I am sure that most of us have experienced the past
6 weeks of lockdown as an intense rollercoaster of change.
Change is the only constant, nothing ever remains the same
of course. Yet this time, this extreme situation provides us
with an opportunity to stand back and look afresh at life as
we knew it.
We are all at different stages of reflection and I appreciate
that some of us are still in the eye of the storm. Many
questions are thrown up in the air as we may wonder how
things shall unfold. Many of us also grieving and experiencing
various other personal losses.
On a global scale, those I speak with have a deep longing
for humanity to awake to new ways of being and wish it
were without the loss of so many sacred and precious lives.
Each and every one being a relative, a friend, a neighbour,
leaving behind a wave of immense grief.
Therefore, I feel so fortunate to be able to reflect upon the
new canvas that remains, for those of us who still have the
gift of life and the insight to sew new seeds of hope for
our beautiful planet.
For me, it has been an incredibly tough journey, for personal
reasons yet also due to the enormous threat to The Unity
Centre’s future. After spending so many years designing and
establishing this not-for-profit CIC we have been affected so
intensely by the secondary economic wave.
As always, I shall put every thing that I have into this dream,
which our community kindly appreciate’s as a hub for people
of all ages and needs. Now, more than ever, we as humans need
places to congregate and support each other as we put our
world back together as we wish it to be in our hearts.
So, we shall continue to do all that we can to be sustainable,
hoping that the tender roots of having just opened before
the pandemic, can – hopefully – continue to strengthen somehow.
Creating the online platform within 10 days was quite a task!
I am so grateful and proud of the wonderful Unity team who
helped channel their passion into a wonderful service.
Technology is helping us all to stay connected, it is something
I feel so grateful for and I wonder how our ancestors long ago
experienced global pandemics without this incredible tool that
We are able to reach out to our near and far community, who
can meet us on the screen and practice yoga, meditation, dance
and music in their own home. This is not new of course, but in
these times it is a lifeline to so many to be able to practice a
pre-recorded session, filmed with love from our wonderful
teachers. Or to connect in real time with fellow community
members in a virtual class, restoring our unified need for
Outside, we witness our small communities coming together
in ways that have not been seen for so long/ before.
Rainbows in windows to honour and thank the incredible key
workers and front line health care workers. My cousin is a
Nurse on the covid ward in Brighton and to me, she symbolizes
this kind of super-human who steps forward with courage and
compassion to help our fellow neighbours to battle, wherever
possible, through the virus. These care-givers can teach us all
so much about unconditional love and hope.
Our little pockets of neighbours may come together through
doorstep chats, support over the fence and friendly connections
in the essential shops that remain open for us. Call centre
phonecalls feel different, chatting with warmth and gratitude to
an unknown person who is juggling work with their children at
home in the background.
Some have work, some don’t, some receive pay or support,
\ some do not. We are all experiencing this situation so differently.
Recently inspired by a poem I read, perhaps we are all in the
same storm yet in very different boats. With these differences,
it seems that we can still come together, through empathy and
recognition to support each other.
We see the suffering in strangers and loved ones, perhaps
s passing by in our daily exercise, or on a screen far away.
We realize the importance of contact and long to be able to
hug those we love in future days.
We can observe this as an opportunity for humility and
gratitude for the sweetness of life. To meet each stranger
with kindness, as we never know what difficult reality they
are privately facing.
Nature is blossoming, we see local and global miracles
as wildlife celebrates the quieter and less violent world.
Perhaps others like me, long for life not to go back to
‘normal’ and to tread with more care and sensitivity to the
beauty on our doorsteps. Nature seems to be able to breathe again,
it is beautiful to see the instant potential recovery of our planet.
Perhaps it gives us hope that we can repair some of the damage
humanity has inflicted through lack of awareness and connection.
Connection is what this is all about for me. Connection with
ourselves. connections with others and connection with the
world around us. This is the way that I have always explained
the meaning of Yoga. Yoga means ‘Union’ and in the needs of today
it is the unity in the word Community.
We have been forced into a simpler, smaller world. We have been
faced with a choice of how to respond, to fight or to surrender.
Perhaps I like others have done a little of both.
As we have a tiny glimpse of exiting our lockdown in the coming
weeks, part of me longs to extend this opportunity for reflection.
Initially across the globe (in some areas more than others) there
was a sense of shock, survival, busy-ness, and great adjustment.
For some of us we are bailing out water in the hope that our
established dreams may stay afloat. Many of us have been busy,
yet are experiencing glimpses of joy through nature, family
(if we are fortunate to be in lockdown with someone we love)
and this precious time alone to go within. Like a pendulum,
perhaps we swing between fear and love.
Where can we seek solace?
Our inner world is our refuge. Through meditation, breathwork,
movement, music, art and other practices we can connect with
our inner peace and sense of deep knowing. We can drop into
a place of calm and centre, a sanctuary of inner trust.
This is, perhaps is a unique opportunity for us to re-connect
with the person that we wish to be in this life.
I am so grateful to walk this path of yoga and to experience
this unprecedented pause in time (I had to use that word of course!)
I really don’t wish to negate the pain, suffering, loss and grief in
any way at all, in fact the shadow of grief is something to deeply
acknowledge and I find sometimes missing. Our recognition
of others’ pain brings us together and highlights what remains.
We can recognize each other not only through our shared
experiences but also we can open our hearts more to appreciate
their unique pain.
With support, love and a heightened sense of awareness and
respect to the various paths that we all tread, we can all walk
gently together into a new realm of kindness and connection.
It is up to us as individuals to make an inner choice of how
we want to re-create a world to be loved and cherished by
generations to come.