It feels to me like we have reached a new place in this adventure. Six weeks ago we dove into our isolation pods, a weird combination of the comfort of home and the discomfort of the unknown. We have waited and seen and here we are, confused, vulnerable, still waiting to see.
The very last thing that I did before lockdown was a weekend retreat called the Betwixt and Between, a deep dive into the dreaming place where logic gets turned around and something softer emerges into a larger sense of the known and unknown. Where being in the world is about feeling in the world, and the natural order of things is more heart centered.
In this place we faced our fears, and in naming them and accepting them we integrated their gifts. We dreamt a collective dream of adaptability, of song and humor and beauty and faith, of the incredible resilience of humanity as demonstrated by the terrible history of sufferings we have inflicted and endured. A powerful message emerged, one that can be summed up in M. Gandhi’s words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Strong emphasis on BE.
I am privileged to have a comfortable place to practice BE-ing in. Indeed, my home has just become dramatically more accommodating to a stay-at-home order, years of labor having only recently paid off in a spacious, bright, freshly appointed great room that more than doubles our previous square footage. It’s spring, and we have a giant yard in which there is a lush progressive bloom I have never been quite so present for. We had some savings and are getting government help to offset the financial hit. My son is a self-directed teen whose school transitioned relatively seamlessly to online learning. I am keenly aware of the sweetness of all of this.
And yet. It is hard for me to break with the cultural programming of producing something, of doing something, of busyness and accomplishment. I am a worker bee, used to being of service and deriving much of my self-worth from that service. I have done a smattering of online healing sessions with people during this pause, and as much as I see that it helps them, it is a lifeline for this part of me. Every week I must cancel 20+ appointments on my schedule, each one a person I would be touching; it is a painful exercise.
What I choose to notice about this is that within me there is a longing for connection with others. That the grief of that longing holds the richness of all that comes with contact–all the resonance, the learning, the laughter, the tears, the fullness of being a human relating to other humans that phone calls and video chats don’t quite deliver.
Boy am I glad we have phone calls and video chats, though! One of my favorite things I have done in lockdown is attend a dance party on Zoom, where I had all the room in the world to boogie around my living room while a friend played a set of “Dancing With Myself” themed songs and I had a Brady Bunch grid of windows into other friends’ living rooms where they were doing the same. Silliness, music, movement, joy: more of that, please!
And what else do we truly want more of? As we rest into this relatively quiet place, hopefully we are listening for what our hearts really need, and as we navigate into the larger world we will allow those needs to guide us.
If this is my dream, then we are compassionate, adaptable, and kind. We are finding humor and beauty and connecting with each other. We are learning to do the unexpected and suffering less than we think we might while doing it. We are lifting up the voices of the oppressed and learning from their resilience, surrendering the dance of dominance and recognizing the genius of collaboration and cooperation. In my dream we are seeing ourselves as part of the earth, borrowed bodies with gifts to contribute. In my dream we are giving them.