where to begin?

“The urgency for a radical change in consciousness seems to grow every day.”

 – Eckhart Tolle

The well worn and know by many adage, “we are living in extraordinary times” seems to have taken on additional meaning in the last few months. Many times, I have thought about writing here to offer something – anything. That is when I knew it was best to say nothing. As I continue to watch what is unfolding in the world, and in my own country, I have observed many situations, read about decisions (made or not), and listened to quite a few people as they have navigated the increasing uncertainties that continue to unfold before us.

It’s challenging for those who are accustomed to being on the move all of the time – in their activities, in their thoughts, in the commitments they make and so on – to feel the discomfort and perhaps all-out panic, as things we have come to rely upon as a normal part of our life here, are shutting down, delaying or taking some radical action to support social distancing, self-quarantine, or whatever is necessary for health and safety during this period.

My hope for us all is that we begin to see. What, you may ask, do we need to see? There is a lot to see. We can see nothing if we are reacting from our panic, fear, anger, frustration, etc. We are blocked by those emotions from seeing what is really there for us to see and remember…about who we really are, on this planet together.

Despair or Hope

There is much to see, much to remember and much to discern for and about ourselves as a member of the large mix of beings on the planet. There are many questions that we must ask ourselves, about our conscious and unconscious contributions to the current conditions we are facing, as a collective, today. There is no need to go more deeply into fear – to see all of this as some type of apocalyptic event; although that is a choice we can make.

Quite the opposite is what we have the opportunity to do at this moment. Some preliminary questions to ask ourselves may include what we are seeing and hearing with our eyes and ears as we watch or read the latest news, and hear from family members and friends. The next questions – the more challenging questions – are the questions about what we see and hear with the eyes and ears of our essential selves…our deepest heart.

Future Focus

I encourage all of you – wherever in the world you are, dear readers – to reflect on one simple aspect of where we are right now. We are all in this…this circumstance, this situation, this place in our evolutionary experience. We are all in it together. We may not know where or how every being on the planet is responding or reacting to what we are facing at this time. We are all connected. It is a fairly good bet that as interconnected as we have become – with travel, trade, the Internet, etc., we will continue to be affected, even if we do not contract the virus.

I bought a tree today. It was the same kind of tree that I’ve planted in the front of two homes that I lived in, in two different states. I lived in those homes, nineteen and eleven years respectively. This tree was a very slow-growing and delicately beautiful tree when it bloomed – in both places.

When I saw the one I chose to purchase this morning, I noted it’s small stature. It’s little buds visible, it will bloom in the weeks ahead…very slowly and delicately. Rather than placing it in the ground where I live, I have put it into a pot. It can live there for years, if necessary, and can go with me wherever I may find myself living. It will take many years of growing to get to the size of the others in my past. That, by itself, is a reminder that change and growth take time. As I transplanted the tree to a pot which will provide space for years of growth, I realized the symbolism of this tree and where we find ourselves today. We did not get here overnight, and we will not climb out of this overnight either.

As we begin the healing process, there is more for us to consider than the simple act of ensuring that resources are better aligned for any future similar outbreaks. We have an opportunity now, to wake up; to ask ourselves if the world we are living in today is the world we wish to continue to inhabit in exactly the same way we have for far too long.

I know what my answer is. I know that what must change will take much longer than the years I have left to live. However, I do know that I will offer all of the very best, most positive energy I have and can muster to be a part of the healing solutions, rather than perpetuating the fear and divisions which have contributed significantly to where we find ourselves today.

May we all consider what our conscious and unconscious contributions have been to our human family.  We are capable of far more than we may even believe we are. Step, by small step, we can make a difference – a new difference.

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
—Christopher Robin, friend of Winnie the Pooh

 

 

11 thoughts on “where to begin?

  1. Thank you for this post, Carrie. I love your focus on the little tree, and the time it takes to grow. I’ll add my hope/wish to yours, that the outcome of this will be a realignment or an evolution, a realization that everything is connected.

    (WordPress is being weird today. Not sure this will post, but here goes…)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Robin. I’m reminded of things I learned many years ago…remember the buddy system. It was a reminder for when we swam…to not go alone. And a verse from Matthew 18:20, New Testament; “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Thank you for adding your hope to mine. We will stand together in our human family, and hold those who can’t see or don’t believe we are connected in this way. Together, we can make a difference, however small it seems in the beginning. It all matters. 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such deep and lovely reflections, Carrie. Thank you for giving voice to the momentous challenges we face and offering compassionate ways to live with uncertainty.

    These times weigh so heavy on my heart and spirit, it’s been hard for me to write. I found it’s easier for me to focus on cleaning up winter storm damage in my yard, fixing up some of the many things that need to be painted or repaired in my aging house, or revisiting my mother’s story for others who might need to remember adversity may inspire resilience.

    When I work on the house, I think of the people who poured their love and hopes into this little house in the past, and those who may call it home when I’m gone. I will need to figure out how to make it easier for my students to transition to a completely online course because the college where I teach, along with others in the area, canceled all face-to-face classes until early April. Trying to find balance myself has been the first step…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, Thank you so much. I, too, have found it challenging to find words to say, write or otherwise convey in these challenging times. And then there are those moments of clarity, as I move through each day that seem to bring forth words, ideas, positive thoughts and broad observations that make the journey easier. One step at a time. The challenges seem to be increasing…and yet I am lifted by the stories we will never see on the news, where people are quietly stepping forward, working tirelessly behind the scenes to care for others. We cannot rely upon the so-called leaders of or country to lead us through this with a focus on those who are most vulnerable and have needs beyond the obvious medical needs. We are a resilient species…and we have proven it many times.

      I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about your mother. Indeed the stories we each have are reminders of our capacity to adjust to and navigate difficult circumstances and to make lasting and meaningful change. Your posts serve as reflections, if we choose to look, of our individual and our ancestor’s stories. I appreciate that you are sharing them…especially at this time.

      The online classes can present challenges for instructors and students. A learning community can have such an amazing impact on all involved. Virtual learning may be the band-aid for now. I hope however, it doesn’t become a new norm, hereafter.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karen. I will continue to love and nurture that tree over time, as it slowly and delicately grows…and hope that we will evolve during and through this pandemic and make changes that are as thoughtful and inclusive. That, I believe, is the clarion call.

      Liked by 1 person

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