The opportunity within this Pandemic – Part 2

By design, we are kept too busy for deep introspection. Then, enter panic and survival mode of a pandemic... or is there a gift in there? Is this gift of time and space one we're overlooking?

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At first it is easy to roll our eyes at this title — the loss during this pandemic cannot be ignored or overlooked — but if your mental well-being is swaying, this may be surprisingly soothing. My condolences to those who have lost loved ones, jobs, businesses, freedoms and safety nets, the list is long. After you face these hurts, heal and release them, what’s next?

In part 1, I focused on opportunities to work, as so many have been affected economically by this pandemic. What I shared there is by no means an exhaustive list of income-generating activities, but I do hope it’s sparked your intrinsic momentum around what you would like to be doing next.

Part 2, here, draws three (3) points from my blog post, “The opportunity inherent in this pandemic“. I hope this invites you to use this down time for whatever you need — space, self-discovery, healing and self-acceptance, cooking, relaxing, doing absolutely nothing or all the things you never had time or energy to do at home before. As mom to a toddler, practicing attachment parenting, without a lot of support around during this pandemic, I don’t have as much time as I would like to dive into all of this, so if you want to, I hope you absolutely permit yourself to dive in.

Here are just a few I’ve been focusing on — when I can — around self-discovery and self-acceptance. If a lot of emotions have been coming up for you during this time at home, with physical distancing as the cherry on top, I hope these help.

1. Honour your Individual Sovereignty

Perhaps you’ve come to realize that you’re not “normal”. It may scare you as you dig deeper just how far from “normal” you are, but I hope you find it liberating, instead. Loving the person you find there is the pressing opportunity available now. A great start is to honour your individual sovereignty — your unique capacity as the person best equipped to take care of, and make decisions for, yourself. We’ve been taught to look outside of ourselves for everything, so this may require a mindset shift, but if it resonates, this is a deeply empowering exercise.

2. Develop self-trust and intuition

Try making little decisions without asking for anyone else’s input. Fully own both the rewards and consequences of those decisions. Over time, it gets more empowering. As your unique values get clearer, you’ll find your decisions become more and more aligned. You’ll see more of yourself in those decisions.

After a while, you’ll be making decisions, clear on the rewards and the consequences, knowing they’re both worth the decision. For example, self-discovery may mean losing long-term friendships (consequence), and yet the reward of a freedom and relief that are almost tangible (reward). They’re worth it because your decisions are rooted in intrinsic reasons.

3. Rethink Self-acceptance and continuous improvement

As we can’t escape ourselves, it helps to feel truly at home with ourselves. Self-acceptance can become a daily practice, and eventually a habit, that replaces self-critique. I hope it also helps you to put self-improvement back in it’s place — as an occasional activity born out of a desire to try something new, or exciting self-discovery — not as a continuous process. Continuous self-improvement leaves no room so celebrate what already is. I believe, in it’s organic form, self-improvement was not based on a checklist of what’s wrong or a constant focus on the future. I believe it was meant to support you on your journey of self-love. As you focus on joyfully going through life, grounded in your own values and beliefs, new experiences will spark growth organically. It will flow, rather than require all this effort and self-critique.

What are you using this time for?

I listed three (3) more points within my blog post, but they all essentially flow from holding space for discovery and embrace of self. For some, however, down time means down time. How are you relaxing, healing or finding rejuvenation during this time?

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