You are not alone
Updated: Jan 22
We are living in a time of rapid change. What we took for granted and what we understood about our lives is not the same today as it was even a few weeks ago. This virus (Covid-19) is challenging our old perceptions. It is challenging what we accepted as ‘normal’. Perhaps it is only through a pandemic, something that reaches every single person on the planet, do we begin to see how inter-connected we all are, and how fragile our current system actually is. I believe we are being asked to face our humanity simply because we are facing our mortality, not only as individuals but collectively. The planet, this beautiful Earth that sustains us all, is giving us a wake-up call.
We have been waiting expectantly for this change to occur, and seemingly it was always just around the corner. Now the smallest amongst us, a virus, has penetrated a world view that is not sustainable. The ‘me first’ thinking that pervades so much of our lives now reveals its limitations and the fundamental untruth that we are separate.
We are not separate; we are all in this together.
At this time I feel my vulnerability. I notice old defences coming up; they beg for my attention. Shadows beckon like siren calls; they offer nothing but contraction and ancient suffering. The answer is not to push them away, ignore them or even to try to ‘fix’ them. Rather I am being asked to experience more fully as if I am – we all are - being asked to become more fully human.
As this wave washes through me, I become aware I am not really the age I am. None of us are. You are not 20 or 30 or 50 or whatever your chronological age, you are thousands upon thousands of years old. We are descended from ancient peoples. Our bodies are made of particles that existed from the dawn of our universe. We are made of this Earth. And, in our bodies, we hold the memories and the resilience of a long history of survival, of growth and flowering.
The vulnerability and helplessness I feel becomes an incentive to open to what wants to come through. This is not as paradoxical as it might look at first glance. It seems to me we are in the river and now we are swimming. The current is too strong to hold onto the embankment, so what choice remains? What we need to recognise is we can swim together. That is our challenge. That is what we have done before; that is what we are asked for now: to come together in recognition of what we share in common, rather than focus on what divides us. This is not a sprint to the finish; we need to take a longer view. Together we are resilient; evolution has shown us that it is the fittest group that survives by changing and evolving. The fittest group, not the fittest individual.
You are not alone. We are all in this together.
We share this planet, not only with other humans but also with animals, plants, mushrooms, the rocks and minerals we stand on, all of life. We have no option but to open to the presence which infuses and envelopes all that *is* - and all that can be. Our future unfolds from precisely this moment. What we hold within ourselves now becomes the matrix for what is to come. This moment holds the potential for healing all the trauma that our nervous systems have been unable to discharge, whether that trauma comes from this lifetime you are experiencing or from the trauma of previous generations. This is the time to shine light on the shadow, whether it’s your personal conditioning or inherited suffering in which the pain is carried subconsciously forward from generation to generation. Now is the time to bring these shadows into a conscious awareness. Does not this virus impel us do so?
Together we can engage in a creative act, each one playing his/ her part. We can do this through the power of presence. Shining the focus of your undivided attention on that which has been hidden is like holding an ice cube in your hand. At first the ice is cold and hard with sharp edges, but the light of your presence is like the warmth of your hand which melts the ice until all that remains is a drop of water which soon evaporates. Trust in your innate ability to transform energy. It’s something you do every moment of the day, transforming everything ingested into the body into fuel and nourishment.
We can transform ‘held’ energy – trauma – with the simple yet enormously powerful ability to bring a focus of attention. When this attention is brought through presence there is a healing action that occurs: when a ‘kind witness’ not only cherishes what it perceives but also embodies and connects. This is compassion.
Over and over again I see the same process happen in our workshops: the activation of healing presence. First we have to ground, in our bodies, in the space we occupy and with the earth beneath our feet. Then the process encourages a meeting with yourself: the discovery of whatever is held beneath our awareness with all the unconscious conditioning keeping you from the fullest expression of your authentic being.
Having a look at ‘self’ is complemented by being witnessed by others. This leads to a sharing of our common humanity. Looking within needs the companion of sharing with others; the *I – Thou* that connects us with each other. This is exactly what we are called upon to practice at this time: to be present with each other, simply listening to someone else without trying to ‘fix’ or offer advice when it has not been asked for. Are these not things you have experienced within the workshops? Let us put that into practice not only with those who have similar experience but with everyone: a neighbour, shop keepers, postal workers… anyone who may be feeling afraid or frustrated. Listen to them, offer them the space you would wish for… and we will come together.
There is a further, perhaps more vital, aspect that we need to open to. When a group is grounded - each individual within him/ herself and open to each other - then an energy is encouraged. What I call a healing field becomes evident. This field of energy is created from of all the ‘presences’ in connection. What emerges is a field that is wider and deeper than any individual, It is greater than the sum of all the parts. Whenever this happens, this phenomenon is perceived by the whole group. Remarkably for a group experience, each person has a sense of their own personal connection with this greater energy. At these moments the *I* and *Thou* are no longer separate, and the *I* and *We* are not in opposition. With such moments there is no need to be against anything because everything has a place, much like an orchestra with many instruments playing… all in tune and all hearing the same rhythms and sounds that includes all.
You are not alone. We are all in this together.
I ground myself through various practices, some active, some quiet though all meditative. This is the first step: to ground within ourselves. This naturally flows into a feeling of inner spaciousness. When something comes up, can I be *with* and not against whatever it is arising? Be open to ‘not knowing’ rather than reacting in a knee-jerk manner, trusting in a deeper wisdom to come through.
Every illness carries the keys to wellness. Too long we have been seeing the world in fragments. This corona virus brings us together as it reaches out and touches every one of us. Let us respond by listening, by ‘not knowing’ and being willing to learn.
I open myself to whatever wants to come through, to whatever wants to happen, for the highest good of All.