“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
- Mary Oliver
With all the down time (and more) we could possibly dream of, what is it that you’d like to create? With the external distractions turned down low (despite the senses always providing a way to get lost) and the springtime potential that hangs in the air turned up high, how is it that you want to show up in the world - both for yourself and for others?
It’s a strange time to be navigating. Confronting.
Realisations that we are not in fact our job, however much meaning and purpose we place in it, can be painful. Realisations that no matter how many material possessions we have accrued in our home, our now full time sanctuary, happiness does not reside in them alone. Realisations that how much you weigh, how much you earn, whether you’re in a relationship or not - all of these do not matter, or make you immune to the situation at hand.
The temptation to fall into a victim mentality can be strong. ‘I was so looking forward to... XYZ fantasy future construct’, ‘Why can’t I have ….’, ‘Why is this happening now at the most important time’ etc. And this is not to dismiss the great pain and suffering and real hardship people are facing, with loved ones dying, lack of resources - I recognise that I am hugely privileged in the bigger picture, here.
But the opportunity at hand here, for us a collective, now appears to me beyond measure.
The opportunity to wipe the slate clean on our approach to the everyday - a society entrenched in a grind culture that glorifies convenience, plainly disregards the earth, and its inhabitants, humans and otherwise - is incredible. In this take on the situation (one which which resonates deeply and I highly recommend reading) they suggest that despite the somewhat crippling economic impact this chapter is creating, perhaps the businesses and initiatives that do not exist are ones we did not truly need in the first place, that were harming us or the planet with unequal gain. On the flip side, think of all the new ventures being imagined and created in this time - all of the budding entrepreneurs, artists, dreamers, finally with enough time on their hands to incubate their ideas.
Which leads me on to how we are spending our time now. I am not lobbying for you to produce a masterpiece, learn a second language, mastermind the next brilliant technological advance - if it doesn’t move you. What is important here is JOY. Are you content? Do you feel joy in your heart as you complete the self created tasks set before you (if you have the current luxury of extra free time now)? And if not, what DOES?
What does set your heart on fire, make you excited to get out bed in the morning? Go do that. Even if you have been told it has no economic worth, meaning, value, purpose...the purpose is to feed your soul, your heart, and let it blossom out into the rest of your life.
Please do not mistake this for a plea for productivity - your productivity is not connected to your worth. You are entitled as a human being to be content and to experience joy, amidst a spectrum of other emotions, and to actively deny yourself of that is a tragedy.
“Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
- Howard Thurman
Of course there will be the FAQ ‘So what did you do in your quarantine?’ all of this has passed, but you do not need to have a novel or a pristine front garden (or anything at all) to tangibly show for there to have been a seismic shift in perception or way of being. Sometimes you can have traveled great distances without moving at all, or stepping outside your front door, the only souvenir to show the twinkle in your eye or the upturning of the lips in the beginning of a smile.
Let us reclaim this time to discover more parts of ourselves, what lights us up, allowing love to be the compass. If nothing else simply asking yourself this- what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?