I think most of us feel it.. this feeling of slowing down. Even for those of us who may be still working 40 plus hours a week, we are at home. There are no commutes. No kids sporting practices, band and or dance recitals, no classes or gym for us to go to after work. No errands. No visiting friends for happy hour. Even here in the urban bay area, I can feel it. This slowing of not just ourselves, but of the earth.
Its like we are all on one giant pause.
This feeling of slowing down is familiar to me. My six months of chemotherapy, I was feeling this feeling. My mind, my body, my life came to a screeching halt. Yet, at that time, the rest of the world was still going by me. Full speed ahead. The rush of people, cars, even language was hard for me to follow at that time, and even to this day, I feel a sense of permanent slowness that my system has adapted so that I may survive. At that time, the world seemed to wiz by me. I felt my body moving and sensing in a different pulse, different time altogether, and I remembered thinking, this is important. This realization, this sense of stopping, everything, all at once. Just the slowness itself, was like lifting the veil, looking beyond and between the world we tend to "live" in and operate in, and this whole other world and reality that we deprive ourselves of when we forget the art of slowness.
During that time, I began noticing. Listening. Looking. But not the looking, scrolling through social media, I mean really seeing. Being. Such a different act then looking with judgement, on ourselves or others. Simplifying. Everything. Purifying. Everything. From clutter in my closet, to my thoughts and relationships.
Once the distractions are removed, we may feel quite a bit of uncomfortableness. We may think, what is this? This feeling of uncomfortableness?
There is grief, for sure, which I will go into in another blog post, but within each of our own uncomfortableness, there is something there. What is it? What is this thing that maybe is asking for my attention? What is this thing that maybe has been nagging me for years now, yet my body was moving so fast, that I could not hear.
Now we have the opportunity to listen.
Not only to our own bodies, but to the earth.
Ive read and seen so many posts about the animals right now. And how alive and present they are. The singing of the birds, the clearness of the sky, the brightness of the moon. And I do agree, the creatures, the planet is happy. She is singing. And she is showing us how resilient and adaptable and strong she is. Change is possible. Just in these past 3 weeks, the air quality has improved.
But I also think, maybe we are just able to hear the animals now, because we ourselves are slowing down. Maybe the birds have been singing all along, but now, we can actually hear them.
This is what I realized during my 6 month quarantine. I watched a hummingbird every morning fly up tp the window. Look right at me. Has this hummingbird always been here? Why have I never noticed before? Was my body mind racing too fast to see all of this life around me?
We sense our environments. Some of us more than others. But I do believe as a culture, it is becoming a lost art. And I believe thats why at this time, so many healers, empaths and creators are here. To remind us all to listen. See. Be present.
As a human race, a culture, a globe, we have all slowed down, to some degree or another. As we slow, we can begin to tune into nature, our surroundings and the earth.
I fear that we will forget this teaching that we can learn at this time.
During my previous quarantine, I feared the same thing for myself. Would I forget this feeling and gift of slowness once I return to "normal'? Teaching full-time, commuting, running a business, taking the kids to activities every weekend?
Would I still be ale to hear the leaves singing? Would I still feel the presence of trees as our living ancestors? Would I still see the green flutter of wings by my window? Looking up at the moon, could I still sense her warmth and watchful eye on all of us? Would I still be able to sense the blue of the sky as an actual sensation in my body?
Or would it all be lost? Swept back to normal. The busyness. The chaos. The norm of dsiconnect, fatigue, anxiety and depression. My body and brain back on overdrive, and returning bak to this old life, with a system that didn't work as efficiently as it used to within a system that doesn't work to support "life".
Our sensitivities, numbed. Because if we don't feel, sense our own bodies, notice the birds, acknowledge the moon and the water, the animals, other humans like us, we won't care. We won't care about the millions of trees that are lost within fires or the billion of animals that were lost within that fire.
Yes, we will care for a moment. A week or two, before another disaster occurs. But this sensing, listening, connecting does not have to be fleeting.
I did return to work. I would walk slowly the two blocks from my car to my office. Connecting to the trees, feeling the sun on my face. I did not lose this connection. I remembered. Myself. And this connection to the greater world. I hope we can all remember this. Even when we go back... to "normal".
I hope that a natural disaster, an illness like cancer, or a pandemic is not the only time we allow ourselves to pause. To sense. To listen. Hopefully we give ourselves the permission to do this more in our lives. Moving forward, as a species, in survivorship.