Every disaster has a silver lining. Coronavirus is shutting down half the world but sometimes disastrous external events end up making space for us to focus on what is really essential in life.
Disasters bring with them a lot of uncertainty and sometimes personal misfortune. The Coronavirus outbreak is hitting women especially hard as schools close and it falls to us (often) to stay at home and look after the children. Often women are caregivers who look after the elderly and this pressure will increase. Many of us are self-employed and have no access to sick-pay which makes surviving upheavals like this especially challenging.
However, when we look beyond our immediate struggles, there are many positives. When it comes to our daily work, we see many companies who have resisted remote working now finally accepting that working from home can be a good thing. When both parents are working from home suddenly, men also are given a chance to be present in their children's lives and do some of the school runs. It's a win-win for everyone.
Now is the time to let go of everything that isn’t serving you. Let's focus on keeping ourself and our families safe, and then look for opportunities.
It might feel like a huge disappointment that the holiday got cancelled, or that you couldn’t travel to that important company meeting, but hang on a minute! Now you finally have time to write that novel you've been dreaming of, or to work on that creative idea you wanted to present to your boss but never had the time, or to build that website for your side hustle. It also presents time to reconnect with loved ones and deepen relationships that may need nurturing.
Focus on the positive.
Big changes often bring with them chaos and uncertainty, but also an opportunity to evaluate our lives to a new light. We can ask ourselves if we are focusing our energy holding onto things we've ‘lost’ or whether we can see the space that is being created for new thoughts, behaviors and hopes to arise?
Our ego is keen to spend time dwelling on the negative, things that are going 'wrong' and what we were 'promised' but didn't get. We can spend our energy thinking of the fun times we are 'missing' or we can start to see the positive aspects and the quietness that could unfold. This may be an opportunity to take a break from everything!
It's time to drop all unimportant stuff.
Now is the time to drop all unimportant stuff, all the things you were doing because you 'have to’, because someone is expecting you to or because you think you will be judged if you don’t do it.
Our lives are normally so full of unnecessary activity, things that really don’t matter — things that don’t make us happy or fuel our creativity and drive. We are often simply busy because we are unable to stop our own personal madness and keep pleasing everyone else saying 'yes' to things that don't have meaning.
Disasters bring to light personal responsibility.
In the busyness of everyday life, it’s easy to forget that it is the commitment to ourselves that determines our life’s path. It’s easy to blame life’s circumstances for many things but disasters like this shine a light on our personal responsibility to be prepared.
It is a good time to ask yourself if you are living a reactive or manifestive lifestyle:
- Are you making active choices that help you stay fit and healthy?
- Are you putting time and effort into securing your financial position so that when disasters like this hit you are not dependent on the markets?
- Are you learning new skills and building opportunities so that if things happen that are out of your control you have something to fall back on?
When structures fall around us, the bare bones of what really matters come to light.
Most of us need an external shock to change our ways. It is painful to stop all our usual activity, stop traveling to work and even stop meeting people. But suddenly we can see more clearly as we get space around us. Now is the time to stop running around following everyone else's rules and ask yourself what do I really want?
In the midst of personal chaos that can be incredibly dramatic and hard to bear, there could be a huge opportunity for us as humans. The Universe is asking us to take notice and let a greater truth emerge.
Did you really want to sit in that meeting for the seventeenth time this month? Did you really want to fly to the other side of the world to get a little bit of sunshine? All this activity can be our way of numbing our true desires. It's easier to say you need a holiday than to actually talk to your boss about the company's crazy working hours and imposing pressures.
"We are so good at numbing — eating, drinking, spending, planning, playing online, perfecting, staying really, really busy – Brene Brown
Now is our chance to stop numbing!
Disaster allows us to clean our slate and start a fresh.
When everything breaks down you can do a massive clean up in your life. What serves your soul? What do you do just out of a routine? What are the things that make you feel alive and make you feel connected to your drive?
Sit tight, take space for yourself. The world will continue after this shock, so let's hit the re-start button with more clarity, better direction and delete our old beliefs and unhelpful behaviors.
It's up to us to start showing up and trusting in our feminine values. It is up to us to step into the new paradigm. This is the opening we have been waiting for. This is a call for ambitious women to take responsibility for our own paths and empower ourselves.
We know deep down that the world needs our ideas and our contribution, it is calling for our hearts to open and our dreams to come true. The world is craving for our wisdom, our ambition and our drive.
When the world creates on opening you should grab it with open arms.
— Miisa Mink
This article originally appeared on DrivenWoman. DrivenWoman is a female-only empowerment platform and accountability network, that helps ambitious women to achieve their goals and dreams by creating positive habits one step at a time. Thousands of women around the world have joined our program and are achieving their life goals, which range from entrepreneurial dreams to career change or simply being more confident in their own skin and enjoying life in the present moment. Miisa Mink is the founder & chief-doer at DrivenWoman.