It's funny how we can get so used to following a particular pattern, structure or even routine. And for the most part feeling settled that this works well for us and when things come along to disrupt that "norm" it can send us off in all sorts of directions, feeling lost and somewhat displaced.
For a long time, I felt lost and unsure of what direction to go in. Until that is, I stopped feeling lost, and started seeing something different and finally settled into this new way of life that I was creating for myself and my family.
What I have been experiencing these last couple of weeks is similar to that time back in 2009.
Today as we officially hit day 14 of social distancing and lockdown in the UK, I find myself reflecting on those days just over ten years ago and seeing so many similarities in my experience of then and now.
The one big difference for me this time around is that it hasn't taken me a couple of years to adjust, it's been a matter of days, 10 to be exact. You see I have noticed myself go through all the normal process one generally does when it comes to grief and loss, the shock, the denial, the fear and uncertainty and then finally hope.
Last week as I deepened into that feeling of hopefulness for the future, I found myself experiencing a wonderful sense of peace and acceptance. I realised that this new way of living life, albeit temporary, is bringing me so many gifts and opportunities.
One of which has been a return to my writing, which I haven't felt inspired to do for such a long time. The business of work, life and everything else somehow got in the way. There have always been so many other things to get done. Finding quiet moments in my day to write just for the joy of writing has not been on my radar for a very long time.
When I was in my twenties and thirties, writing, or rather journalling was a daily practice that got me through times of anxiety and depression. It was a practice that I swore back then that if I weren't able to dump all the unhelpful and harmful thinking on paper first thing in the morning, I would go mad and never get through my day.
These last few weeks as I have started indulging again in some of my old daily practices. I am noticing that the pull to do them is not because I need to, but because of the lovely feelings, they bring me which is so different to where I was in my twenties and thirties.
I have learnt so much when it comes to an understanding of where all my anxiety and depression came from in the past. Now when I experience those moments of low mood, depression, anxiety and sadness, or even fear. I no longer think I am mad or broken. I have an understanding that goes deeper. I can see quite clearly once the clouds have passed, which they always to do, what to do to bring me back home to myself.
I have found it interesting that in those first ten days of feeling lost, that without much thought my inner guidance nudged me back to the things that I found helpful in the past, but this time not with the fear of needing to do these things because I needed to fix myself or incase I went mad. But simply because those little things like setting a daily intention, or spending some time in the day writing brings a feeling peace and joy to my day, that I can for a moment or two relax into and come back home to myself.
The routines and structures we have built up around us have kept us safe in our world. When they are taken from us, as they have for many of us right now, and we feel that deep sense of loss, anxiety and fear, and I think that those feelings we are experiencing are just trying to help us to find our way back home to ourselves.
These are not feelings to be scared of, and they don't mean there is something deeply wrong with us. Quite the opposite, they show us our humanness.
For me, I now see them as a gift and something to be treasured. A message from the inside to remind me that I have been looking in the wrong direction. And if I take a moment to look somewhere else for a while, and in my case those little daily practices I will find a way back home to me and the innate capacity that I and we all have to experience the peace and joy of life. Even though there is so much uncertainty in the world around us right now.
What's clear to me right now as I help people and myself navigate this time is that we are all merely trying to find our way back home to ourself.
And if we stop for a moment and choose to look in a different direction, we will find the guidance we need to come back home to that place of peace again.
I invite you to take a moment today and pause and ask yourself what new direction can I look in today.