Yesterday, I stood in the vortex of fear. The streets quite barren here in Vancouver, the grocery stores and outdoors shop nearly empty. I could feel the strong disconnect amongst those who were walking the city, rather frantically. My children somewhat perplexed, but staying present. It felt like something out of a sci-fi film. Not so unfamiliar, considering the number of situations we have had on the world stage as of late 🔥🔥🔥
Without television and a very infrequent desire to dive into the media – as events are on a loop really, with different characters each time – I have a chance to understand HOW I choose to navigate through this very human reality.
I see that external events have been triggering the latent fear within us more and more frequently as of late. The flight-fight-freeze is being exasperated, and in this, we tend to blame project shame. Our nature is to disconnect out of fear (before we learn to come together). We live in a ‘socially distanced’ world, virus, or no virus.
If we are willing to go further with this, the fear that is being triggered is not new – sure, we may not have the antibodies as of yet to fight this fight, but a disempowered dance with fear is a loop that has been on repeat for many since our earliest years. To compound the experience, we are carrying the survival energy our ancestors played into, quite literally killing to put food in front of their families.
This, really, is what any external stimuli has the potential to do – to propel us into our survivor selves, one that has us feel unsupported, unloved and unworthy of good health – to the point of helplessness, disempowerment, victimization.
We may find ourselves asking WHY is this happening. WHY me. WHY this here and now. Investigating all the details. Reading the latest reports.
Sure, the downside feels monstrous. Particularly if we are in the center of the vortex of the fear that is very present. The fear wants us to put up a fight, in place of coming into presence. This is what keeps the fear alive. And keeps us in addictive cycles of stress and ‘problem-solving’ as a humanity.
☑️ We are making more sensible choices hygienically, and health wise. Perhaps we are motivated to cut back on sugar, alcohol or poor food choices that weaken our immunity. Perhaps we are encouraged to move our bodies a little more.
☑️ We may be paying more attention to our physical environments, slowing down and being intentional about our lives
☑️ We may be spending less time externalizing our lives – over consuming, over socializing, overdoing. This may be a strong opportunity to sit with ourselves and take inventory of what is happening within. There is less bandwidth to run away from our own fear through such times.
☑️ We may be reaching out, connecting with others, and asking for support, allowing ourselves to be seen and heard through difficult emotions.
☑️ We may be reminded that we are not separate from one another. What is challenging one human, one family, one nation, is very present in our lives, irrespective of where we find ourselves geographically
How is this helping us? Well, we are finally taking some serious steps to reclaiming the beautiful life and body we have been given. We are getting back to the basics. We may finally be giving ourselves the space we need to feel the feelings, and also offer a gentle hand to that neighbour we go without talking to daily, or that family member we were unable to forgive.
The survival state has a funny way of bringing up what is truly important for our humanity to thrive – it’s not the productivity, not the mass consumerism, not quick fix-band aid solutions that has us ‘progress,’ but rather authentic regard and mindful attention towards self and community.
As humans, we tend to respond only when situations become elevated and we HAVE to do something about what is in front of us. We take a great deal for granted. We are passive until we are not – and then, our hyper-vigilance tends to become aggressive. From this fear-based state, no productive change can come about. We become caught in a deeply reactive cycle as a humanity, looking for the next external upset to tackle. Our reactive approach to life does not give us relief from the ongoing struggle, nor does it create a strong, sustainable foundation for future generations. Only healing the disconnection within will do that.
With that, I share some ‘survival’ tips that come to mind –
👣 Take precaution. It is not a time to be naïve nor defiant (these are also old childhood patterns!), whether it be this global recalibration or any other. Understand the impact of your fear management on your own well being, and that of others. How do you model dealing with ‘crisis?’ Particularly in the presence of our vulnerable populations – children and elders?
👣 Allow yourself to not ask WHAT this is all about, or WHY it is happening, but HOW can you move through it with awareness and ease.
👣 I f you do feel safe to venture out, explore the natural world around you. You will find that you are not alone. The animals, the trees, the grass is supporting you at every moment. At no point are you alone in your journey.
👣 Hold grace and compassion for those who are riding the wave of fear, without wallowing in their fear with them. Allow them to face their inner beliefs as they may. We are all in different places on the path – some, to model what’s possible.
👣 Honour this day today. Be grateful you are alive and well.
👣 Last but not least, take your health seriously – BUILD YOUR OWN IMMUNITY. Eat nutritious foods. Stay well hydrated. Sleep with ease. Dance.
Play. Laugh. Set intention for how you wish to experience your day. Get your Vit D outside and ground in nature. Breathe in good air amongst the trees. Surround yourself with others who take responsibility for their own well being and have honest conversations. Accept the fear that may be moving through you, so you can process your emotions, pains and past hurt.
With the acceptance of what is, LET GO of the fear. The physiological stress on the body that fear has a tendency to produce will override all of the above, so manage it as best as you can, with the support you need at this time.
Sometimes life’s rollercoaster feels to have no safety belt. And it WILL get worse before it gets better, as there is something for humanity to see through this – our interdependence, our humility, our personal responsibility to the beautiful beings we are and this incredible planet.
The invitation is there – to resolve the fear within that is being reflected back to us by external events, or to continue to propel the cycle forward. The spade is in our hands.
WHO will you choose to be through it all? 🤔