In his book “The Prophet”, Kahlil Gibran says: “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. (…) The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. (…) When you are joyous, look deeper into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.” The words of Gibran are very relevant to the lives we live nowadays and without doubt resonate more than ever in times of crises like this one. It is vital to know and to repeat to ourselves that our sorrow along with all the roughness of this period are transient and, with our proper awareness, will give rise to renewed, joyful, and resilient ways of being. By the way, to everyone that haven’t read this book, do so, this is the perfect time for it. It’s short, beautiful and encapsulates all of life in such a full and inspiring way.
Feeling overwhelmed while being bombarded with information around the coronavirus and especially when self-isolated, is very natural to happen. Experiencing anxiety or stress, or struggling with other mental health issues is only normal. Stress means how one responds to external stimuli by feeling pressured, whereas anxiety is an internal state of constant worry, restlessness, full of “what if” negative scenarios that one plays over and over in their heads. Fear is a disease that is highly contagious, perhaps the oldest disease of mankind, which in terms of our evolution, we also owe our survival to. Now as grown human beings, we must consciously learn to mitigate it. It is time for humanity to come to adulthood.
I will give you some Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) “rules of the mind” that’s relevant to how we live our lives and definitely how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic:
– The mind doesn’t care if what you’re telling it is true or false, good or bad, It just lets it in.
– The way you feel about anything is because of the words you tell yourself and the pictures you paint in your head.
– Every thought (or feeling) causes a physical reaction (for example respective brainwaves will be produced in the brain and hormones in the body to the feeling you feel)
– What you expect is almost always realized.
– Imagination is more powerful that knowledge.
– If there is a battle between emotion and logic, emotion always wins.
In the midst of all the chaos, we can use this information to our advantage and surround ourselves with positive people and attitudes, and embrace all the good things that these transitional times have to offer, such as unity, compassion, connection, benevolence, which are all around the social media. It is also very important to know that the mind doesn’t understand negative phrases; for example, if you tell someone “don’t be scared” all their mind is hearing is “scared”. Instead, one could say “you can do this, you are really brave”. So positive phrasing, not only in term of the notion of what’s communicated but also in the phrasing of it, is crucial. Also, we can train ourselves to expect health, and if we catch the virus, we can expect a speedy recovery. Expecting this to a level of uncompromised certainty can really make us unshakeable.
“Conscious” is the word for these times. We can embrace self-isolation along with every other act of precaution and consciously feel them as the ultimate acts of self-love and compassion that they are. It is also important to remind ourselves and others that this situation is something temporary, and this too shall pass. To propagate calmness, we need to first of all view and welcome this cocooning as “mandatory rest” that we were all much in need of, having been too caught up climbing up the ladder to egotistically reach our own highest comfort and illusionary fulfillment. It’s time to ground, lift that veil up and throw it away. Once we are consciously prepared with all supplies, we can give ourselves permission to pause and limit our uptake of unhelpful information, and allow ourselves to take as much time and space as we need to, to find peace. “Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced”, Kahlil Gibran says. So find stillness within you first, and then set out for your path to positivity.
Then we should remember, isolation does not equal insulation. We can use our times indoors to connect with friends and family over the internet, talk to our neighbors, listen to beautiful music, sing, dance, cuddle, watch inspiring films and series, tune in to positive podcasts as well as engage in nourishing practices of mind and body, such as meditation, mindfulness, Yoga and other psychical exercise indoors. If we don’t know how to exercise alone, we can search for online classes, and I’d recommend doing live Zoom/Skype classes, as they offer this feeling of live connection and uplifting collective energy from people all over the world. We can pick up and start reading those great books we’ve been putting off for a while because of ..”reasons”. We can explore and cultivate our own creativity, we can write, paint, keep a gratitude journal. We can cultivate a new skill by taking an online course or an online mastermind, and keep building on our goals at an accelerated pace. Taking joy in things we considered as given or even boring before this crisis, is a precursor of growing to be grateful towards simple things. There are loads of things waiting to be discovered, for us to value and practice them indoors, that will nourish our body, our mind and our spirit. This process is never ending and unconditional of external circumstances.
More than ever we can “Think Globally, Act Locally”, which also equals to “act globally” in this case. We can introspect, use this as a hatching period of self-transformation, and hence contribute to a world transformation. By valuing all the good things we engage in consciously during this quarantine period, we will feel what deeply drives this world, values such as love, inclusion, forgiveness, compassion, gratitude, unity, sustainability. We’ll refresh our meaning for connection and will have reminded ourselves from this experience, that nothing and no-one exists in a vacuum- we are all connected with each other by default. If we realize this, not only will we feel joyful and powerful indoors, but when the doors open soon, we’ll collectively unite and give birth to a huge shift that will redefine ourselves and our times, placing a loving, beating heart at the center of our world order’s nervous system. For in the end, that is what every catastrophe or pandemic has ever done- they brought the world together, and reminded us to start again from the basics: by practicing what the value of humanity really means.
Many valuable and forever contemporary lessons can be learnt from times like these. In my work, I help people realize and live up to lessons like these on an individual level. In my practice as a Rapid Transformational Therapist, I definitely see how doing it alone, is more challenging than a collective act where everyone is in it together. When one is facing a challenge on their own, sometimes they can’t help but feel they are all alone in this effort, and that no one else can relate. This can be dangerously self-defeating, as it can create new internal negative feedback loops, harboring thoughts and feelings of alienation, I-am-not-enough-ness, and harsh and critical words one says to themselves and can end up believing. One can be strong, but many together are stronger. Here, now, we see everyone being challenged in the same situation. We see that everyone relates with us, and we with them. In other words, there is no “them”. We’re all in this together, as we have been all along, we just lost sight of it briefly. This is a powerful realization, which together with the reawakened ancient tribal connection we’re starting to feel towards each other, they can fuel mutual inspiration, motivation and give rise to massive aligned action.
Let’s do this all together.