The pandemic has revealed how deeply interconnected we are with everyone and everything on the planet. We have seen first-hand how a virus with a single point of origin could come to affect us collectively in one way or another.
Whether that impact has looked like losing your sense of day-to-day normalcy, or at worst, contracting the virus or losing loved ones, we have all felt the toll and witnessed the great suffering and iniquity it has revealed. But now that the regulations are starting to lift and our movements are becoming less restricted, where do we go from here?
As vaccination becomes more prevalent and our communities begin to re-open, there is a growing sense of relief in the air, but one lesson from this experience is abundantly clear: there is no going back to the way things were. It is time to envision a new world.
Could it be that in envisioning this new world, there is nothing to fear and everything to gain? What if declining to return to “business as usual” is precisely the answer we need?
Global change starts with each of us individually. In relation to our wellness practices, it starts with the choice to prioritize self-care and make space in our busy lives to support the collective. The question is, will we come together and take sustained action in support of meaningful change around the many issues that the pandemic has brought to the surface? This includes, but is not limited to, systemic racism, supremacy culture, equity and inclusion in the workplace, the climate crisis, and many others.
Though large-scale systemic change is required, still — it starts with us. Our intentions combined with action can go a long way within our circles of influence.
Pull out your journal, get a cup of tea, and reflect. What sort of world do you want to live in? What steps can you take to connect more deeply with our global family?
Use the following questions as well as any others that may surface in the process, to help guide your reflection:
What have you appreciated about Covid life?
Perhaps it’s more time with family? More time and space in general? Taking more walks. Cooking more meals at home. Taking better care of your living space. Ask yourself: what is it that I want to continue doing, and why? Having a sense of your intention behind things can help to further clarify your choices.
What have you stopped doing that you definitely don’t want to bring back?
Are there patterns or habits that were interrupted? Maybe you have been more productive since not having to work in the office or deal with the daily commute. Perhaps you really don’t miss social gatherings all that much, or even certain people who figured prominently into your pre-pandemic life. Trust your intuition and don’t bring back anyone without feeling resounding “yes” inside.
What are you passionate about?
Perhaps there are dreams you’ve put on hold or things you thought you could never do? The pandemic has showed us that the time to explore these things is now. Indulge your passions. If your career isn’t aligned with your passion, what adjustments can you make to your life to be able to put more time into what you are most passionate about?
What practices can you keep doing that would also support others here at home and around the globe?
Maybe it looks like joining the movement for a more just and equitable world. Commit to antiracist practice. Contribute to causes that uplift underrepresented communities – volunteer or donate. Keep learning and growing. It is so easy to think that it’s too hard, that someone else who is more qualified will do the work, or that we will never know enough or have the amount of lived experience that’s necessary to make a difference.
Think through your work, your identity, everything you’re about. How could you use your skills, passions and privilege to give back? It doesn’t have to be huge. Volunteer once a month or make a $10 monthly contribution to something you care about. There is an energy exchange involved with any amount of giving. Think about what you could do that is sustainable.
Throughout the pandemic, we have all heard (and probably even used) the phrase, “We are all in this together”. Similarly, you might have heard this phrase often shared in yoga classes: “We are all one”. Both are beautiful sentiments, but they are only true when coming from a place of true equity and inclusion. Moving forward, may we live up to the spirit behind these phrases and take action to make them real.