Jul 2, 2020
Yay us, we have survived 100 days of lockdown!! But if it takes between 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit we are in danger of slipping back into our old ways unless we consciously make the effort now to pinpoint those changes and commit to them.
So I decided to come up with a checklist to hold myself accountable and remind myself, hence the title, that this year has truly given us the gift of hindsight and we don’t want to forget what we have learned.
They say elephants have amazing memories like humans, they mourn their dead – they literally have funerals, they bury them with branches and leaves, they have an incredibly advanced emotional memory as is their ability to problem solve.
I don’t want to forget what I have gained from this pandemic which has brought so much trauma and devastation to many lives. Like a war, there is a cost and we remember those who gave their lives – in a similar vein, people have lost their lives to Covid whilst others have had the chance to improve their lives, in so many ways it has been grossly unfair and so rather than wanting everything to go back to normal – which in so many ways can’t happen but at the same time, will happen unless we put the effort in to learn from what we have experienced.
Life has continued to be busy for me, but I have been massively impacted by the change in pace and vibe around me – I have been really fortunate as we have all been free from illness so I’ve been really lucky to enjoy the benefits that I’ve been able to draw from this time - its felt peaceful in so many ways. So, I have used the word PEACE as an acronym to remind me of the ways I have benefitted from slowing down and I intend to use it so that I can continue to embrace peace in my life, rather than become super busy again:
P – PAUSE – just stop, read, listen to music, lie down and look at the sky. Even 3 minutes here and there in the day makes a huge difference
E – ENGAGE with the moment. Listen, hear, talk, stop rushing to the next thing
A – ADMIRE the world around you. Seeing the good around you, admire means “to feel respect and approval” so whether that’s family members, colleagues, friends, your home etc. I’ve been admiring trees and flowers like never before and it does something internally when we see good – like the law of attraction, you find what you are looking for.
C – CREATE – you may not feel artsy, but I believe we are all creative in some way and there is something about being in touch with our creativity that gives a sense of wellbeing and fulfilment. Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC is a great book to encourage this, whether it’s baking, painting, sewing, writing, redecorating ….find your inner creative!
E – EMBRACE – love on each other, cherish those who matter, spend time together, connect with our community – walking, talking, board games, sending letters, making gifts, sharing tomato plants and tray bakes – giving of ourselves to each other rather than closing our doors at the end of the day – an Englishman’s house is his castle – actually (metaphorically) keeping our bridges down and our doors open to one another
And like the elephants, their leader is normally the oldest in the pack. They live up to 60/70 years and they pass on their wisdom – we can glean wisdom from those who have been here before
Socrates 400BC Greek Philosopher “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”
“He is richest who is content with the least, for contentment is the wealth of nature.”
Plato: 400BC “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
SENECA “True happiness is… to enjoy the present without anxious dependence on the future.”
I heard something this week, a quote from the wonderful Wayne Dyer who I was very lucky to work with on a number of occasions whilst he was still alive. I always loved his wisdom as it was so simple, outside of religious constraints and beyond ancient scripts, he just made a lot of sense to me. One of the things I remember him saying was that when you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice, and when you squeeze a lime, you get lime juice ….and when we are squeezed by the inevitabilities of life, what is on the inside is what oozes out from us.
We have heard that hard times bring out the best and the worst in us ….we have seen both haven’t we?
We are not just body and mind, we are body, mind and soul/spirit, depending on which you choose to call it. It’s easy to focus on the body first, it’s what we see. We understand about physical health, physical surroundings and physical environment that affects how we feel. We are slowly getting our heads around mental health, as the pressure of life has become more intense over the years with the onset of working 24/7 and technology, we’ve begun to realise the importance of maintaining our health at that level too.
Then there’s the other bit, the bit we don’t tend to like to talk about as much because it can then tip into the territory of religion and let’s face it, not everyone has had positive experiences there – however, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t another part of us, there’s this spiritual side that also warrants care and I definitely think that is something we have all become more in touch with during this pandemic – if only just by going for more walks and slowing down a bit, we’ve allowed ourselves to discover this deeper connection with what I call our spirit self, not our physical body, not our mind, something deeper that connects with something bigger – when we slow down and uncomplicate our lives, we find we are able to get in touch with that other part of us that so often gets neglected.
The Year of less – how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store – by Cait Flanders
12 months – only bought groceries, toiletries and petrol – alng the way she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping, she decluttered her home, got rid of 70% of her belongings, learned how to fix things rather than throw them away, researched the zero waste movement and even completed a television ban – at every stage she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.
I think we have all touched on this over the last 100 days – but the question is, what lessons have we learned and what are we prepared to continue to work on?
Cait Flanders THE YEAR OF LESS
And as always, come and find me and stay in touch, either via my website or by searching for Pipa Gordon on Social Media
Back next Thursday!