''Until you make the unconscious conscious,
it will direct your life and you will call it fate''
The more the days are passing in lockdown, the more it seems that we familiarise ourselves with the experience.
I am experiencing and observing mixed feelings around me and wanted to name and discuss some of them.
We were asked to stop and for most people that disrupted their routine in many levels. We stopped going to work, meet and hug friends, do hobbies and activities, travel etc. We were forced to pause; to take a break and, more importantly, a collective one that we would not normally do. It was as if we experienced 'L'arrêt du temps', the stop of time.
We are still alive, oh yes, we breath, we eat, we shower and yet our days are different, time is different, our moments are different. We have more time in the places we live, our homes, we have more time with the people we live with and we have more time with ourselves.
Some people (namely introverts) maybe more comfortable with this arrangement as being confined and minimally distracted might be more aligned with their nature. For other people (extroverts) that might be more challenging as they might enjoy more the company of many other people and being out and about doing things.
Having a bit more time and space available in our days might be challenging for everyone as we are not used to it. We are used to 'running around', doing things, attend to whatever we created as important and meaningful in our lives. Our lives are mainly defined by and focused on 'doing'. We feel we have a successful day when we have accomplished many complicated tasks. We feel we have a meaningful life when we are planning things and look forward to live them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as such.
I have experienced it becoming a problem when we exceed the speed limits of our bodies and minds. I have seen people over and over again becoming physically and mentally ill (off balance) because they have not listened to the alarming bells of limits crossing.
It is totally understandable that in the process of building meaningful lives we might get carried away and overdo it. We only want to keep feeling good about ourselves by creating productive and fulfilling lives. Undoubtedly, being creative is a key element to our health and happiness. Is there an issue then when we cross our own limits?
From a (physical, emotional and mental) health point of view it is useful to be aware of our limits at any given time. When we feel tired and we continue doing the things then we are most likely going to hurt ourselves or start making mistakes. Think that our bodies need (almost) one third of our day (one third of our lives!) to sleep, to rest in an unconscious state which is vital for the function of our brain. Like every system, we need to 'shut down', to have some maintenance time when the 'machine' is going to rest, get cleaned, rejuvenate.
That is what are the holidays for you are going to respond and you are right. How often though, can we take the holiday we possibly need ? Our lives are so tightly structured (including financial commitments) that even if we could have some time off, the things that need to be taken care of, they would not stop or we would not want them to stop.
My sense is that 'doing' has become our main way of being. We exist because of all the things we do, but is that freedom? If someone was to tell us that we would earn the same amount of money without having to go to work, would we still go to work the next day? Would we still create the same life we are creating right now?
I understand that the question and its answer is not that simple, yet my point is what drives our lives? What are we devoted to? What is our passion and purpose of living?
I am not asking those questions in a philosophical way, but in a pragmatic one.
What does make us smile? What does make our hearts beat every single day?
What inspires us and interests us in this world?
Having time and space in our hearts inevitably leaves us some available space and time to reflect, if we wish so. No one asks us to do so, it is entirely up to us.
In our resting time, our sleep, we are having dreams, the vibrant communication between our conscious and unconscious mind that resolves the tensions of the day and informs us of our physical state.
Would it be possible to allow for some time in our two third, every day awaken state to do the same? To be instead of doing?
To be without purpose and direction, to be silly and with no sense, to play, to not think, to be empty, to imagine, to not create, to enjoy the view from mountain we just climbed up.
By just being we might realise that there are parts of our hearts that we did not know existed and, thus, we have not been listening to them as we have been so focused elsewhere.
Whose life are we actual living and who is that is actually living?
Is it someone honest, authentic and whole or someone partial and incomplete?
The quarantine continues... Despite the bombardment of information I would like to continue with some more reflections so long as the 'stay home' regime remains.
I have the impression that we are somewhere between a nightmare and a challenge.
It is true that most people's lives have changed suddenly from one day to the next and it is logical we are all looking to find a balance in our daily lives between past habits and current situation.
We have been quarantined and 'sacrificed' our freedom of movement for a while now, in order to protect our own and others' health, known and unknown.
Some have followed the measures with more or less eagerness in the same way that children in a family react to the imposition of a rule by their parents; some rebel trying to escape the rule and perhaps get into punishment and some follow it submissively as the only possible option.
In the case of coronavirus it is not a punishment but a defined policy to deal with the situation, nevertheless with elements of enforcement. Everyone reacts to such conditions according to their experiences (both from this one and previous lives, if one believes in them). For example, someone can actually feel that they are being punished, like when they were children, someone else that others want to control him and to take away his freedom, another that others are trying to intimidate him for something.
Have you considered following the compass of your feelings, though, how do you experience this circumstance?
One of the first issues raised by the presence of the virus is the reference to our mortality. Yes, in the year 2020 we are still vulnerable to a virus and anyone at any time can get sick and lose their life. So our health and life are always for granted. Reason to being grateful number 1!
Most of us have restricted our field of action to that if our home, our work, to a walk and going to the supermarket. This minimization of space makes everything in it appear bigger and more intense.
Some people are having a hard time because they may be at home trapped with their children without a break, they may not be able to see their friends and close family, they may be alone, they may be trapped in abusive environments where they may not escape from and for many other reasons. For these people comforting solutions may be more about having thoughts about when they will be released and about future holidays, than about any reflections and perhaps possible changes in the way they are thinking. It is normal when a person suffers, to firstly think about when the challenging situation will end and then to reflect on what made him suffer and what the whole experience means to him.
Focusing on solutions can often make us forget how many things we have got, a safe home, some people we love and love us, food, fun, ways of creativity etc. Reason for gratitude number 2!
Prolonged confinement combined with the triggering of unresolved past experiences (wounds, traumas, experiences call them whatever you like) can bring to the surface emotions and behaviours that we were not aware of before. If a person, for example, feels lonely or vulnerable, then they can cause arguments with others around them in order to get attention. Another may feel sadness realising how and why they came to feel lonely when they are physically alone or with in the presence of others etc.
The emergence of such hitherto unknown feelings and realisations can be very difficult to manage and usually takes time and care to integrate the information. Usually, also, it is not helpful to compare one's experience with another as experiences and their reflections are personal affairs. Whether and how one experiences the feeling of loneliness may be very different from another so they can not be discussed as common experience.
Prolonged stay in quarantine can also easily push the mind into the paths of various conspiracy theories, such as that behind all this, lies the plan of few powerful to slowly bring the world to restriction of movements and freedoms. It is true, of course, that many sacramental texts refer to such an upcoming order of things, and also that many times in the past, governments and power groups have used lies to serve their interests.
Talking to friends about it I could not help but started feeling overwhelmed due to a combination of fear, helplessness and despair. Supposing such a thing is the case, it is still a wonder how the human spirit after so many centuries of progress and suffering, turns to the desire for control of other people to the benefit of few. Personally, it seems so 'petty' and despicable to me.
As far as I remember myself, my 'calling' was about creating and helping others create more free lives by freeing themselves from behaviours and dynamics that once may have been their whole world (when growing up), but later they ‘hold them back’. And that's what I intend to continue to do.
As I have extensively discussed, I do not believe that any 'action' human, physical or divine is done by chance in the sense that it has some intention, some meaning, some conscious or unconscious request that triggers it, such as the fire that warms water.
Regardless of what experiences everyone have had and whether they believe in conspiracy theories or not, it may be time to ask some crucial questions to ourselves, now that we can not get so easily distracted by external stimuli.
What does it mean for each one of us to be truly free internally and externally?
How one defines one's freedom and what one is willing to sacrifice to achieve it internally and externally?
How do we coexist with each other's freedom - of existence, expression etc-when it does not 'agree' with our own definition of freedom?
Our world and the way we live will always be made of the expression of our souls so the internal and the external worlds are not very separate. The external world is the synthesis of our contributions to it, so we all constantly creating it.
How conscious, integrous and honest we stand in front of this truth is very personal...
It is one of these moments now that I feel full of experiences and emotions which they long to be expressed in a meaningful way.
During quarantine I have been continuing working with my clients in psychotherapy sessions. It is really interesting to witness what emerges for people, of course, based on their personal history and their psychic journeys. Inspired by these sessions and my personal processing, I wanted to share with you some reflections.
Continue supporting people in such challenging times has not always been easy as it is not always easy for myself to process what is happening. Process that made me realise, though, that we are not alone, that for the first time- at least for the time that I have been on earth- that we collectively experience such a complicated thing that affects the lives of everyone on earth one way or another.
I am aware that up until now I have been focusing on the positive sides and the lessons coming out of this, trying to give myself and others some courage. Yet, I now wish to focus on the real side that always has both a positive and a difficult side in it, like a coin.
It is similar to be going through cancer treatment: you hardly ever open up difficult emotional blockages as the person needs all their strength to fight there and then; one only starts such a process after the completion of the treatment. However, always trying to focus on the positive side can create an added pain that the difficult side has to suffer by remaining in silence and that added pain I wish to gradually lift off now.
For the first time in recent history, we, humanity, are called to 'fight' against the same 'enemy'. Who would have thought, rich and poor people, men and women, 'good' and bad' people, black and white people, straight, gay and transgender people, immigrants and natives, all of us, at this very moment would be having our lives threatened? Certainly some people are more vulnerable than others due to social status.
It is absolutely normal to feel all the feelings that we once felt while we were hunting at the forests to eat. Fear for our own and our loved ones' health, powerlessness for the spread and cure, grief for the losses, disappointment, anger, loss, anxiety, stress, terror and others are some of the feelings that we all right now share in common towards one specific thing. We all have been experiencing these feelings again and again but maybe for different things that are more personal to us like losing one's own mother. The commonality that we all share right now adds another dimension to it.
For some people high levels of fear, anxiety and stress have been their normal state of being as their systems (body, mind- thoughts and emotions- and spirit) have not managed (until now) to resolve reaching a more permanent state of calmness and now the rest of the world gets to know how they feel.
Survival on all levels will always include all feelings in its repertoire.
By living in this physical form we all are at some level powerless: accidents, illnesses, deaths, physical disasters and conditions etc are all unknown (or at least of limited control) factors of the equation of life and happiness. We might know that on an intellectual level but addressing it on a emotional level is a different thing. Feeling lost, insecure, fearful, conflicted, trapped, confused are not enjoyable experiences.
We might choose to address, hide or avoid them but the ultimate reality of their presence does not change. What do we choose, though, it does change and it can make a difference on our experience of life.
I tell you this, fellow human beings, we are all mighty and we are also all weak fragile, powerless, fearful, frightened, ignorant and restricted. That is how nature and gods made us, that is who we truly are and the sooner we realise it the better and the faster we are going to move towards and create a world that it is going to reflect this realisation: a world of peace in surrendering.
I am not at all talking about a complete surrendering to a fatalistic way of living; I am talking about a wholistic, hol-y-stic, united consciousness point of view where we finally going to accept that we are part of something bigger, the same way that a city is a part of a country and country is a part of a continent.
A 'bigger' that is not necessarily 'good' or 'bad', that it does not look out to punish us or make us reign, but maybe assist us in discovering our true essence that is truly beyond our physical form and, ultimately, lives in the totality of our being and hearts.
In whatever way each one of you is dealing with the current situation, I suggest you pay attention to and allow into the light:
whatever feelings you have right now;
whatever emerges through you;
whatever realisations you are making for yourself and your lives;
whatever truths you base your lives on;
whatever shadows and rays of light are coming through your current crack;
whatever words you are adding to or deleting from your vocabulary of existence that you do or do not want to use when all this ends.
I dare you to think with your heart and continue talking about what is truly important for you...