Welcome back to another check in from the new normal.
Tonya and I are self-quarantined in Central California. This is something we knew was coming ever since I returned to the US on February 13th from a trip I made to Singapore. After several weeks of staying put in our apartment in San Francisco, we made the hard decision to leave our beloved city to come out to Fresno where we are currently staying with my in-laws. I have been joking that when I get out of this one, I will have ascended to Zen Master.
This time has given me a lot of space to be productive, reflect and to talk to you. I know that a lot of us are beginning to go through some tough times as we are being pushed to an unfamiliar edge of our existence and faced with challenges we have never met before. So, first and foremost, if you are currently feeling a little bit on edge. I see you.
I am also aware that a lot of us are making some hard decisions that will change the way we have lived our lives up until now. For example, I think of those who own a small business and who have closed their doors to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them may never be able to reopen their doors as their business will not survive this hit. If you are one of them and you are managing to navigate this time with grace and courage, I commend you.
Now for the good news. I believe this transitional period of time will bring us a beautiful upgrade. And the upgrade is going to be 6 fold: Mental, Physical, Relationship, Craft, Resource Management, and Consciousness.
The first thing that we’re going to upgrade is our mindset. Our thought process. Not what we think, but how we think. This time in our lives is creating space for our brains to rewire themselves by helping us notice our true priorities and how they serves us. What we believed used to be important, will slowly fall to the waste side and no longer be part of the mental model we use to make decisions.
The physical will be in relationship to how we move and how we act. In the Fitness space, especially in CrossFit, we have learned that intensity is of the essence. We have learned to go hard, to be complex, to use a lot equipment, and gather in gyms. For the time being, that doesn’t exist. We are being asked to return back to basics. To a very simple state. In this state, our body is going to continue to move but in a more subtle way, in a more simple way. With that simplicity, with that subtleness, there’s going to be a deep reprogramming of how our body experiences the reality we live in and how we interact with our environment.
Just like we will change our interaction with the environment through our bodies, our interaction with others will reach for a new level. A new level of depth, connection and meaning. Take for example the implementation of social or physical distancing to flatten the curve of the outbreak. It has brought us closer together. When before we barely spoke to our neighbor, now we sing to them. When before we used to take health care workers for granted, today we applaud them and treat them like heroes. When before we may have under appreciated cleaners, truck drivers and retail workers, today we see them as not only essential but as the most valuable players.
I for example, who am living with my in-laws in a house with seven people and five dogs, I see my relationships getting upgraded by the minute and allowing me to see the rest of the citizens of our planet in a new light. I feel closer to everyone.
Our craft is what we do. Not necessarily what we do for work, but rather that which we find interesting and have spent time practicing. Such as singing, playing an instrument, drawing, inventing, or simply creating. That which we may have considered to be a hobby, may now be what the world needs most from us as expressing that which we love is sharing our strengths and truest version of ourselves.
During this time of transition and reflection I believe we should double down on practicing our craft, refining it, and exploring how it may serve us and play a key role in our every day lives from now on.
Think about the madness that has ensued, where people started buying insane amounts of toilet paper in preparation for quarantine. It’s a very strange behavior and it comes to show where our resource priorities lie at a collective level. For goodness sake, if worse comes to worse, you can always wipe your butt in the shower. Or, you can do like us Europeans do, we own a bidet.
Even though some of us are still behaving in irrational ways, many of us are also able to see how irrational behavior is simply behavior anchored in fear and scarcity. We can see that we are still living in a world of abundance even if our current climate has limited our access to certain resources. I believe this limitation will push us to better manage what we have and what we get. I’ve always said: If one can’t manage $1000 in their bank account, one has no business generating or having $2,000 or $10,000 or a $1,000,000.
In a nutshell, as our access to resources is changing, we are changing.
We are all being touched by the pandemic, thus we are starting to make decisions that take into consideration the needs of the collective. The needs of the people who extend beyond our immediate circle. The needs of those who live in our cities, our states, countries, and on our planet. We are getting a chance to reflect on how we think, how we act, and how we look at the world. We are gaining a new perspective and are waking up to a new reality. This awakening is a new degree of awareness. A new level of consciousness.
In summary, although this may be very hard time for many, there is a silver lining here. There is an opportunity to see that the way we think, the way we move, who we surround ourselves by, what we are interest in, how we manage what we have, coupled with a heightened state of awareness is making us better.
For many, what may be scary is that life as we knew it has already changed. The bright side is that those who are willing to practice seeing and being this change, are the ones who will come out on the other side with a new sense of self and preparedness to serve. Which also as me thinking of Hanuman the monkey, a character from the Ramayana and devotee of Rama. Although I am not a religious person, I do appreciate theological and mythological stories such as the one of Hanuman who said to Ram:
“When I don’t know who I am, when I’m confused and scared, I serve you. When I know who I am, I am you.”
In other words, right now you may feel a little confused, a little scared, and a little lost. Your foundation may be shaking. If that’s the case, be like Hanuman and serve. Serve those you love, serve your community, and serve the anyone you cross paths with. Serve them until you remember who you are. Until you remember that you are them. That we are one. This realization is the beauty of the situation we are in. This is the upgrade that we are receiving.