The sustained social restrictions, increased awareness of human suffering, distrust in the motives of power states, not to mention, the uninspired wet British weather, all amalgamated to create a sense of deep despondency. As my resilience was faltering, Spring came along and began to renew my feelings of wonder and hope.
While the structured human world feels crazy and uncertain, Nature brings comfort and nurturing. Lifting our hearts, bringing us into the present and calming our overactive thinking. Take a minute to feel the gentle heat from the sun on your skin. Close your eyes and tune into the local bird chatter. Search the once dormant tree branches for the hints of buds, leaves and blossom. Embrace the vibrant colours of those spring bulbs and wildflowers as they celebrate life through transformation.
At the start of this pandemic, the collective power of the community was clear to see as people rallied around supporting others. Our connection, kindness and compassion, combined with a deeper respect for those who serve and supply our essential needs, seemed to prevail beyond the dreadfulness of the situation.
Likewise, our connection to nature and our environment expanded. We noticed and appreciated things we had stopped paying attention to. Our daily exercise in green space became our sanctuary. And how nature flourished in response to our reduced activities. Stories of cleaner air, clearer waters and in consequence an increase in wildlife. In this we seeded our hope.
There was a mass realisation that our lifestyles were insane. We are too busy that we don’t get that quality time with our families and loved ones. Too commercially driven that we have forgotten to appreciate what we have already. Our lifestyles so demanding we have lost what it means to truly be alive.
To compensate we have turned to food, alcohol, sex, shopping, anything to try and produce a feel-good superficial high, that soon passes, leaving us searching for the next hit. We have become destructive to ourselves and the planet that supports us.
We all want to feel purposeful; we all have a need to belong. For too long living purposefully has been identified with the pursuit of wealth and power. Societies all around the globe are structured so that we are in competition to reach this goal. In this fabricated structure, favourable connections and fortunate circumstances have far more to do with success than hard work and dedication. It is a flawed system that discriminates and creates division, highlighted in the varying experiences of people throughout this pandemic.
Covid-19 is the largest globally shared threat to life, known in my lifetime. If I was told this was going to happen, my childish naïve idealism would have predicted that this was the event that would unite humanity around a new way of living, waking us up to the untold suffering, deprivation, inequality and injustice and set us on an energetic, innovative path to some kind of nature loving, world peace utopia.
This time last year, I felt we were on some kind of course in this direction. So where did the momentum of that insight and realisation go? Is the greatest opportunity for human evolution waiting on the peripheral while our focus is directed back towards the unsatisfying status quo, with the power states and their associates gaining all they can along route.
Most of us do not move in the circles that allow us to influence significant change on a structural level. It is perhaps this perceived sense of powerlessness which turned hope into apathy, anger, fear, despondency and despair?
However, in the same way we are recognising the miraculous wonders of the natural world, we can realise the creative powers innate to us as human beings. We influence the world which we have direct contact with through our perceptions, thoughts, emotions and actions. Rather like throwing a pebble into a pool, what we put out into the world ripples beyond ourselves.
To see this influence, we need only observe the ways we react to each other’s behaviour. I have used before the example of how we feel when a stranger smiles at us. I am now the stranger that smiles at others; simply because I can. I remember the wise words of Mother Teresa, “Peace begins with a smile“. There is something powerful about acknowledging the existence of an other, opposed feeling invisible or ignored. It is an expression of love; a realisation – we need each other!
The opposite can be observed when the presence of an angry person can affect the feel of a whole room. A calm person does the same perhaps in a more subtle way. Similarly, a conversation where one person is complaining, creates a group of disgruntled people in a short space of time, regardless of how each was feeling before the conversation began.
The more you pause to observe the countless examples of this, the more you will notice the power that you have. We dismiss this influence because it is there all the time, in everything we do, we just don’t have the awareness to recognise what we are resonating in the moment. Therefore, when we look to create change, as the cliché suggests, this is a process that begins within. Through observing what thoughts and feelings consume our energy, then further growing our consciousness so that we may be clear in our intention and direct our flow, is perhaps how we begin to manifest the better world we wish to live in. As the wise words advise, “Be the change you wish to see in the world“.
This brings me back to the message of Spring and the power of transformation. Small seeds grow into mighty trees. As you will know, if you have grown seeds, they take varying times to germinate, they grow at their own pace, and the magic begins unseen in the soil. The reward for patience, is the wonder of the first sight of a green shoot, which in turn creates a reciprocal response to nurture the seedling into a strong plant.
We are not always privileged enough to see what grows from the seeds we sow in life. It is not about gaining personal reward but recognising that we are all connected, to each other, and to all other forms on the planet. We are one colossal gargantuan organism trying to maintain homeostasis. We need each other and we need the environment that supports us.
And so, when you feel that your efforts to manifest a better life are insignificant, it is time to remember that the magic that grows a small seed, begins as an unseen miracle.
We are not solo warriors, no matter how isolated we may feel. We are part of something much bigger than ourselves or our conceptual minds. There is a power beyond our understanding that transforms our energy into something miraculous. We need to gain the wisdom to use our power for the greater good of the wholeness, to preserve this colossal gargantuan organism that is us.
Should you be in any doubt that as an individual you lack influence, look at this virus and the huge consequence it has had to all our lives. It is spread simply from one to another, exponentially, until we have a global pandemic.
It is time to choose the seeds we wish to sow. Time to challenge ourselves to be the change we want to see in the world. It is time to trust the magic we observe in nature, to transform our seeds into mighty trees.
So, what seeds do you want to grow?