we don’t just pick up our already frantic lives and move them online or indoors.
If we are mindful now, we will indeed be rewarded with new ways of living, loving and connecting to our planet and each other, as collectively we pull together going forwards.
And know this; when we look inside and sincerely seek what’s real and true and wholesome for ourselves and those around us, new ideas will be born. They will find their way up and out, surfacing like a seed which was planted ‘way back when’ in Wintertime but now knows that Springtime is here.
Your Authentic Life Matters!