When the world around you changes at an unprecedent speed, you must slow down, for the good and the bad.
Slow down, stand with your hair in the wind, feel the hurricane willing to lift you off your feet, but surrender. Stand still and observe both the world around you as the feelings within you.
If you can’t calm the storm around you, calm the storm within you.
We live in uncertain times, with or without Corona. Yet, Corona has brought us one certitude: that uncertainty is the rule.
Ones upon a time, when I was about to take off for another long episode abroad, I went visiting my grandparents. This was one of the last things I would always do before walking out that country that gave birth to me. My grandmothers always have meant a lot to me, because they embody wisdom, patience and serenity.
My grandmother would always listen enthusiastically to my plans. My grandfather would sit in silence and nod his head to confirm. He used to be a wise and well-spoken man, but brain damage caused by a stroke had taken away his speech for a big part. The wisdom was still there, and if you had enough patience and he enough confidence, he would find the words to express it. But mostly, he would sit and nod.
This time, my grandmother shared me one of those wisdoms. How lucky she said she and her husband had been, of having lived such a great certain life. In which they constructed the fundaments of their life in their twenties and could keep on building on that for the decades to come, all more or less the same. Same house, same job, same circle of friends, same air to breath. Despite having had to pass through the Second World War of course.
Therefore, she decided, the youth was brave, since they had no certitudes at all. Companies were changing overnight, families were breaking up and coming differently together, while no bold leadership was shown to deal with it.
I told her I was ok with the incertitude, because that was not in my hands. The best I could do was make the best of it. I could go out, and try to walk the path that allowed me to live as close as possible to my values, bringing me as close as possible to what I envisioned about my life and the world around me which might have been vague for others, but clear for me. Since knowing the world would change continuously, it would be utopic to envision something concrete, and unnecessary as well.
I might not have walked a straight track in life, nor even an existing one, but I managed to live very close to my values, to what matters to me, and where I want to fight for in live. I created an inner compass that guided me, regardless if I was on or off-track. I created a compass I knew I could thrust on, so when the storm would come over, and my vision was troubled, I wouldn’t feel lost.
And when a severe storm would blow me off my feet and I would feel lost, it helped me to get back on my feet after and continue my path. Therefore, I’ve been bracing for impact and feeling thrust things would work out eventually.
This did not mean that I did not feel fear or sadness when the storm came over last days, yet it does mean that I will start rebuilding my life as from today. Different building blocks, but same values. My compass will guide me, while I know I am not alone on this journey.
What are your values?
Corona has put the world on “pause”. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring.
Take a break while the world’s break has been pulled.
Stand still, come back to the present, to this very moment and location where you are right here, right now. Observe your inner and outer world. Listen to your inner compass. What does actually really matter to you? Where do you care about? What energises you? What drains you? Which direction should you go to? Can you envision your life goals, regardless how many decades and years of life you have left, even if it was just about a minute?
When the world around you feels spinning, when everything else feels lost, take a breath. Don’t move, but wait, observe, watch, orientated yourself, listen to your inner compass, what should be your next move?
Only in silence you can hear your inner voice. The world has been silenced now, so take the time to listen to it. Take the time to listen to your own voice, create your inner compass. What should be the next move, with or without corona? What does matter to you? What does really matter to you? And what does actually not matter at all? Where do you (want to) stand for in life? What do you want to mean to the world?
If tomorrow all is gone, what should be the legacy you have left?
Calm the Inner Storm
Let the outer storm pass now; calm your inner storm, and use the silence to listen to your own voice. Often meaning houses precisely there: in the blank space between two words, the breath between two sentences.
Take a breath. Calm down. Listen to your inner voice. Where do you stand for?
What does really matter to you? Where do you want to divert your energy and positivity to? Take the time now to figure it out, use the silence to create your inner compass. So, when the storm has blown over, you will be able to get back up on your feet and walk your path. Your path.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read on how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness, on how you can contribute to this battle, on how gratitude lights up the dark, on how united we will stand strong. and on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis or on how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands. Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.