“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
Right now, we are facing the most challenging time in recent human history. We have never walked this way, before. All over the world we have been sent into lockdown, restriction, and confinement. The threat, of a lethal unseen virus, has been real and frightening.
Such unusual circumstances have also left us encountering ourselves and the sometimes confronting, content, of our inner world.
Perhaps this could be an important and pivotal time…a time to reflect and, potentially, change how we have been living our lives.
In a recent interview, Caroline Myss stated that the current lockdown situation has enormous potential to be a time of re-evaluation; a time to pause, to take stock and reflect, perhaps to “toss out” those things that are no longer serving us; including the attitudes that arise from old wounds, old narratives that use up our precious energy and create “energetic debt”. Instead, we could harness our emotional energy to ‘invest’ in the present, in peace and contentment, by asking ourselves, “What can I create for my future? How can I adapt to this?” In this way we can use our ‘energy investment’ by mindfully directing it towards creative thought, nurturing relationships, health, and love.
“Mindful people … can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down (emotionally). Pausing and observing the mind, may help us to resist getting drawn into wallowing when we have suffered a setback.” Perhaps this is because mindfulness “weakens the chain of associations that keep us obsessing on our problems or failures; habit that research shows to have a particular tie to chronic inflammation, a known risk factor for not only heart failure but also stroke, arthritis, diabetes and even some cancers, notes Barbara Fredrickson, in her recent book, Love 2.0.
Research by Bajaj and Pande found that, “individuals with higher mindfulness have greater resilience, thereby increasing life-satisfaction.” They state that resilience “can be seen as an important source of subjective well-being,” enhancing contentment within, despite the external circumstances.
One definition of resilience is “the ability to bounce back after adversity”. So why is mindfulness a key to resilience?
Mindful practices promote self-compassion; silencing judgement, and the critical inner voice, and replacing them with kindness. From this self-compassionate position, we can ‘bounce back’, restore our equilibrium and reset our perspective toward an upward spiral of positivity; boosting our immunity, at a time in history when we desperately need it.
This is our opportunity to pause, reflect, take stock and re-set; turning towards and investing in the things that bring love and life.