Life lessons from lockdown

What being furloughed during lockdown has taught me about myself.

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This strange time in our history has dramatically changed the lives of many. It certainly changed mine.

The lockdown and furlough took my work and gym away. Having so much time alone forced me to confront emotions and painful memories I had buried inside. I had many tearful days.

Reaction

Lockdown happened. I was furloughed and I reacted to the situation. No-one was hiring and I was desperate to find something to do to distract my emotions of fear and anxiety. 

I was in a survival mode. I went to the online world to find as many courses as I could think of to support my wellbeing and to educate myself, hoping to be able to develop new skills if I lost my job.

I thought I was doing ok by practising yoga every day, eating healthier and studying new subjects. I found a way to distract myself from unwanted emotions.

Realisation

Something really important happened one evening while I was meditating using a deep breathing technique from one of the courses I signed up.

Many emotions and memories I didn’t want to face for a long time suddenly came out during the meditation. Regret about how I went through my long-term relationship for seventeen years and how we broke up three years ago. Grief about losing my younger sister twelve years ago. Loneliness is still the biggest challenge for me to deal with as I have no direct family in this country and I have no partner.

I couldn’t stop crying for a while. After a big cry, I went to bed and carried on doing the same lockdown life routine.

Shift

The loneliness, fear and financial strain pushed me to start working on my brand. 

I built an online shop to sell Furoshiki and Origami Artworks while I was furloughed since April. Both products are inspired by my Japanese culture. I had been having those creative design ideas for a few years, however, fear and thought of “I am not good enough” stopped me from bringing these ideas to life.

I discovered Ali Mapletoft who is a mindset and messaging coach for creative women on Instagram and joined her designer’s community. One of her posts moved my heart and made me cry. I am an Interior Architect and I love designing and being creative. As an experienced senior member of staff, the project stages I work on are mostly technical stages and not design stages. I had been wanting to design and put my soul into creational works but I couldn’t. I could not put my soul and truly enjoy the works when I had to take over someone else’s design and solving their problems and making their work to exist. Working with Ali made me realise that it was OK to earn a living as a creative and this pushed me forward to create my brand.

I surrounded myself with amazing designers in this online community. I was learning every day and excited about taking every step towards building my brand.

Second realisation

I had my second realisation when I was in one of our guest mentors 5-day challenges. Jamila Theobold supports our mindset, psychology & energy in our designer’s community. I was doing everything I could think of to make myself healthier and happier but I wasn’t happy. I thought having a positive attitude was good but I was wrong. I was pretending to be ok and burying my painful emotions. The second realisation was a necessity to confront those emotions and painful memories from the past. I had to make peace with it all.

I want to shift away from a sense of being invalid, being unloved, shame and scarcity moving towards hope and abundance.

I would like to share what I’ve learnt:

  • It is important to work with our emotions and energy. 
  • We can make peace with what’s happened in the past.
  • It’s ok to acknowledge that you are struggling and suffering.
  • It’s ok to seek professional support to deal with your emotional challenges.
  • There are some techniques and tools that could help us to transform our pain and suffering. All we need is to find the right tool for us and have a commitment to do the work.

I was made redundant on the 1st of September.

I am grateful that I have already gone through my realisations and ready to do the work and transform to step into something greater.

I’ve started a brand to inspire people to act responsibly towards our environment and remind them to reconnect with nature. 

I want anyone who is in my situation to realise that it’s never too late to turn the situation around and start something because the world is changing and we can build a better future.

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