HERE WE ARE on the verge of lockdown. The world is in a state of emergency. Heard mentions of Brexit recently? Neither have I. Because Brexit is made up, as is Great Britain and so is the economy - and all the ways we organise society. A virus has arrived and threatened humanity, causing people to wake-up. Previous big issues and events have become insignificant, as nature reigns supreme. Covid-19 is real and so is the rest of the natural world. In fact, all that actually exists is consciousness and the universe in which it resides. Some people would go further to say none of this exists either - but lets not go down that road for now! The point is we live on this planet - we don’t own it and we certainly don’t have control.
What is particularly apparent is how delicate the systems are on which we rely everyday. But even though everything seems more fragile right now, nobody knows what the future holds - EVER. It has always been this fragile - and it always will be.
This may seem a strange and unnerving way to start a blog to promote sound mental health. But it is necessary as an introduction. Clinging to made-up belief systems drives us mad. We never feel good enough and we have lost meaning. We are so wrapped up in ourselves, in proving we have what it takes, setting goals and striving to be better, competing with each other - for what?!
The likelihood that coronavirus originated in animals and was transferred to humans via inhumane practice (also SARS, Swine Flu, Mad Cow Disease) is a big warning sign that nature is fighting back. It holds up a mirror to our reality, our selfishness and our greed. You only have to look at factory farming pictures to see it cannot be right to live this way, but the system (commerce) demands it!
I am not new to any of this. Growing up pictures of humans and animals in distress landed on the doormat daily. I watched my mother write letters to government officials urging them to release unfairly incarcerated humans or stop torturing or sentient beings. She would say ‘people are not very nice’ but I kind of became immune to it. I was torn between an easy path, immersed in the illusion of consumerism, wanting to progress in my life, or living alternatively and shining light on the shadows. I chose what seemed like the easy path, but it made me miserable, anxious, ill and depressed. I have been slowly waking up for sometime.
And then this week I saw a picture of a caged heron in a bird market in Vietnam. The image is too sad to share. Herons are majestic, independent birds that soar and swoop. They hide in the rushes deep in meditation, watching and waiting - just being. The image of this beautiful bird trapped in a small cage unable to spread its wings is so devastating. And so symbolic.
We have got this all so wrong.
But we mustn't blame ourselves; we are indoctrinated from the moment we are born. Assumptions about how to live are perpetuated from generation to generation. We accept ridiculous norms that we take as gospel, many of us never questioning the validity or the sustainability of these actions. We think ‘that is just the way it is’ or ‘there is nothing I can do about it’.
But we can. And it is easier than we think. The message is simple - be present. We can go about our lives in a slumber or we can wake up to what’s really going on.
We don’t have to change overnight, we don’t have to take on the world, we just need to work on ourselves day by day, constantly remembering to let go and surrender to the flow of life.
For many of us the enforced isolation is a real nuisance. We have bills to pay, children to care for, things to worry about. But if we surrender and let ourselves be supported (hopefully with government funding), we can use this time as an opportunity to reflect. What is it that we really truly want?
My suggestion to you is that one heals the world by healing oneself. Raising your consciousness raises the consciousness of the world. There is nothing more important than you.
This week I am launching The Sanity Circle, a free group on Facebook. In this group I hope we can support each other, develop ideas and grow together.
Every day I will post simple suggestions to help you stay sane. These will not be onerous tasks, but simple things you can easily do to help yourself. Your mental health matters and so does your recovery. Let’s help each other to really shine light on the darkness once and for all.