2020 was the start of a new decade: it offered a chance for new beginnings, to reach new aspirations, to excel in a brand new chapter of life. It promised the prospects that a new year offers but tenfold over. This was what the human race was ready to embrace, but mother nature had something else up her sleeve.
As life appears to be returning to how it once was, so many of us are dizzy with excitement at the prospect of wiping this disastrous start to a new decade from our minds. The notion of suppressing and forgetting the grief, anguish and solitude is, of course, understandable, even desirable, but I find it such a shame to erase it all just like that. It prompts the recall of this quote by Dave Hollis:
“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”Dave Hollis
Would it be preposterous to suggest that maybe we glorified life before? That deep, embedded urge to be occupied felt verging on unhealthy. To be still – quiet and present – was to instead be bored and restless. Then, when outings, socialising and escapism were prohibited, we felt lost and deeply troubled. Why? I want you to face those compressed feelings head-on and ask yourself why you may have felt so uncomfortable. Regardless of personality type, age, medical condition, etc, was living life in the slow lane, second by second, truly that awful? Maybe it was. But why?
I took part in a silent coaching session and addressed these questions myself. I focussed on everything that I had brushed off: things that I had enjoyed and disliked and a mass collection of thoughts, actions and emotions that were lying in a no man’s land at the back of my brain. I reviewed this chapter of my life and drew some conclusions because I don’t want to cut myself off from this. I want to learn, improve and grow, albeit on a very personal level that may be unbeknown to anyone else.
Some people believe that everything happens for a reason. Some believe nothing happens for any reason at all. Either way, the pandemic happened and it is up to you to take what you will from this experience. I believe these have only been a waste of 18 months of your life if you blot them out. So, let’s take a different route: let’s explore them. I invite you to take some time to consider your achievements, challenges and neutral experiences over this period; delve into how you felt and what you want to take forward. What were your key learning curves? What advice would you pass on to someone else?
I used to be the struggle in silence type and this was only emphasised during lockdown. I knew this only took me to a place of reoccurring, burrowing thoughts until I felt it was too late to speak up. However, I didn’t magically wake up one day and decide to change; I read stories about people helping people. More and more tales of unsung heroes started to crop up in the news: neighbours, volunteers, strangers. Things as simple as taking out next door’s bins. I vicariously learnt that people genuinely want to help. There is no shame, fear or embarrassment with asking for a helping hand, only honesty. I made it a habit to be open and to speak up the second worry crept into my mind. I realised that those around me are my helplines.
Care is not limited to friends and family – we all have the capacity to look out for one another and to have a positive effect on those we come into contact with. This shift from pessimism to optimism was very welcome in my life. Maybe it could be for you too.
#pandemic #learning #thewellbeingcollective #thecollective #reflection #family #friends #support #newbeginnings #optimism #mentalhealth #coaching #training #facilitation #development #personaldevelopment #professionaldevelopment #personalmastery