What a strange time we are in. The Corona virus is knocking on our door and every part of society is effected. I can only speak for myself; the way my life has been altered in this time. The Mexico project was about to happen. A new volunteer project together with Michael at the border of the United States. The last two months I have been working towards this project, living up to the moment to leave and get the energy flowing again. Contributing, doing construction, reaching out, maybe some teaching, meeting new people, learning new cultures, understanding the world a little bit better.
Then the news hit, Trump closed down America for at least a month, meaning our flight to LA was cancelled. I was in chock. The thing on path was suddenly ripped out, leaving a gabbing hole of uncertainty. I gave up a lot to do the project, at least that’s how it felt. The mind was agitated, unable to express and feel the deep disappointment it left behind. Slowly over the next few days it became more and more clear that this situation is not going to change soon. It could take months to settle and even then the world will be out of balance. Mexico is looking more like a distant dream.
I try to see it as a difficult time that gives opportunity for deep reflection. The world is crawling to a halt and so do I, at least I try my best. Questions arise: why do I feel so lost? Why do I feel so much unrest? Why did it hurt so much losing the project? Why do I lack energy? What is next for me? How do I want to live? What work is on my path? Where lies my passion? What keeps me busy? What grounds me? How can I connect to the heart? Where is my life flowing to?
What I quickly realised is that these questions were buried underneath the Mexico project. It gave me a relieve to not have to answer these questions immediately. I know I was aware of this because often I said to myself “In Mexico I will find out what to do next” or “I know there will be a third, fourth, or fifth option coming that I have never thought about” (which of course it now did haha). This was all attached to Mexico. With the project being cancelled it confronted me again with these immense questions. Writing them down is not easy. They feel daunting, too big to grasp, and I feel as if to run away. Somehow there is also a feeling of ease, clarity, and relieve to finally sit down and start writing. Yes, I do still journal almost everyday but this feels different. I can think, revisit and change whenever I desire. I can expose it to the world. These qualities make it very valuable for me. I hope this glimpse of my thought process is also valuable for you, reader!
Reflecting on these questions makes me smile. What is the origin, where are they coming from? They certainly grow from a place of fear and lack of confidence. Anxiety for the unknown, for making the ‘wrong’ choice, for not having enough money to survive, for not gaining enough experience to have a good job, for being sucked into a life of just going through the motions without passion, energy, and connection to the heart, for being here alone. So why the fear? Perhaps because living a life full of passion, heart-centered, contributing to people’s life, is more uncertain and requires to take a step outside the typical path people follow in life. But what is the worse thing that can happen? Is this image of me on the street with no house, no possessions, really that realistic? I travelled for 11 months with nothing more than 4 shirts, 2 pants, 1 sweater, 5 underwear, one pair of socks, a towel, a book, a phone, my journal, sandals, walking shoes, and some other useless stuff that I rarely used and I didn’t miss anything!! I still have almost all my stuff here in boxes. What does this mean?
I have to realise that if I were to fully grasp the moment, know that I am a capable person ready to live and do whatever is necessary to find this space in my heart, then all of these questions don’t really matter. It is the rational mind that has difficulty with an uncertain future. It has difficulty with events that alter its future. Realising this helps me to open up. I don’t have to know all the answers; I have to experiment, try new things, be present, connect with my feeling, and take the time to sit and reflect. With each small step there is an opportunity to work on these principles. Some days are easier than others as the mind is a tricky thing, but I have to remind myself these things each time I feel this fear. There is not other way then to be present and let go.
What to make of all this? The Corona virus shows that the future is highly uncertain. The measures are radical and have a bigger impact then we could ever imagine. Some thing happen in a few days that otherwise have been impossible in years. When the urgency is high everything can change in a blink of an eye. In some ways I feel optimistic: it is possible to take strong measures to reduce our footprint.
I encourage you to take the time to slow down and have a look inward. What do you see? What comes up? How do you feel? It is not easy. I struggle with it daily but when I do find this space, it opens me up, it grounds me, it increases clarity. I find it immensely valuable.
I want to close with some inspirational words from ‘The Turn Club’. In my opinion they perfectly highlight what is going on. Yes, there are many things that can happen, including death, but there was always a chance that one dies tomorrow. So also use this new space to develop, reflect, and grow. Take your chance!