Perspective: The Trauma of a Pandemic
What happened to April? Time has become a funny illusion, the days of the week a blur. Like many of you, I have been "in" for about 8 weeks - and a significant part of my focus during this time has been transitioning to online teaching since mid-March. I have been inspired many times to write to you about life and changes during this planetary pause about: * Fear - excusing it, honoring it, respecting it; * The power of LOVE to heal; * The inability to move or think clearly (think at all!) when we are in Fear; and * Finding deep GRATITUDE for the computer's power to connect us, walking alongside deep screen fatigue. Perspective My grandmother was born in 1900 and lived until 1997. Imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art, refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. The Vedic scriptures recommend meditation, yoga, and various spiritual practices as the natural antidote to what some are calling the Kali Yuga - the end of a Dark Era & the Coming of Light. It does seem like a time of balancing dualities - yin and yang. Light and dark. We are all living in the shadow of trauma and will need to navigate PTSD. And many people are turning to yoga to relieve the stress of our new reality. For this reason, we must not fall into fatalism (thinking that we are all doomed and there's nothing we can do about it) or hopelessness, but instead must strengthen our resolve and act as a light in dark times for those around us that are lost. Consider this from a karmic viewpoint: when we come into this life, there is a soul agreement and part of the purpose of the dying is to take no longer useful energies with them so that those who remain on earth are freed from past restrictions (ancestral karma). Those who begin to question why they are suffering or where they came from and where they shall go after death are students of life. Be a student of life! To find peace in peaceful times is no accomplishment, to find peace in the most unpeaceful times is true spiritual attainment. This virus is getting us to look at what we actually value. The "economy" and "making money" which now dominate all political decisions have grinded to a halt because there is no other choice. This is a very good example of the mass of humanity and how it affects everyone. We're spreading this "virus" collectively and the larger (ignorant) masses can too easily overrun the science and medical groups. In spite of all the information available, I still see way too many people acting as if life is "normal", when it isn't. It's sad that so many aren't living up to their potential out of fear. We're all connected to what's considered the 6th Mass Extinction and collectively the cause of it. Humanity is sick. Our planet is sick. Therefore, we need to come together where the masses can have a positive effect. "Well sometimes, you've got to get sick my boy, before you start feeling better." You may have seen this video titled "The Great Realisation" that is making the rounds on YouTube and social media; it has viewers thinking about the future and the impact they have on the world. The father opens up a book and describes to his child the world before coronavirus, including severe economic inequality and irrepressible damage to the world's oceans. Here are the actual words.
Nothing should go back to normal. Normal wasn't working. If we go back to the way things were, we will have lost the lesson. May we rise up and do better.
May you have peace today. Even more important to appreciate all we do have, the simple things like nature, love, friendship, kindness, community.
Jai (joy), Munay (unconditional love) and Horpichai (with love and light always).~ Karen