Shifting Times: Part 1
The cycles are shifting, these are shifting times.
Welcome to a new series about the changes happening in our world in 2020.
We are living in highly dynamic times. This is a great time of transformation on an individual and collective scale. What is so interesting about this time of transformation is that it is a global shift - the whole planet is adjusting. This series is about the changes we are experiencing personally and communally on the planet due to COVID-19. We will explore the impacts and opportunities that have arisen due to the worldwide transformation of our rhythms. This pause got me thinking about what kinds of experiences happen in our lives, and the challenges and possibilities that may arise, when we are ‘in between’. Aiming to offer a self, community and globally honouring perspective on how to navigate the series of shifts taking place, we will explore the potential that the pause has catalyzed to create long lasting changes in our lives at an individual and planetary level.
This first piece is a glance at the phenomena of the giant transformation we are going through as a collective on Earth.
The Shifts of COVID-19: So... Pandemics Change the World
COVID-19 is creating massive shifts throughout the planet. We have experienced many changes in a short period of time due to the pandemic on individual, district, national and global scales. The shifts are touching nearly every aspect of our lives: health, daily routines, work, socializing, exercise, many of our activities outside the home, and the way we live in general. Contexts around us are transforming community-based and larger social structures: healthcare, the economy and how we conduct business, travel, education, entertainment. Narratives are in flux: how we relate and behave towards each other in society, how we communicate, what’s going on immediately and internationally, our values and priorities. We are even shifting how we relate to foundational aspects, such as our use of space and time, the rhythms of our lives, as well as how we relate to ourselves and the planet. It seems like everything is shifting in all sorts of ways, throughout all levels of life. The longer this pandemic lasts, the deeper the changes may be. Now that we are past the first wave of shock, and we are starting to re-open society, we can wrap our minds around our circumstances a little, think about how it may play out, consider any residual impacts it may have on our lives and the world, and assess how to be proactive in order to best navigate these changes.
Shifting but Still Restricted
The pandemic has changed us, and will continue to make lasting changes across society. We don’t know when the programs of regular life will fully resume or how we will defeat the crisis. Although restrictions are starting to loosen and lift, it seems the circumstances of our lives are not returning to how they used to be as quickly as we may have imagined. Physical distancing measures remain in place in various degrees depending on where we are at in the life cycle of the virus, for at least the next months. We know that society will be re-opening in gradual waves as per recommendations from our health authorities, and as per districts and demographics, but it seems clear that this virus will be a key player in the world for some time to come, and we will all continue to make adjustments. The need for face masks and being welcomed with hand sanitizer may be around for a while. It is now 81 days since World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic and we’re still in the crisis, this unprecedented issue is something we have to follow day by day, and we have few prior examples with which to form any kind of expectation. Collectively we are realizing that the pandemic will be in effect for longer than many of us anticipated, and the timeline remains uncertain.
Lasting Shifts: Residual Effects
The pandemic will have lasting repercussions on our lives. Like any international crisis, it has a multi-level impact on society, and its effects will be with us for a while, if not the virus itself, then the impacts it has had on the rest of our world. Nearly all sectors have been hit, and shifts in health care and the economy just to name two, will continue to affect people’s daily lives for some time even once the pandemic has been cleared. It has shaken the global markets. The adjustments the world has made to stop the spread will continue to play out as we move forwards, healing the various layers of this collective crisis. Some of the changes we make now will become fixtures of life, even after we understand how to manage this virus. In times of crisis, we find solutions fast and make changes quickly to deal with the urgency, but it’s noteworthy that many changes we make will stay with us. Government bills are passed at record speed that would generally take months or years, urgency speeds up our decisions and actions. New infrastructures are built in society to manage and remove this crisis: for example, many aspects put in place during/immediately following WW2 are still with us. Currently, many bills have and continue to be passed to take care of society during COVID-19, and it will be interesting to see what other kinds of government initiatives come about. Historically, the reality of pandemics, and any global crisis, is that they change society.
We have Shifted: Moving Forwards to a New 'Normal'
COVID-19 has adjusted normal life. We wonder about when things will return to normal, and we try our best to feel like we’re going back to the old lifestyle. But we’ve already moved forward, the energy has shifted. Even though many parts of society have re-opened, it’s not in the way we are used to, as the way society feels and operates has shifted. We’re becoming accustomed to the measures, but with face masks, protective screens and physically distanced line-ups, life looks different now. These conditions will be with us until we have a better handle on this virus as a globe. It’s becoming clear that although we may want to go back, we’re understanding that actually we cannot, as time moves forward and so do we. At every level, we keep adjusting to what’s happening around us, figuring it out as reality adjusts. Now it’s all about how to be in the new normal in the best way we can, to move safely through this challenging time. In this time of uncertainty one thing for sure is that no one knows what’s going to happen - we’re in a period of great shifting right now. If you feel weary about how things have changed, you’re not alone. But if you try to hold on and wait for the old ways to return, you might find yourself feeling frustrated or lost. This year is challenging enough, and will be more difficult if we resist the fact that we are in a process of transformation. Society will bounce back and renew itself, and meanwhile, we are being called into a new paradigm.
United in the Shift: A Grand Planetary Shift
Undeniably, we find ourselves in a period of incredible shifting catalyzed by COVID-19’s presence throughout the entire world. Transformations are rippling around the world country by country, accompanied by challenge, loss, and uncertainty, met with community compassion, creativity, and glimpses of hope. COVID-19 and the changes it ushered into our world have resulted in a period of extreme transition around the globe, and our human spirit is rising above our circumstances in all sorts of ways. This transformational period is so huge because we are all impacted, all of us affected by the virus and its repercussions in our lives. We are united in this grand shift taking place. Billions have the opportunity to shift at the same time due to this worldwide pause, which is creating a paradigm shift. Essentially, critical mass is being triggered to shift, and this is turning tides and changing the world. Cycles are ending and new ones are beginning. We are going to be learning from each other, study different countries strategies and results for stopping the spread, re-opening, and post-pandemic life. This is the beginning of a new era, and we are all playing a part.
Shifting Together: Individual and Collective Development in a Time of Crisis
We are changing as a globe, and we are also changing as individuals. Everyone has had to make changes in their lives as a result of this pandemic. The whole world being in transformation activates changes in our individual lives. The changes we are experiencing as a planet will spark realizations, and inspire us to wake up and shift as needed, to find solutions to any issues we may be having in our lives. We’re all being invited to change, we’re all in this together, but it’s an individual journey. Since this is happening at a global level, we have the planetary wide opportunity to participate in consciously creating a massive shift on this planet. Individual change on a mass scale changes the planet. If we all make positive changes in our lives, it will make a huge difference in the world now, and how it will be when we emerge from this pandemic. Let's create ascension energy in our lives and for the planet.
Unless there’s a personal transformation, there can be no societal transformation.
- Deepak Chopra
It’s Time to Shift: Finding Opportunity in the Gateway of Change
Right now we’re in the middle of this shifting process between the old and new ‘normal’. We’re in the portal of change, between the end of one cycle, and the beginning of the next. Though perhaps we’re yearning to get back to our old life, our only choice is to go through this period. The process of change has already begun, reality is different now, there’s no turning back. No question this is a challenging time, but this time can be used positively. It can also serve as an empowering period in our lives when we awaken to the chance to improve our lives and create a better world for everyone. Times of great change are also times of great opportunity, ripe with potential to transform. If you are open to change, then you can use this powerful energy in the air around us. This is the pivot - we find ourselves with a window to create something new, to transform in whatever way will benefit us, and how we use this time is important. Make choices from a clear place, they will come naturally.
Space to Shift from Pausing Rhythms
The need for physical distancing brought about a collective pause in our rhythms, slowing down the momentum of the world. Putting our collective rhythms on pause helps us make the most of this period of transformation. It is easier to make changes in our lives when we are not caught up in our rhythms, as we’ve now gained the time and energetic resources to make changes. Off the treadmill, we have space that free time allows for a new reality to emerge from our hearts, to refine our vision, and to imagine something new for ourselves and the planet. In this mid-zone of shifting while the world is on pause, it’s the perfect time to create something new, without the resistance of the old rhythms. Disconnecting from our normal routines shifts our perspective, and from here, we can make new choices for ourselves. We have a cushion period to integrate the changes we are going through, and the spaciousness to make changes behind the scenes to make our lives better. We are now being supported with this pause to find new ways of being and to elevate our lives. It has given us a chance to catch up with whatever got ahead of us.
Use this Shifting Time: Leverage the Shift
Use this time to transform consciously: change is inevitable, transformation is a choice. If the shift has left you spinning, anchor yourself with a direction. Take purposeful action on the changes that were activated in you in whatever way you can. Find ways to make this experience meaningful in a positive way by thinking about it as a chance to grow, rather than against it by clinging to the old ways. We are creative and resilient and we can adapt to whatever challenges come along the way. Prepare and do whatever you can, as taking action now will create deep and meaningful results you will carry with you. Ask for help when you need it, we can find creative solutions together. Use this time to assimilate and purify your life, and release what is no longer working. We have the chance to adjust what is nudging us in our lives to become healthier and more balanced, to come back to self and nourish our own healing. This is a time of exploration, the freedom to discover what brings us true joy, a time to be creative. Use this time to grow and facilitate your ability to thrive in the future. There has never been a better time to make improvements, it is the perfect time for personal development. Do whatever you are able to recharge yourself and organize your life.
We will get through this challenging period of change, and hopefully reframing this as an opportunity for change and healing will help some readers. With grace may this situation soon pass and may we enter a new paradigm of renewed collaboration and peace.
Change is the only constant of life.
*2nd article in Shifting Times series here.
*General pandemic reflections here.