As a Holistic Therapist, Biologist and lover of all things nature related, I know that there is incredible wisdom in nature. Nature adapts in a way that strives to restore balance in grand and minuscule ways that are driven by an innate knowledge and universal instinct. Nature is fundamentally driven to restore homeostasis, or equilibrium, so that life may be sustained in a harmonious and lasting way. So, given this, do you think that this novel Coronavirus, a 100 % organic and natural organism might just have some hidden gems of learning? The answer for me is a resounding YES! This sparked an idea within me to put come creative attention on the potential positives that this situation might be bringing with it.
Let me be clear, while the virus itself and how it is maneuvering within its human hosts (us) has to be following this greater wisdom within nature, the bordering-on-mass-hysteria fear that the human population is creating, is another thing entirely. From my clinical practice, I know that fear (which comes in many forms) is underneath 100% of all issues people experience. It festers under the surface like molten lava until ultimately it erupts, causing extreme distress in an effort to get our attention.
I have also learned both personally and professionally that crisis states, and the associated fear, is an invitation to find a deeper strength within oneself. To be able to stand strongly within the storm, until a calm place is found – like being in the eye of a hurricane – where the sun shines and the winds are calm even though a storm is raging on the periphery.
I believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for nature to restore equilibrium and for the human counterparts involved to find the courage and strength in a deeper place than ever before. I invite you to accept this challenge, and take a moment to shift your focus from the state of fear to one that is more ‘glass half full’, which can sometimes be easier said than done. With that said, I also want to note that a bit of healthy fear is useful in order to stay alert, resourceful, informed and safe.
The Six Lessons of Love from the Coronavirus that I outline below, are a product of my meditations, inner wisdom and generally positive outlook on life that I hope can help people find the calm within the storm, to replace some of the fear with a bigger message that love is within all things. If you just take time (and have the courage) to look, you will always find a heart in the darkness.
I was in Indonesia when the first cases of the Coronavirus became known, when flights to and from were canceled or rerouted, and when the fear of ‘how bad is this going to get’ was escalating exponentially. I had a lot of time to sit and Be with the whole situation, as I awaited my departing flight home from Bali to Ireland. I sat with all the hype, fears, and scientific facts, calling in my Internal Board of Directors (of which I am CEO) to help get a broader perspective on what was going on. In this meditation, three key members came to the table: My Inner Biologist, who understands how viruses work both for and against us from my years spent doing genetic research; My inner Therapist/Healer, who has experienced first hand in my clinic how our thoughts can do the same: work for and against us; and My Inner Spiritualist who has complete trust in the knowledge that there is a divine order and good reason behind everything.
What this dream team helped me to access was a state within myself that was centered in love over fear, allowing me to access a bigger picture view and get clearer on the messages that this virus may be trying to communicate to us. It is these viewpoints and messages I offer to you now. If you resonate with any or all of these, I invite you breathe them in and out for three cycles of slow breath. This will allow the co-creative energies to join so that we may become greater than the sum of our individual parts, transforming the collective fears into love.
Lesson #1: TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. WHAT HELPS THE INDIVIDUAL HELPS THE WHOLE.
In these early days of the outbreak, the call for taking personal responsibility was loud and clear. What a wonderfully empowering message to be coming out of public offices filled with authority figures and their (often dis-empowering) directives! The first-line-of-defense messages were clear: wear a mask while traveling if you need extra protection, wash your hands frequently, and cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze.
In other words, take personal responsibility for yourself, your space, your germs and your hygiene. These are all things we learn as children, but it seems we are in desperate need of a reminder!
Ultimately, personal responsibility is your choice. The Coronavirus situation is making is much easier, if not mandatory, to make this choice. The message of love here is that if we do our part as individuals, we will also help the greater whole. What an amazingly helpful directive to receive!
If you’d like to supercharge the positive effect that you as an individual can have on the whole, I offer you this: If actions of personal responsibility are done from a place driven by fear (“OH NO! I might get IT!!”), the benefits to the whole will be diminished. However, if these actions are done from an empowered place supported by the love of all beings (“I am taking care of myself and others through my actions”) the beneficial effect on the whole will be supercharged! Which do you choose?
My hope is that people can access the latter in their actions, allowing for a greater compassion for all living things to fill in the space where fear once was. I also hope that we can take these lessons forward after this crisis is over, and successfully reduce the spread of other contagious organisms (including the common cold and flu) in the future.
Lesson #2: WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.
The breathtaking speed that this virus has spread around the globe is quite impressive, if you think about it. While this has fueled the fire of public fear, it also calls out a very important point: we are all connected through unseen forces such as the air we breathe, the thoughts we have and the life force that is within us. The 1st Universal Law is called the Law of Divine Oneness, states that absolutely everything in the universe is interconnected. If you are a spiritualist then this is not news to you. But for those who may not be aware of this, the opportunity has now come to experience this first hand!
Perhaps it’s a kind of tipping point, where enough of us have truly embodied this knowledge in a way that is now inviting others into this space, and ultimately have a positive affect on consciousness as a whole.
If the fear of greater connection at a global level continues to scare people, then there will continue to be problems like this. It is through coming together in global unity that will honor the truth of who we are. We share this planet. We’re all in this together. Us vs. Them thinking is a product of fear. Acknowledging we are all humans who breathe the same air on the same planet allows for respect, love and unity to prevail.
Lesson #3: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL AND NEEDS IMMEDIATE ACTION, DIFFICULT AS IT MAY BE.
According to a study by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), the COVID-19 outbreak has reduced the carbon footprint of world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases (China) by a now estimated at 400 million tons. Within the first 2 weeks, their carbon emissions were reduced by a quarter. On a global scale, COVID- 19 is responsible for the reduction of greenhouse carbon emissions by 100 Mt CO2.
Could it be that the Universe is listening to us? The call to action that Miss Greta Thunberg has brought into the spotlight, urging leaders & citizens alike to stop talking about it and start doing something, is now being addressed. Is the coronavirus helping the planet take charge on its own and drive positive change through extreme means?
While it begs the ethical question of sacrificing one to save many (known as the Trolley Problem in Ethical Studies), the data shows this is effective in this situation. It is difficult for modern civilizations to make the choice to sacrifice life, since all lives are important. It seems this decision has been taken out of our (emotional) hands by a greater force of nature in an effort to achieve a greater good.
COVID-19 has shown us that is it possible to reduce carbon emissions, and the costs that it will take for us to get serious about making sure the planet remains viable and life sustaining for generations to come.
Let’s take a moment to pray in deep love and gratitude for those who have sacrificed their lives for the greater good through this experience. Their love for the planet and all its inhabitants will not be forgotten.
Lesson #4: PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH.
If you’re not feeling well, stay home and rest. Don’t risk spreading the virus to others.
I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear this message becoming something people are actually listening to! OK, so I’m not happy it is taking an extremely contagious virus to get this message out there, but I am happy it is giving people the permission to take time out when they feel ill.
If you don’t take care of yourself, then you won’t be able take care of the things that are important to you. For a variety of reasons, many people put themselves on the bottom of their priority list. In my experience, this is a slippery slope into the territory of chronic, debilitating and even threatening conditions. The fear based thinking about rest is that if we take time off we’re lazy or selfish.
Any form of illness is our body’s way of trying to get our attention. When you continually ignore that, and hit the override button to push through it, you force your body to get louder with the message until you hear it. I see many clients who have hit the override button for so long, it has forced the condition into such a debilitating state, it can take a while to reverse the damage. Had they just stopped and taken care of themselves at the first (second, or third) sign of depletion, they would have had a chance to stay strong for themselves and care for the responsibilities in life they most value. It is a deep and profound act of self-love to listen to your body, and work with it rather than against it as it tries to heal.
As the airlines say…in the event of an emergency, place your oxygen mask on before assisting others. You’re no good to anyone if you’re not healthy or, worse, not alive.
Lesson #5: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
To keep a balance of love over fear, we must stay informed and be mindful where we put our attention and energy.
For example, based on World Health Organization (WHO) data, it is estimated that H1N1 Influenza (ordinary flu) kills 290,000 to 650,000 people worldwide each year. As of when this was written the death toll associated with COVID-19 is at 4,500 people.
Remember to look to the facts to help keep perspective. COVID-19 has a higher transmission rate than Influenza, this is a fact, but will it prove to be more fatal? This remains to be seen. It is wasted energy to worry about something until there is evidence to support the fear. While it is completely natural that an unknown species would bring about the worst case scenario thinking, we must stay disciplined to keep perspective so that we don’t lose ourselves in fake news or the fear that we will wake tomorrow up as a character in a Steven King novel.
Instead, I invite you to get your information from reliable and the most original sources possible, to avoid the ‘telephone game’ distortion of facts causing the message to be filtered through multiple sources becoming altered along the way.
Try trusting in medical knowledge and the incredible scientific approaches that are out there now to identify, treat and eradicate disease. I have first hand experience of the incredible minds at work out there creating an astounding level of scientific knowledge. Instead of wasting all that energy on worry, why not focus on sending some (or all) of it as positive thoughts, encouragement and prayers to the medical research heroes in the background that are working night and day to get ahead of this.
Personally, I have no doubt that they will and I, for one, am incredibly grateful they are on our side!
Lessons #6: CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF ON A REGULAR BASIS.
In response to the COVID-19 virus, many places where people gather are sending out messages about what they are doing to ensure your safety at their establishment during this time. Number one these lists is to check in with yourself, and if you feel feverish, short of breath or fatigued then you should be aware and act accordingly.
How often in everyday life are we invited to stop and check in with how we’re feeling? People may not do this for themselves, but are now being asked to check in with regularly in order to keep themselves and the community healthy.
Stop, take a moment, notice and assess your wellbeing. Repeat.
What a beautiful practice to include in your daily life!
My final invitation to you is to make Life your practice, and celebrate this beautiful gift that you have been given. Be aware, stay informed, and use a healthy amount of fear to keep you alert, clear and safe. Life is so very precious, and these health crises are an important reminder of this. So, in between the bits of fear you might have over this virus, try to take (at least) an equal number of moments to celebrate your current state of health and the gift of life that you have been given. Even better, with every fear-based thought come up with two love-based thoughts, this will neutralize the negative and move it into the positive.
Remind yourself of what’s most important to you, what makes you most happy in this world. If these things aren’t prime time players in your world, lifestyle or thinking, then I invite you to take the step towards making this change. Only you have the choice over shifting out of fear based thinking into one that supports the fullness of life in all its forms. Sometimes it takes the assistance of a qualified practitioner to help identify, release and revise old conditioned patterns that create the reality you live in, but please know that whatever you dream is possible to achieve. And one of the best navigation tools I’ve found to get there is to shift from allowing fear to drive your thinking, decisions, & actions to a place where truth, self love and happiness is your lighthouse, guiding you safely and completely Home.