Our world is in Coronavirus lockdown and we find ourselves unable to continue with life as we knew it. At a time when all of us are forced to change our habits, the temptation to respond with worry and fear is natural. Yet we all know that worry is not the wisest answer and fear only makes things worse.
But how to respond otherwise?
Someone once said that “ It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”1
How can we best adapt to this unprecedented situation so that we come out the other side strengthened and enriched?
Perhaps it is time to rediscover a sense of connection with the world, with nature, with ourselves and others…?
Perhaps it is time to show some humility and trust Life?
During the next days and weeks I will share with you several steps to help you do just that.
Serious challenges require smart responses. Dramatic changes require swift reshuffling and updating of our paradigms.
We are resourceful, intelligent beings and we will find a way.
Let’s start a new journey here.
Change your paradigm: Trust Life
I want to invite you to make a leap of faith. It’s not easy, I know. But I believe you will find it very rewarding.
There are two main approaches to life. The so called fatalistic approach – where one feels that everything is happening to them – that they are essentially powerless.
And the opposite, “I am in control” approach – where one feels, essentially, that “where there is a will, there is a way”.
Both of these approaches are flawed. The first, taken to extreme, makes one “a victim” of circumstances.
The second, when exaggerated, makes one vulnerable to situations in life when one is not, actually, in control – disease, death, natural phenomena, etc.
So the secret, as often, is to look at these two approaches, identify where you are naturally positioned, and then work to strike a balance between the two extremes.
If you are naturally inclined to feel at the mercy of circumstances – start looking into how you could assert more control. Control over your thoughts. Control over your emotions. Control over your actions. Don’t assume that Life is against you. Why would it be? Instead of feeling hard done by, see how you can help Life help you.
If, on the other hand, you tend to want to feel in control – stop and look at all those things that are not, really in your control. Instead of feeling alarmed by this reality, appreciate that Life has its own ways and that some things are simply not your responsibility. Learn to trust Life. After all, the universe is intelligent and nature knows how to heal and transform.
In both cases the key is this: you must learn to trust Life.
Throughout history, humanity has been confronted to challenge after challenge and every time it had to learn to adapt, to transform and evolve.
At times Life can appear very cruel. There will be moments where we may find it difficult to see any positive outcome to what is happening to us.
But we must trust Life.
Not because we are helpless. We aren’t. There are many things we can do.
And not because we are in control either. There are many aspects that are definitely not in our control.
We must trust Life because the only way to move forward is by staying positive and open; by learning and adapting and being creative. (Fear is paralysing; not being able to adapt makes us closed and vulnerable).
When we learn to trust Life and its intelligence we also learn to trust ourselves.
We are Life. We share its intelligence, resourcefulness and creativity.
So the first step is to give Life a bit more credit. It knows what it is doing.
Do the following meditation for the next several days. Feel free to journal your experience and note down any thoughts or ideas you may have whilst doing this.
“The Pulse of Life” Meditation
Sit down in a comfortable place. Breathe deeply for a couple of minutes. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.
Scan your body and allow it to relax.
See if you can put a smile on your face. It helps.
Then allow yourself to think about the miracle of being alive. Your body is naturally breathing and seamlessly continuing its functions.
Look around you. Life is unperturbed. It continues its cycles: day follows night, the sun is shining, birds are singing, clouds are passing by, trees are blooming and the grass keeps growing.
The universe continues to expand.
Listen to the pulse of Life and slowly allow yourself to surrender.
Realise that your worries, your fears, come from a limited perspective. Nothing lasts forever. This too shall pass.
What if Life knows what it is doing?
How would you feel if you trusted Life, completely?
There is not much else you can do.
Feel the pulse of Life. Let it guide you.
Surrender to its rhythm.
Feel your heart beating. Feel your lungs breathing. Life is pulsating through you.
Imagine yourself growing with the grass, flowing with the river, shining with the sun, floating with the clouds.
Surrender to this feeling of peace and trust.
And see where it leads you.
Stay in this blissful state for as long as you feel like.
You are reconnecting with Life.
You should come out of this experience energised and inspired.
Get back to your daily activities with a renewed sense of wonder, trust and gratitude.
You are doing your best.
And Life is on your side.
You trust Life.
1. Quote widely attributed to Charles Darwin but apparently belonging to the American business professor Leon C. Megginson who in 1963 delivered a speech that contained a passage presenting his interpretation of Charles Darwin’s ideas.