What I wish me and you would learn from pandemic

What I wish me and you would learn from pandemic

My previous post was a mental vomit of all the thoughts I had on Covid19 since the pandemic started. Well, not all of them, because this post I am writing right now would not have any meaning if I said it all before anyway. I also included some of my idealistic hopes in previous post, but the main point I wanted to make is why us people look for a scapegoat when shit hits the fan, even if it is our own personal shit that hit the fan and why conspiracy theories are so appealing to people.

I will put it simply this time, so that you don’t have to read a few thousand words of a rant in my previous post and misunderstand the post completely. But you are welcome to read it anyway, if you haven’t yet, that’s why I wrote it, otherwise I would just share my thoughts with a few people that I find smart enough to get it and feel super superior and above from the rest of the crowd. Which I do anyway and even dare to admit, though I hope you will not find me saying that I am the only one telling you the truth, while everybody else is lying. Ah, shit, I am already trying to make two points inside the same paragraph, so let’s break it down.

What I wanted to tell in previous post is: when something unexpected happens (it was unexpected for most of us, while some of the scientists saw it coming already, because history repeats itself if we don’t learn from it), after  the first shock is over, people feel uncertain and they feel like they have no control of their life. Because they feel like they don’t have control and are in a state of fear, which is very uncomfortable emotion, they start asking who has control and they channel their own fear into anger at those who seem to have control. And while we are angry, we feel much more in control and powerful than when we are afraid and uncertain.

And so we are angry at rich people, at governments, at immigrants, at homeless people, at Jews, at muslims, at men, at women, at patriarchy, at feminists, at scientists, at pharmacies, at media, at Mark Zuckenberg, at Bill Gates, at black people, at white spiritual women, at Jesus Christ, at New Age people (who always seem to be those others, wishy washy people, not us who practice similar or the same things as them, lol), at left and right and the middle that cannot decide which polarity she wants to be on….

The point is, we are angry and underneath it we are all fucking afraid.

Afraid of not being good enough. Afraid of not making it through the month for whatever reason (lack of money or disease or relationship dramas). Afraid of what others think of us. Afraid we are bad parents and partners. Afraid people we love will leave us (either dying or leaving us for someone “better”). Afraid we are going to die without contributing something meaningful to others. Afraid of climate change which effects will probably more and more of a shit show and far greater one then pandemic if we don’t change our ways. Afraid we don’t fit in. Afraid we will never be like them. Afraid we will become like them. Afraid of being at the wrong side of the history. Afraid of them. Afraid of ourselves and what might be hiding in our own shadow if we ever dared to look at it.

Afraid, afraid, afraid.

My question is, what you can do around fear that you feel, how can you get to know it better, how can you stop being afraid of looking at what are you afraid of in the first place? Get to know what are you afraid of. Let’s all of us look at our own fears.

I was afraid of fear and afraid people, so I was researching fear during lock down. I recommended audiobook I found very useful in the previous post.

Second point:

Everyone is telling their point of view. Nobody sees the whole picture. And those who are saying, they are the ones who are telling you the truth, sharing with you the secrets others don’t want you to know (usually government or mainstream media – you know those titles you see “This is what your doctor does not want you to know”, lol) are often the ones who will make money out of your stupidity. And are probably making it while you are clicking at their click-bait titles. They play at your sense of superiority (so that you can feel like you know more than the rest of the crowd). They play at your desire to be a hero and save and warn others. They play at your desire to be one of the good ones. They play at your desire to one of those who saw it coming before anyone else did.

And why are they doing this?

Because they are afraid themselves, my child (sorry if that sounds like I am above you, I am one of those to whom I refer as children as well). We all are. Afraid children. Trying to appear confident, know it all, perfectly polished or perfectly unpolished, but underneath it all we are all afraid we won’t be accepted. We appear powerful while feeling powerless. We are all masters of faking it, even though we say we are keeping it real and we don’t like all this fakeness that’s going on instagram, but we hide our fears, hide our tears, we are eating pills, drinking beer, smoking weed and watching porn or trying to keep our head down and work ourselves up to the top where we will hopefully feel worthy our parents love and their investment in us and we are running until our ankles are kaput, in an attempt to run away from ourselves and all those emotions for which we fear, that if others knew them about us, that we feel them, they will not accept us anymore. We will be cast out from the group.

All the politics, all the conspiracy terrorists, all the rich people, all the poor people, all the people in between, including those we consider sociopaths, narcissists, you and me… we all have emotions (or apathy). We all have desires. We all have things we like and things we don’t like. We all have our filters, depending on how and where we were raised, depending on our personality, access to resources etc. We all have parents, either alive or dead, if we knew them or not, we were all born babies into this world. Innocent babies.

Innocent babies. Whom parents or guardians told this or that. Innocent babies who observed the world around them and developed the most useful strategies for survival at the time, the most useful coping mechanism for the times when your desires are not met or something unexpected happens. Innocent babies who are trying to make sense of the world around them.

And we all tell what at the moment seems the most true to us (or we are lying/hiding/faking on purpose because that’s our coping mechanism, strategy for survival). Which does not mean it actually true. It is just true for us.

One of my coping strategies/strategies for survival, is hiding. Keeping quiet. Being a wallflower. Not showing my gifts and talents. Not telling my dreams to others for fear of being laughed at ridiculed or told I can’t do this. Not sharing my aspirations for fear of being attacked by activists or status quo keepers telling me that I can speak what I speak and dream what I dream because I am privileged. Activists will tell me that I am privileged on the expense of of those not privileged, and status quo keepers will tell me I am privileged thanks to opportunities they gave me. Either way, the result is the same. I feel either like I owe my life to those less fortunate who did not made it or those more fortunate who made it and who clearly belief they are self-made and at the same time feel like they are less fortunate than me, because they had to put in the hard work.

This might all sound confusing, but it is part of our daily life. This feeling like we are in the middle of food chain and there are those above us who eat us and we hate them and those bellow us who we eat and pity and they hate us.

I am writing this at a balcony and listening to the noise of workers at neighbor’s new house, who are making the roof. Chainsaw noise, hammers, their at times idiotic communication with each other and radio songs with interference of news about Corona virus and weather forecast.

I am sure that if we would meet and speak about our work, they would try to convince me how hard they work, what tough guys they are and look at me as though I am bellow them, because I call my sitting on the balcony, drinking cacao and typing words work. And I could try to convince them of my superiority, because I probably read more books then all of them and all their friends combined… gosh, who am I kidding, I can’t even convince myself of my superiority. I secretly envy them. They will finish the roof, they will have a result of their work, a proof they did something. They will get a paycheck. Build a roof on their own house. Complain about their boss and lazy co-workers, get drunk and take life as it is. While I am hoping that hours I put into writing will be read by someone, maybe cause a shift in perception in somebody. Not at all as tangible as building a roof. (But damn, I love writing.)

We love to play those superiority games, don’t we? Who knows more, who is more deserving of a piece of pie, who was there longer, who remembers the times when you were still in pampers, who can kill others better with their arguments or who can crack a better joke and win the admiration of the group.

What I loved when Corona started, was that feeling that hierarchy was broken. Some older people, who sometimes look down on me as though I am chicken that just came out of the egg, didn’t have the know it all look on their face. They were catastrophising the situation way more than I did. I felt like a compassionate zen master with people that before caused me to feel like chicken.

Not wishing anyone to get a covid19, but anyway, I secretly felt satisfaction that virus did not look at how much cash the person has on a bank account or how many people “bellow” them.

Yet on a long run we all know that once again those whose life will be affected the most in the negative ways are those of people in the what we refer to as the 3rd world countries and those in the first and second world countries who are on lover levels of “food chain” and do not have equal access to medical care and social safety as those on the middle and the top. Or maybe not.

Despite conspiracy theorists still thinking that we will all get chips in our veins through vaccine against Covid19, the reality with vaccines is a bit different. It takes money, time and work of a lot of people to come up with a vaccine that works and is safe enough. If you go read wikipedia’s post COVID-19 vaccine, you might be impressed as I was how many people are making their best to make this vaccine possible, how many people co-operate, how many people try their best that scenario that I described in the previous paragraph would not happen. Still though, the logistic of distribution of the vaccine if it comes out are something that is hard to wrap the mind around. And if you read that post on wikipedia (respect for whoever has put it together), you will see, that conspiracy that we will all get a shot of a vaccine with a chip in it are a fantasy (as though the chips would be in any way necessary, considering we all carry our phones around everywhere). It’s also funny to think, that all of this was invented for a few people to make money, because it takes freaking lots of money and co-operation of people (that all need to be paid), to even find a useful vaccine and distribute it to those first in the line (health workers will be among the first who will get vaccine once it is out).

However, whenever we get the vaccine (or not), if you are for it or against it, what in my opinion matters even more now, is that we start taking care of our health.

If this virus could teach us anything, it could for sure teach us that health should be priority for all of us (also relationships and smart money management, but lets focus first on health, even though they are all connected).

Even if we get the vaccine for COVID-19, who can say that virus will not mutate or maybe another virus will spread around.

On the long run we will have to change our lifestyle, if we want to be healthy. And to change our lifestyle we have to get our values and priorities straight.

If you have a healthy body, your immune system starts to create an army inside you that will fight the intruder as soon as it enters you. It’s pretty magical how well are our bodies created, it’s time we start to appreciate them. In a day, or few, maybe a week and you are healthy again.

But if you don’t take proper care of yourself and your body, you cannot expect it to take proper care of you in the long run.

If you are chronically stressed, not eating well, not getting proper sleep, not exercising, having shitty relationships, it will show on your bodies ability to fight the disease. One of the comments I got on the previous post (well, the only one), said that media does not tell us anything about how our immune system works. Well, that depends on the media you consume. I by the way found amazing articles about how immune system works in the magazines I enjoy reading. One of them was all about nutrition I made some changes little changes in my diet according to it (I got huge changes in my diet before that article, thanks to total skin and body inflammation I had this summer). If your body has all the ingredients to fight the disease, it will use them. But you have to give your body those ingredients through the food you eat. (by the way, those workers at the neighbor’s roof just got my attention with the noise of the chainsaw and it was worth looking their way, walking shirtless on the roof and all that).

Another amazing article I read in one of the magazines I occasionally buy, was this article from the New Scientist. You have to pay for the access there, so I will just share with you what I got away from it.

If you take proper care of your body, the age of your immune system could be younger than your chronological age. Example: I am 30, but if I live in a way that is good for my body, the age of my immune system could the same as with healthy 22 year old person.

What are the things that we can do that have the biggest impact on our health?

Walk at least 10 000 steps a day. (Easy one if you have a dog or a job where you walk a lot).

Eat mostly vegetables, fruit, food with lots of fiber and enough of fermented food. (You can do it!)

Fast here and there. Even 16 hours fast once per week will be good for you, and it is super easy. You don’t eat after 20h, then you sleep for 8 or 9 hours and in the morning you have breakfast at 10.

The age of your immune system is usually older than your actual age, if you are too heavy, if you smoke and if your work requires you to sit most of the day. I am not too heavy and I walk enough (but I am lately practicing my meditation instead of sitting or lying down, rather dancing), but I am more and more seriously considering that I will quit smoking as well. (Just let me light another one now). Well, do what you can, even small changes count on the long run.

If you are serious about learning how your immune system works and ready to do the exercises, that will help your immune system, I cannot recommend enough work of Savina Atai. She is one of those few people who has big following, whose response to the pandemic I really love and respect. She created a 100 day bootcamp with tips and exercises that will help you boost your immune system health. And it’s free. (Free!! The knowledge she provides is worth thousands and thousands. The words cannot express how grateful I am for this amazing woman doing her work and sharing so generously.)

Next on the list: relationships.

I am one of those lucky ones whose relationships has improved during this year and during the lock down. And I am an introvert and super sensitive person.

Not everyone had this luck, though. A lot of people realised they cannot live with their partners and there was also more of domestic violence.

I wish we will realise how important are healthy relationships. And that we have to work on them, if we want them to bring joy to us. It’s not just about chemistry we have with other people (or not), it is also about chemistry we have within ourselves. And everybody brings their own baggage into relationships. While a common pattern is still that we want to change/blame another for the relationship drama, the best solution is still getting to know your own self and sort through the baggage you carry. If you are in danger in your relationships, by all means, set the boundaries or go away if the people don’t respect your boundaries. But sooner or later we all have to look within ourselves, why are we repeating some patterns. Heal our traumas. Learn to parent ourselves (most of us still have responses in our nervous system that we established as coping mechanisms in first 5 years of our life – so a 5 year old child in us is often running the show).

I’ve been doing my inner work since teenage years, yet still I have nervous breakdowns sometimes. Emotional materia ain’t that easy to master. If you look at last few thousand years of our human history, we evolved a lot considering technology, but our relationships patterns are still more or less the same as the ones written in the bible.

Though we have to admit that considering how many people we have on the planet now, from one perspective we are doing really a good job. The end of the World War II is only 75 years away and while it was kinda normal for people back then to just go and sheepishly kill other people because someone above them told them is the right thing to do or that they have no other choice, most of us (I hope) don’t see war as a normal choice anymore. We are more aware of power of dialogue (I hope!).

And I strongly believe that we need to start having dialogues with our own selves, our inner child that is so often running the show and with what is hidden in our shadows. We all have a whole spectrum of emotions within us, from shame, guilt, fear, anger, jealousy to hope, joy, optimism, love and all the little enlightenments in between.

Some people claim that the World War III is already happening, and maybe it does, maybe all the false information in form of fake news circulating around could be called war. The fights in comments on social media could be called wars. It certainly feels this way sometimes (often, actually, it’s one of the reasons I quit social media, because of my disappointment at the lack of respect for a fellow human beings I observed there and all the mental fights I was having with people in my head, even if I didn’t even write a comment).

From what I observed in myself and other human beings, I can say most of us have some level of addiction to fighting. It manifests in ourselves, when we want one thing but do another and then beaut ourselves up. It manifests in our relationships, when we see our partner as an opponent instead of well, our partner. It manifests in our families, when we are fighting for love of our parents with our siblings. It manifests in business when we are more focused on taking down our competitors than serving our clients. It manifests in countries having bigger budgets for army to play police in other countries than for medical care of it’s own people. It manifests even in our spiritual and religious practices, when instead of living our faith and trust in what we believe in, we try to make everyone else believe in it too and we make them afraid of consequences if they won’t (hey hell, you are here already). When we call ourselves feminists but tear down women who look glamorous&fabulous (unless they are transgender, then we praise them for their courage to be who they are) or are disgusted by women who are okay being at home and taking care of home, husband and kids (cannot woman be whatever she wants to be?)
It manifests in coming together for a common cause but then sooner or later splitting, because we start fighting inside the group for the positions and privileges. Who is right here? Which side are you gonna take? Khmm, aren’t we here because we all want to be here and work on what is common to all of us?

So, where to start working on your relationships, so that the next time you will have to be in the house for few months with same people, you see that those are awesome people to be with?

What I wish me and you would learn from pandemic

Start by loving yourself. Easier said than done, but also easier done than just listen millions of gurus talk about it. Hug yourself, touch yourself, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Pad yourself on the back. Dance. Cry and hug yourself. Get your anger out by hitting a pillow. Journal. Clean the room and imagine that while you cleaning your old hurts are being cleansed. Go to therapy. Get a coach. Do inner child work. Know that you are not alone that is going through this. Millions on the planet are awakening to the fact that we have to start by ourselves if we want to change something. And not by fixing ourselves and pu(ni)shing ourselves to be better, but accepting that we are pretty awesome already. It’s way easier to see others as worthy of love when you are in good mood because you like being who you are.  Even those haters on the internet seem like a cute little children, who are angry because they are not getting the piece of pie, even though they have ingredients to bake it themselves. Use your ingredients, make that self love pie.

self love pie chart
Here is my self love pie.

Additional resource: The Self-Love guided journal by Suzanne Heyn is super good. I can recommend it with all my heart. (You can read my review of it at the bottom of the page).

If you want to improve your relationships, I will provide you with useful resources. Through my work on the relationships in my life I developed a bunch of useful exercises and I am planning to share them with you. Some for free, some in exchange for money for those who are really committed to improving their relationships.

One of the books I would really recommend is Attracting Genuine Love: A Step-by-Step Program to Bring a Loving and Desirable Partner into Your Life by Gay Hendricks. It was really useful for me for improving relationship with my partner and exercises in it helped me improve my relationship with myself as well. You can read it for free, if you join Scribd via my link here. 

And start thinking about those 7 people in your life that you really love and they love you. It’s one of the best ways to improve your relationships. You can read how this has helped me here. 

Next on the list: Money

I could write books on this topic, because I have researched it so much and it is a passion of mine. There is so many different opinions about it, books written on it from all perspectives, yet money still tends to be number one cause for divorce and number one cause of fights between people. There is a great amount of superstition around it and around those who have it. I am planning to write another post on this topic (or a bunch of them), but for now just let me share an interesting observation in connection with Covid-19. When the pandemic started, the primary concern of people in America was not their health, but money. Knowing that crisis will hit after, that was also my concern, because I knew that sooner or later will we have again that same old story of people blaming rich people and money for everything. Which happened. And it is going continue to happen until we educate ourselves on money. Unfortunately school system does not prepare us for what we have to handle on a daily basis, and most of us comes from families where they had superstitious beliefs around money, scarcity mentality and fights around it. There is a lot of trauma that we need to heal here. And people who are traumatized themselves in this area and think money or wanting money is evil, usually do not do a good job of teaching their kids how to manage the money. Thanks god internet is here to help. The most interesting and fun website that I found on this topic is here. YNAB. I love the cartoon graphics and simple techniques with real life examples.

So, to conclude this post: what I wish we would learn from pandemics is taking responsibility (response-ability) for our own health, relationships and money affairs. And that we are all human beings on this planet with power to influence those around us (we influence them whether we are aware of it or not). How do you want to use your influence?

(The way I use it is doing my best to be kind to fellow members of human kind and being honest with myself and others around what is in my power and willingness to do – I am letting go of fights that are not mine to fight, while doing my best to use my voice when I hear hate speech to remind myself and my fellow humans, that those “on the other side” are also humans.) 

our planet and us humans on this planet - coaching slovenija

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