Pandemic Thinking. Is there good from this?
We are in a time of uncharted territory for our generation. Travel bans, border and church closures, national sports and school shutdowns; self isolation and economic repercussions we have only begun to imagine. We are watching changes in our global system and economy like we have never seen before.
Fear, anxiety, pessimism, self preservation, hoarding, survival are all actions and emotions we are experiencing on a widespread scale. We are wading into unknown, murky and rough waters.
These are natural behaviours; we are neurological and biologically wired to respond this way. We move from the top of the pyramid ideal of self awakening to plummeting to the base of the pyramid into survival mindset. Our brains our designed to see the negative, to protect and to survive.
That said, we do have choice. We can not choose the circumstance, but we do have choice in how we respond.
What would it be like to view this lens of what can we learn? How can we truly support ourselves? Our community? What can we do to make a positive difference?
How can we harness the energy of families spending time together? How can we support our colleagues, our employers, our friends, our local economy? How can we cut out some of the chaos and noise that usually drowns out our inner wisdom? What power would there be in harnessing that untapped potential that we have not taken time to look at before?
The fear and the anxiety have spread faster than the virus. We are paralyzed by the unknown. It is gripping every conversation and the world as we speak. What if we used this as opportunity to go inward? This, on some level, is a mass global meditation. What if we leaned into our inner voice? What would it say? What if we focus on the resources that we have and not focus on what might be missing? What if we recalibrate, center and use this as an opportunity reorient ourselves to what truly matters? What if we use this time of slow down to create the space we have been longing for? What can we do in this time to filter out what is not working for us and what rediscover what it is that we want? What if we realign our thoughts to what good we can create, rather than focusing only what on what is wrong?
This is a global disrupter that is giving us the opportunity to think differently.
If we can spread the negative emotions associated with the virus this quickly…. What would it be like if we made some conscious choices to spread viral thoughts of possibility, new opportunity, support, grace and kindness? Perhaps our territorial boundaries are shutting down but our humanness and potential within has a chance to come alive and expand.
Our media is here to inform us. Attached to this is frenzy and fear. We can not be naïve, we can not be ignorant, we need to be socially responsible but that does not exclude the notion that we have a choice in how we move through these trying times.
There are ways to find our equilibrium in the face of uncertainty. We can nurture the seeds of anxiety, resentment, anger and grow a garden of fear. Or we can choose to take pause, a few deep breaths, focus on gratitude and have courage. We can choose to nurture healthier ideas, hope, and thoughts that grow gardens of possibility.
These thoughts can be difficult to accept in times of stress and anxiety. With that said, none of us have to do this alone. There is the ability to support each other, find calm and nuggets of potential within the storm.
My personal journey and work as a coach has taught me that there is far greater potential living inside each of us than most realize. It is not that we lack the potential, it is a matter of understanding that the possibility exists, having the courage to look, to be curious and take conscious action.
We all have a choice.