I can’t help to think that this entire crisis was intentionally and intelligently created as a means to restructure society. We were a society of “doing” instead of a society of “being.” The entire world pushing, forcing, making shit happen at every moment of every day. We were multitasking, a-type, success stories who were accomplishing so much yet missing everything. There was no appreciation for the sacredness of life. We were too distracted to notice that we were missing everything.
This is reflected in the current state of our world. Our population size, our climate, our endangered animals. In our pursuit of financial success and gains we have missed out on everything that we already have. In our pursuit of doing, we have lost the joy of being.
In eastern philosophy there is yin and yang energies. Effort and ease, grace and grit, force and flow. No element is seen as bad – both energetic sides of the coin are necessary parts of the whole. In Taoism it is believed that when we are unaware that the two sides of a polarity support one another to form a whole, we identify with only one side of the polarity. This in turn leads to suffering and self-destruction. When we understand how the two poles support one another this leads to a peaceful and integrated life.
Instead of seeing this situation and state as bad – can we look at it as means to balance us? This way of living is at odds with our old ways of living. We put the breaks on. Even if you’re still working….I bet you feel it too. You may be working but everything else is gone. The responsibilities, the social life, the travel, the doing.
Many of us were stuck in force. Content creation, financial gains, activities, accomplishments, social gatherings. The emphasis here is on doing. On making shit happen, on gaining, acquiring and accomplishing. When we were forced into stopping – stay home, work from home (or not at all), be by yourself…….many suffered. It was an energy pole that we were not used to. We labelled it as bad. All of a sudden it was just us. There was no need to push with work, we threw out our 2020 agendas, we had no social calendar and maybe even the desire to workout for that perfect body…. gone.
It was just us. Our home. A handful of people perhaps. A cat. What now?
We reflected on what we needed to catch up on. We rested. We went outdoors. We read. We made food. We did yoga. We meditated. We called our parents. Old friends. We relaxed. So much yin energy. While many resisted this forced relaxation – many were surprised to notice……..this is exactly what we needed.
While I don’t downplay the seriousness of the situation and the bigger stresses at play, I for one feel that this is a positive shift. This pace feels natural. This feels like I’m in flow with nature. I am working and I am at home with my children and there are still chores to do, projects to finish, work to get done…..but it’s manageable. The day to day tasks are stressless. For the first time in a long time.
How did I ever call what I was doing before…living? I’m not constantly running out the door. I’m not glued to my phone. I feel no need to push, to create, to sell, to reinvent the wheel in my business. I’m just in being. There is balance. There is flow. There is gratitude and appreciation.
I feel more gratitude and appreciation with less. I have less right now. I have less work. Less finances. Less friends. Less opportunity. Yet here I am feeling abundance more than ever. I have never felt like I have more than I do right now. It’s this grace that sustains me through the fear of the unknown.
Everything in nature is temporary. The seasons. The temperature. The cycles of life. An animal does not label things as good or bad. They’re just seasons of being. Everything is temporary and for that reason there’s no need to label it as good or bad.
In the ultimate book of Taoist teachings, the Tao Te Ching, a text which embodies Lao-tzu’s teachings, it is explained that “when the world knows beauty as beauty, without knowing that it depends upon its opposite, i.e., ugliness, then beauty turns out to be ugly. Similarly, when people know goodness as goodness, without knowing that it co-exists with evil, goodness tends to become evil.”
Instead of labeling our current state as bad, can we see it as the other side of the pole. The yin and yang brings us back into balance .The Tao Te Ching teaches that ugliness teaches us beauty. Pain teaches us ecstasy. Suffering teaches us joy. Without knowing one side, we cannot fully appreciate the other. Both are necessary parts to the whole.
May we use this time to reflect on how to bring ourselves back into balance. What polarity are we missing? How can we join in with the rhythm of nature? Can we find more flow, balance and ease amongst the force and accomplishment?
Go outside today and revel in the beauty of nature that you may have missed during your years of doing. Go outside and just be. Notice how much of life you were missing. Notice the natural pulse and rhythm of nature. It’s through this appreciation and gratitude for life itself that we will relax into being. I guarantee we will all start treating the earth a lot better when we can simply stop and appreciate it for all that it is. Take some time today to simply be.
With grace and grit,