There is so much going on for me right now. Uncertainty being top of the list. I feel like this would be very similar for most people. The uncertainty though does not extend to the actual virus. And I’m not saying that I am going to be complacent about getting it, or that I am in denial of the very real effects of what this will have on those who are vulnerable and get it. That I do understand. I have a health science degree. We are taught about diseases on a cellular level. I do understand and probably better than most.
My uncertainty comes from the state of the world – I know that sounds big but that is what I am actually uncertain about. It of course starts with uncertainty within my world. But this ripples out. It always ripples out.
Nearly 5 months ago I arrived in the UK amidst a feeling of uncertainty. I had taken a very big and bold decision to move over here without any other plans except I would be here for a least a year. I have written about the decision to take that leap here. I was feeling very uncertain but the world, those around me, they were certain. Now that feeling of uncertainty is everywhere.
Uncertainty is something I have become very familiar with over the past 12 months. It is also something that I have tried to resist for the past 20+ years. It is pretty clear that all that resisting did eventually catch up with me.
It feels like this is exactly what is happening on a global scale at the moment.
For my generation particularly we have craved certainty. Setting Goals. Planning. Our worth wrapped up in our level of achievement. We have actively resisted uncertainty. We didn’t listen to the hints that this was not the way to exist. And now we are being forced to live with a feeling of uncertainty like never before.
More than just the uncertainty about the virus I am in all honesty a little fearful about what this will mean for us as an economy and as a community moving forward. How do we navigate the whole world stopping? If the whole world stops, what are the long term consequences of that? I don’t pose these questions to raise more fear. I pose them in the hope that we can come together to find a way forward. If people aren’t spending money, business will need to close, people will loose jobs, have less money to spend and so the circle continues to perpetuate. We can be a force together to change this. A small action from each one of us can result in big shifts.
This has already become my reality. I currently have no income. And I have no idea when that will change again. Just 3 weeks ago this wasn’t my reality. In fact my life was alive with growth and possibility. So I absolutely get the feelings of fear and uncertainty.
I do feel like I have been training for this very moment for the past year. 2019 threw some events at me that plunged me into the unknown. Through all of that I learnt some very valuable lessons and tools to help me.
Don’t look too far ahead
The very first and probably the hardest. Don’t look too far ahead. It’s way too scary. This isn’t about denial. Quite the opposite. If we are living in the future we are actually resisting what is happening here in the present moment. As a very well practiced control freak this has been the biggest ah-ha moment for me.
Make decisions in the now
Make decisions each day with the information you have at hand. We can only do what we can do in each moment with the resources we have. These decisions will allow you to
Keep emotions out of decision making
Don’t make decisions fueled by emotions. Decisions made out of fear and scarcity not only perpetuate those feelings inside of you but feed a collective energy. Panic buying and hording are perfect examples of this. Take a few deep breaths. Shift your energy – literally take yourself somewhere different. Talk your feelings through with someone who can help you rationalise the situation. Until you feel those feelings dissipate hold off on making your decisions
My current situation – I do know how you feel
I would like to pop in a little example of this that I went through over the past 24hrs. The suggestion that we here in the UK may have enforced lock down as soon as the weekend (it was Wednesday when I heard this news) sent me spiraling. (We now at time of publishing this do have lock down). For my physical, emotional and mental well being I need to move. I am one of those people that need to get out of my space to feel rejuvenated and refreshed. I also flew 17,000km to explore the possibilities of what life could look like – changing space for a fresh perspective. I need connection with people. I need physical contact. I need to smile at people. I need to help and serve others.
To have the possibility of spending the next 3 months not being able to do this was the thing that tipped me over.
Whilst it seemed everyone was worrying about coronavirus here I am very concerned for my overall wellbeing. My health is very likely to be affected by this. I can see the toll it is already taking.
Then there is the possibility that I am not going to be able to get back home if I need to. Do I go back now?
What I’m doing to help the feelings of uncertainty
I didn’t push down these feelings. I have let them come. Sat with them. Felt them. Acknowledged them. Then I have moved them. This has been through a combination yoga, dancing, breathing, taking a shower and writing.
I have gone back to the practices that helped me last year. I have decided to make decisions one day at a time. Quite literally. With such fast changing situations there doesn’t seem to be another alternative. I know I thrive on structure and movement. So last night I made myself a little plan for tomorrow that included what I know I need. And tomorrow I’ll make a plan for the next day…
And the most important practice when dealing with uncertainty is flexibility. Don’t be so rigid in your plans that you can shift or pivot. The only certain thing we know at the moment is that change is happening. Give yourself the tools you need to help you through this.