Spring has finally arrived in London, the sun caressing our tired gaze, symphony of birdsong erupting outside our windows each morning (what a blessing), the green of fresh leaves so stark after the never-ending shades of grey, pubs finally open, energy flowing faster, hope for the better in life (in general) returning.
Nature’s rebirth, timely with our own, after a long year of confinement and rigid rules. Walking into what feels like a lighter tomorrow, individually and collectively changed. What is most evident perhaps is the change in values. Friends, family, nature, spiritual growth, sharing food, sharing laughter, freedom of movement (even within your own county, dare I say- country), our relationship to work, all quite obvious merits in someone’s life, essentials (especially when it comes to mental health) once you have all of them removed for a definitively long period of time.
Right now feels incredibly important and vulnerable (for it is so easy to sink back into forgetting). Each new friend I encounter who I’ve not seen for months, brings tonnes of endorphins and a list of gratitudes for their existence. This is huge. To remember. Each time I get to swim in the cold sea I whisper my blessings, for another ten weeks without nature was hard, to say the least. Watching my kids race around the playground, with their pals, up, down, around and around, simple joy of smiles and games of tag are priceless to witness. Feeling a solid certainty that what is most important to achieve in work is to make a difference to others, simplify problems, create connections so others would thrive, give voice to younger talent, nurture, inspire, grow.
This is the time to take the leap of faith and change the balance between work and life, make your dreams tangible, reevaluate whether the 9-5 makes sense, and isn’t there another way? Productivity doesn’t depend on a rigid set of hours, productivity often comes from a feeling of freedom and enjoyment of your achievements, it comes from the sense of purpose that you are making a difference, mostly to others. Agency and autonomy rather than obeying rules, or fitting into a system. This new era of uncertainty, a post Covid landscape, can be both overwhelming or an opportunity for change, whether ending a relationship that no longer serves you, or moving out into the country to give the kids a better life (for coming into the office is no longer an obligation), or setting up your own online business (even if you don’t have all the answers, but you have an idea or product which serves the needs of others, and hopefully there is a gap in the market, so jump right in).
Yet the idea of change, alas, often comes hand in hand with the burden of anxiety and fear followed by procrastination fuelled by doubt. The right change, the stuff of dreams, can feel paralysing and inaccessible. The trick to remember is to take it one small step at a time towards your goal, prepare for failure, and pursue. My therapist once said to me: “The only way to overcome fear, is to live through it.” No other time in our lives (in the predominantly peaceful West) is this advice more timely. Fears do not serve us, they hinder our growth and individual evolution. Often, we don’t identify fears correctly, mistaking them for personal traits or weaknesses. It is important to do this homework, look into therapy, shadow work, understand the mechanism of trauma and how it affects us later in life. Collectively, we have all the resources and tools to start creating change within ourselves which will inevitably have an effect on our immediate surroundings. Wouldn’t this be a gift to us all.