Change

What to Keep

LA SkylineAs the world struggles through the Covid-19 pandemic and begins its slow recovery, there seems to be a need to shed all that is no longer serving. In order to heal, we need to reflect on our current condition and define that which is harming us and that which makes us stronger. We need to let go of old practices and patterns that are holding us back and build upon the things that work.

I believe this to be the case with the Earth, with the global economy, and with each of us individually.

Ever since the human lockdown in mid March, the Earth has felt substantial relief. With an enormous decrease in the use of fossil fuels, the carbon footprint has been drastically reduced and as a result we have seen less pollution and a re-emergence of wildlife. 

Many believe that we are being offered a unique opportunity to use the reduced levels of CO2 output as a starting point and find ways to maintain this lower level in the coming years. However, many also fear that as we re-emerge into the world, it will be easy to fall back into our old habits without earnest intent and strict discipline.

The good news is that we have been given another chance. What remains to be seen is how we choose to move forward.

Economically speaking, there is an overwhelming need to re-evaluate as well. With many businesses being forced to shut down (albeit temporarily), consumers have explored alternative ways to satisfy their needs.  

We have cooked more of our meals or done takeout and curbside pickup.  We have turned towards alternative forms of exercise such as walking, biking and online workout classes. We are seeing the benefits of internet shopping as we enjoy the safety and convenience of having food and products delivered right to our doorsteps, and as additional people work effectively from home, we question the need for elaborate office space in expensive locations (or any office space for that matter).

Many of these new practices will permanently replace the old ways of doing business. We may see fewer restaurants, gyms, office buildings, and storefronts. We’ll see a difference in the way food is distributed and how we work. In an attempt to survive financially, we’ll rid ourselves of the practices that no longer work in favor of those that do.

On a personal level, I have been consumed with a similar thought process. My life and habits have changed drastically over the last few months and I’m realizing some of the new ways may be working better. I have found that coloring my hair once a month is easy, looks almost as good, and is much more time and cost effective. I have found that I can cook a meal just as well if not better than most restaurants at a fraction of the cost and that the scope and variety of workout options online may be all I need. I have realized that I don’t have to travel long distances to find adventure and outdoor activity, and I have seen the advantages of being able to work virtually.

The overall trend is towards scaling back, becoming more efficient, spending less, choosing quality over quantity, having a decreased impact on the environment, reducing meat intake, and adopting a healthier lifestyle (which values less as more). In other words, shedding what I don’t really need and building on the rest. 

As the world begins to re-open and we evaluate our new and old habits, I urge everyone to give careful consideration to what is working and what is not, for the earth, for our economy and for ourselves. I hold hope that we will let go of the habits and practices that are harmful and decide wisely what to keep.

Adapting to Change

Roadblock

Covid-19 is changing the world. No doubt about that, but how will I need to change along with it?

I recently came upon a quote by Confucius who said, “the key to success is often the ability to adapt.” 

Humans are resilient by nature and I am beginning to notice in increasing numbers the creative adaptations happening around me. 

For example, the local General Store recently started offering weekly produce boxes for curbside pickup as demand for this service grows. My daughter’s gym created an online component whereby members can take classes even when they are traveling or unable to make it to the gym physically (like now). It is a comprehensive program which will continue as part of the membership benefit even after they reopen. Groupon recently had a promotion with the header, “Add Flair to Your Virtual Happy Hour” which offered fun glassware and links to wine and beer delivery services with pandemic specials.

Last night’s 60 minutes (April 26, 2020) featured Ford Motor Company and GMC, highlighting their ingenuity and ability to transform massive auto manufacturing plants into producers of respirators in a matter of weeks, as well as walking the viewer through several innovative processes which would allow workers to stay safe and protected. One such protocol requires employees to wear a watch equipped with an app that alerts participants when they come within 6 feet of another person. The watch not only helps with social distancing but it also tracks who the wearer has been in contact with and when. This feature has the added benefit of tracing the potential spread of the virus. 

On a personal level, people have created the new “drive by birthday” in which a convoy of cars decorated with signs and balloons parades by the recipients house honking horns and chanting well wishes. Virtual get-togethers are a regular thing and guided workouts have become the norm.

I have been thinking a lot about how I can adapt. 

Hands on massage is out of the question right now, so I have been experimenting with distance energy healing and tarot readings. I am planning to take some online classes and learn about dream counseling, an area I’ve been interested in for quite some time and would love to add to my list of services. I’ve been working with the Zoom app and connecting with friends and family virtually. I’ve been cooking more and focusing on my health, and I’ve taken up mountain biking (which I have come to love). All of these practices will move with me as I re-open in the new world.

It’s stressful to change, but it can also be an opportunity for creativity and movement.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I’ve been following Mike Dooley and his strategies for “playing the matrix” to manifest the life you want. His analogy to a GPS suggests that we create a destination, a visual of the place we want to be, and then put our “car” into gear and begin moving towards the end point, even if we’re not sure of the best way to proceed. The action, any action, is a key. 

Dooley emphasizes that it is equally as important not to get caught up in the details. We may be asked to make a turn or change course at any point  (while still moving towards the goal), and it is our willingness to adapt that will determine our success.

The recent pandemic is a roadblock. It is forcing us to stop and to forge a new path. It is not asking us to change our destination, only to take another route. 

We may feel the urge to resist. We may feel the grief of having to leave the road we’ve been on, and we may be uncertain about the new direction and how it will all work out. These are all normal reactions. 

I believe, however, like Mike Dooley, that the quicker we accept the situation and allow ourselves to be redirected, the faster we’ll be back on the road to our ultimate destination. It can be fun and inspirational to create new ways of being. We just need to keep our eye on the goal and trust that we’ll arrive via a different, perhaps more sustainable path.