Keeping the hope
Dear reader friends,
I hope you are keeping well during these unprecedented times. I felt an urge to write a post to you whilst on a solo bike ride this long weekend. What an interesting, almost surreal time it has been during this pandemic including the social distancing / isolation measures. As one friend put it, it feels like we’re in a movie.
I’ve been trying to not digest too much news as find it quite overwhelming especially some of the harrowing stories coming out of highly affected areas such as New York. After reading this piece, ‘Coronavirus in New York: A paramedic’s diary’ on the BBC a couple of days ago I meditated on the sadness and pain it evoked which was helpful to lean into it.
What humbling, such selfless acts of courage being conducted across the globe. Being from the UK, I’ve been particularly touched to see all the great support including regular applauses for the NHS and rainbow paintings to thank them. Also I found the Queen’s messages comforting.
There have been some thoughtful and beautiful pieces of writing I’ve come across including this piece in the Guardian, “The impossible has already happened: what coronavirus can teach us about hope” and this article, “COVID 19 – The Third Side of the Coin” which concludes with:
“COVID-19 is testing us, our world, and our way of life as we know it. Some of us will not make it out, and none of us will be the same on the other side. As life starts to feel more like a gamble, remember that third side of the coin. Look at what we’ve lost, what we’re losing: heads (COVID). Look at what we’ve gained, how we’re growing: tails (CO-VID). These things are not mutually exclusive. Flip the coin around: look at one side, then the other. Trace your finger along the ring joining the two. Feel the weight of that coin in your hand as you toss it from one palm to the other. It’s all there. We are all there. And we will survive this.”
I also found this HBR article on grief insightful sharing practical tips from David Kessler, “The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief”.
Personally, I’ve been trying to stay grateful and keep mentally and physically healthy. Here’s a short 8 minute meditation on Insight Timer that I’ve found useful, “Re-centering in times of uncertainty”.
I had a bit of a hit a couple of weeks ago with my role in Executive Search being made redundant due to COVID-19 and hiring freezes. It was a bit of a whirl of emotions starting with sadness, disappointment, relief, acceptance and now meaning and excitement about my next career chapter.
Speaking with my valued bench of mentors, some questions and reflections I found useful that may be relevant to others in the same situation:
- What can you do with this time to make it worthwhile?
- What’s one thing you could do for yourself that you’ve never had time for before?
- Be kind to yourself.
- Look at this in two phases, the short term and the long term.
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- How can you look at new opportunities in the mindset of ‘yes and’?
Ever an optimist, some positives I’ve taken out of the current situation have been more regular video calls with my mum, dad and sister in the UK, virtual workouts, more regular check ins with friends, quality time with the boys, a greater sense of community, supporting local businesses and valuing kind gestures like a card and gift a friend sent me when my role was made redundant and our uber aunty food deliveries.
What have you taken out of the situation so far? How can we each become a better version of our self during this challenging times?
To finish in the words of James Lane Allen:
“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.”
Sending lots of love, safe and well wishes