These are strange times, to say that least.
Here in Washington state we have been on further lockdown because of the various wildfires along the West Coast. The air quality here has been unhealthy and deemed the worst in the entire world.
After months of isolation due to the Corona virus pandemic, it's just another layer of disconnect for us as human beings. We have discussed before that human beings are social creatures and we NEED connection to maintain our overall wellbeing. Connecting with other humans stimulates our "cuddle" hormone, Oxytocin. Without oxytocin the impact of stress on our bodies goes into an "unhealthy" trajectory without checks and balances.
But how has this isolation affected you?
For me, it's been eye opening.
Awareness #1- I realized that I didn't appreciate how much people matter. What I mean is that I took so much for granted. The people in my life that "grok" (look it up) me, I just assume will always be there because they always have been. It's the story of the old friends that re-connect and it's like they just spoke yesterday even though both have been too "busy" to stay in touch. The excuses not to connect have started to wear out and even I don't believe them anymore.
Awareness #2- I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. I recently read a study, The Iphone Effect, that says when people have conversations with a phone in their presence, even if its off, there is less empathy and connection happening. In essence, they are saying that "this device is more important than you and this conversation."
I find that I have been that person. I have also spoken to my teenage kids about NOT doing that. Hypocrisy.
And at the same time I use the phone to connect with people all over the globe, take zoom calls with colleagues, and I'm even helping build an app to help improve peoples wellbeing. Frustrating.
Need and want to put people first. The phone is just a tool. Hopefully, I can rely on this mantra. lol.
Awareness #3- I am selfish. As much as my work is about helping others, I feel my motivations are more ego driven than being of service. When people get better, I feel a sense of pride. And even though I know it's them who did it all and THEIR bodies that did the healing, a part of me wants to take the credit. Recently, I have been working with a cancer patient who updated me that her markers were getting lower, I had a moment of ego that said, "you did that!" But I didn't do that. They did.
That's not to take away my role in the whole journey but more to discuss, what is my motivation? Is it to take credit and glory? Am I really being of service?
Usually, my blog posts put you as the reader who consumes and myself as the writer who produces. But maybe this time, those of you who are actually reading this can share some of what is happening to you as a result of this separation from each other. Or not?
Stay healthy. Be kind. Take care of each other.