“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
— Carl Jung
As we slog through the dog days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, most of us are growing weary of living in a pandemic and our shaky, unknown future, with no solutions or end in sight. We are living out a global thought experiment, probing each of us to ask, ‘what would be important to us if a pandemic hit and we were quarantined indefinitely?’ Hopefully, we are getting clearer on what we really want. I have been asking people all over the country what they want to continue after the pandemic is behind us. Much of it centers around time, and how so many have begun to experience time affluence as opposed to time confetti. People the world over suddenly have access to long blocks of unstructured time instead of tiny, piecemeal snippets. People want to re-structure their lives in ways that promote more sleep and a sense of unhurried spaciousness. Here are some of their ideas:
- Becoming less reactive overall; the pandemic has exposed just how much we are powerless over
- More self-compassion-maybe this is the way we were supposed to be living all along?
- Never taking family, friends, co-workers, or community for granted again
- Reducing the individual and family carbon footprint
- New reverence for essential workers in all sectors that have kept our society going
- No longer tolerating crowded gyms, long commutes, optional business travel or traffic of any kind
- Remembering the value of staying in the present—it’s always been important, but is especially seen and felt during this crisis
For those of you in deep financial fear: The only remedy I know is to not let the fear consume your whole being. And the only way I know out of that is learning to regulate your mind. The single best teacher I know is the Waking Up Meditation course by Sam Harris.
He will give it to you for free if you ask. It is hands down the best resource I know to help you manage negative emotions during this extraordinarily difficult time. There are many others, including Headspace,10% Happier, Happify, Calm, Peloton, YouTube Guided meditations, and more. This will alleviate suffering.