What this crazy week has actually taught me and maybe taught you as well...
As I reflect on this crazy, crazy week and try to decide how I feel about things, I want to talk about the connections we have with others. Also, with the passing of my Pop who always put THE most emphasis on loving his family and spending time together, I have a renewed awareness of just how important family is and always has been to me. Be it family, friends, colleagues or online communities I think we are all realising the power of feeling connected, especially in these weird uncertain times.
I have quite a big extended family who all do their very best to support each other and spend regular quality time together. Our usual get togethers involve no less then 8-10 people just for a weekly afternoon tea and a visit to my Nan and Pops farm. My husband has a much smaller family but there is also a huge emphasis on the importance of being there for each other no matter what and spending quality time together.
Even if you don’t have family, the connections you make elsewhere can be just as important in adding quality and longevity to your life. For example, I have been enjoying seeing the Kindness pages on Facebook where neighbours, work mates and even strangers are reaching out like never before to do kind and special things for one another. These small actions all add up to make a real difference in people days. Unfortunately, we generally find it too hard to get out of our own way to even consider doing something kind for somebody else. Just yesterday I was walking near my house and called out a big ‘hello’ to a girl walking the same road as me. She was going to walk right past with her head down without even making eye contact! How has society come to this?
But with that said I feel that this recent state of lockdown has been a big eye opener for a lot of people, who can perhaps now, see more easily what truly matters … and that is basically the things that money can’t buy. It is clean air, good health, loved ones and connections.
Many of us might use this forced moment of ‘pause’ as a little reminder to think about where our priorities lie and start to think about whether we need to change those priorities once all this lockdown business is over. Also, it could be a chance to start to think about the real tangible benefits of connection and community that we otherwise over look while we rush to work and school and never stop to look around.
When engaging with our community or family and friends, we feel supported and secure, there is a sense of belonging, we feed positively off others energies, we feel a greater sense of achievement when being able to help others and sharing stories and ideas brings happiness and inspiration.
There have been many studies done on different tribal groups around the world as well as groups of people who live as communities (where everybody helps to share the work load and raise the children etc). This way of living has shown to have profound benefits on people’s mental health, physical health and the longevity of their life.
Speaking of longevity, my Pop lived to be 95 years and 8 months old. Now, he didn’t live in a tribal community 😉 but he did work hard, he enjoyed his passion for horses and farming, he was married for 75 years, he had 6 children, 18 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren ( and loved every one of them ) he had many good mates, he joked and told great stories, he ate real food and in his words two days before he died … he lived ‘a good clean life’. He made real and genuine connections and had a healthy lifestyle.
We are always learning from our experiences in life and I have taken from this very difficult week the importance of living ‘a good clean life’ ( especially if I want to get myself to 95 ha-ha ) and the importance of family and connections in a time where A LOT of people are feeling very disconnected and literally isolated more than ever before.
When all of this is through, I am excited to see where we will go as a society and what will be achieved with our renewed mindsets and more appreciation for the little things in life. Which parts of what you considered normal will be worth rushing back to?
“And the people stayed home. And read books and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” By Kitty O’Meara