1. connect back together.
◦ re-establish a bond of communication or emotion.
We live our lives in ways that even our grandparents couldn’t have predicted, let alone our ancestors. We eat foods derived from the same molecular make up as plastic, we consume incredible amounts of unhealthy online content whilst driving our fossil-fuel-burning boxes of carbon fibre to meet with people that rely on drugs to make them happy, skinny, awake. Normal? We broadcast the highlights reel of our lives to millions of people we don’t know whilst sitting in our offices pumped with recycled air counting the minutes until 5.00pm, clinging to that latest hit of oxytocin as we desperately thumb a tiny digital light box searching for the next inspirational quote on our news feed. We suffer from screen addiction, depression, burn-out, overwhelm, anxiety, imposter syndrome, stress, muscle tension, insomnia and so many more totally valid physical, mental and emotional issues because of the lives we are conditioned to lead.
My great grandmother through her 20’s was a land girl, keeping my great great grandfather’s farm going whilst the world went to war. She then became an ambulance driver during the blitz in central London where she collected body parts from the rubble. She didn’t care about getting the most out of her gym membership or whether her cheeks were contoured enough. She sang church hymns as she drove to stop her feeling so scared. That generation had their own problems and they were no less or more valid and justified than ours. They were just different and no one could have predicted how quickly humanity would change over the course of the last 60years.
In some senses ‘Covid19 is our generations war’. We feel it deeply because to most of us its invisible. We rely on social media and television to show us whats going on whilst we stay home (stay safe) and complete the anthology of Netflix and share positive memes on our news feeds. The majority of the community are only seeing photos of Covid wards and hearing anecdotes of funerals and walking the dystopian aisles of Tesco. And this is tragic. The only way the majority of us can help is to stay home and protect the herd. We can’t roll out an urn of tea in the middle of a pile of rubble that used to be our neighbours house. We can’t volunteer in front line hospitals to console the dying and we can’t offer up our old pots and pans to make more munitions for our troops. All we can do is literally clap our warriors from the sidelines in solidarity. And this lack of physical ways in which we can help is so difficult for those of us who are natural over-functioners in response to trauma. Lord Kitchener, ‘Britons, your country needs you’… to stay home and do whatever you have to, to get your people through this.
I draw parallels between this pandemic and the war my great grandmother was forged during because this is a collective experience that will unite us and change the course of the world as we know it. Future generations will study the societal and anthropological changes Covid19 made to the world. So think carefully about how you want your actions to be perceived by future generations during this time. My biggest fear is that we don’t change from this and the suffering of many was totally in vain.
In general we live our lives so far removed from reality and in such disconnect it’s hard to bring yourself back sometimes. I truly believe that right now we need connection more then ever. Connection to our communities, to our fellow humans and to the planet we stand on. So let’s start…
Take your shoes off and stand on your lawn, feel the grass between your toes. Feel the muscles in your feet flatten and spread. Feel the fascia release as nature greets the soles of your feet. Take your coat off. Let your shoulders relax down and sail away from your ears. Feel the temperature of the air on your skin. Soften your eyes, give them a break. Give your brain a break, a chance for it to stop the constant stream of sub-conscious reactivity. Fill your chest with air. Feel the fresh oxygen rush around your system and thank your body for doing this every second without applause, without glory. Start your path to reconnecting with your own autonomy and the planet we stand on. Re-establish that bond of communication or emotion.
And remember… ‘you don’t have a soul, you are a soul’ – Walter Miller Jr and we are all part of something so much bigger then ourselves.
Photo courtesy of The Copper Lens