Tisiola opened our second zoom meeting with the beautiful quote: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a GIFT, that’s why it’s called the present.”
She then asked us to consider two ways Covid-19 has affected us: How has it allowed us to be, and how has it not allowed us to be?
The responses were both varied and shared:
· Given time to enjoy one’s own company
· Forced to accept help instead of being so self-reliant
· Taught to stop and reassess personal values
· Time to remember who we are and reflect on those things still important to us
· Forced to stop. Cease hurrying
· To be non-reactive, non-egotistic
· Stop denying
· To be more empowered to express personal wishes
The object of the exercise was to demonstrate that when our circumstances change, as indeed they have, if our mental health is good, it means we are capable of judging the situation as it is - good or bad - and sometimes even recognising a gift to be found amongst it. A lesson to be learnt from the situation, or develop new ways of thinking. New neural pathways in our brain structure.
Our story contains all that is happening in the world, and also the emerging story coming through us. For that story to be relevant and meaningful to us, we need to be open to learning, and for that, we require a healthy mind.
For us to understand the psychology and deeper meaning of our health and well-being fully, it is important that we know we all have a huge capacity for change. Our physical brain actually has the ability to grow new connections. Something which until relatively recently was not thought possible.
No part of our being is more important than the other. Every particle of star-dust that is us, is also brain. It is all connected and inter-related. What we think, say, hear, feel, all has a bearing on our psychological health and well-being.
Knowing how our conscious and unconscious minds work, is important as they affect the way we relate to one another. Especially as 90% of our actions come about through our unconscious mind, and only 10% through our conscious actions.
This means that our environment, people, life-style, how we sleep, eat, and our habits, all play their part in determining the state of our mental health. All of these things matter because they impact the way we grow and expand our mind. And to enable us to grow a healthy mind, we need to understand our filters.
Filters? Yes, our minds filter everything around us by way of distorting, deleting, and generalising. Our belief systems, value systems, habits, emotions, attitudes and language, are all filters we created when we were children. Which more than likely haven’t been cleaned out since then. Imagine if we neglected the filters in our clothes dryers this way? We’d probably burn the house down. Perhaps that’s the reason some of us implode now and then. Just a thought.
So, we need to look at our filters, and consider how relevant they are in serving the person we want to be - today and tomorrow - not yesterday. If they no longer serve us, we need to change them otherwise we have the same old, unwanted outcomes. This is what happens when people who have not checked their filters, and might well want to change, invariably revert back to unhealthy practices.
In order for change and new growth to take place, we need to clean out, clean up, and replace our filters with more suitable ones, aligned with the outcomes we want.
Language is a very important filter. What sort of stories are we always telling ourselves? Are they positive or negative ones?
Time and space, in the form of memories, are also filters. An important one which frames how we think and view the world.
So, what happens when there is a crisis? How do you view it? With fear or intrepidity? A frightening inconvenience, or the chance to grow new ways of thinking? A new brain with new connections, how wonderful. An exciting opportunity to create new neural pathways and travel roads not ventured on before, or would you rather just beat the same old, same old, down the well-trodden habitual path you have always tarried?
Yes, we have a choice! If we are to change, however, we need to be clear about the direction we want to go in, and then to use our new ways of thinking, feeling and seeing, in order for us to traverse our newly envisioned landscape.
Some of the things we decided as a group and individually to do after Covid-19 has passed through were:
· Always Pause.
· Develop new Gratitude for life.
· Turn being Reactive into to being Responsible.
· Concentrate more on what we can do and do it brilliantly, rather than being overly concerned about what others are doing.
· Doing things intentionally, while at the same time keeping the ego in check.
· Connecting to the Higher Self for guidance and to stop avoiding Self-Awareness and Intuition.
· Turn Denial into Discernment.
· Stay in touch with what is really needed.
We also looked at the language of “What If’s and Buts” that get in our way, and all too often distract and lead us astray rather than staying committed to the reason each of us is here.
Sometimes when we do change, and start to become the person we want to be, we are challenged by friends or family, with the accusation that we are acting out of character.
When this happens, a wonderful riposte is:
“I am more than I have shown you, and more than you are willing to see”.
With that in mind, for those of us who have come through this pandemic relatively unscathed, I think we have a moral obligation to ourselves and those less fortunate, to ensure we honour the lessons emerging from this crisis.
We owe it to them to learn better ways of taking care of ourselves, and one another, so that we can at best avoid, and at least, handle better, future pandemics.
Let’s not squander yet another opportunity we have been gifted.
Toodle pip for now