“I’m not worried about the election or who gets elected, I’m worried about the day after.” A guest on my podcast, Well Being Walks, recently said this while we were recording an episode. I was struck by her comment as it illustrates the fear and uncertainty that is impacting so many of us right now.
All of our long-standing systems are shifting and are beginning to look very different from what we were once accustomed to. Political, electoral, health, social, moral, ethical, religious – practically everything we know and trust. Even our natural means of communication, speaking to one another and reading facial cues and expressions, is changing due to the necessary wearing of face masks. We are experiencing change all around us and in all aspects of our lives.
This uncertainty can contribute to a state of fear that kicks our amygdala (our emotional brain) into high gear. Our bodies perceive physical danger and intellectual danger in the same way; we react as if a lion is chasing us down. So, it follows that our natural response to the current global state of upheaval is fight-or-flight.
When we are in fight mode, we are reactive and impulsive. We often choose behaviors and actions that are negative, overly aggressive, or close-minded toward others. Alternatively, when we are in flight mode, we avoid conflict, retreat into isolation, and disconnect from the world as a means of self-protection.
These behaviors are understandable, but is there an opportunity here to choose a different way that serves both ourselves and those around us? Fight-or-flight mode blocks us from being able to see beyond conflict and into possibility, vision, and imagination. Stress and fear hinder our ability to think or act as our highest selves where our light, hope, and creativity thrive. Am I worried about the day after? Yes. I am troubled by the possibility of unrest. In that way, I agree with my guest. But looking beyond that potential, I see an amazing opportunity for change. Instead of giving our power over to an event and allowing fear to run us, it’s time to step into a new way of being: from fight/flight to flow.
We can take advantage of difficult circumstances and experiences to build the muscle of resilience. We have an opportunity to rise above, separate from the outcomes, and create a future to live and flow into with ease, absent of these old paradigms that no longer serve us.
Consider this: what if you chose to become aware of the energy and intuition within you? I’m not talking about adrenaline or a caffeine rush. Our natural energy is deeper, more peaceful, and far more powerful. We have control over what we think, feel, and how we respond. Take this opportunity to lean into your light energy instead of being drawn into the dark energy that pushes you into flight-or-flight mode. This shift into flow will require some mindful work, as well as some accepting and surrendering to a new paradigm.
This new paradigm will allow us to make deeper soul connections. It is going to take what I call heart energy. It is going to take slowing down to speed up. We first must slow down, take a breath, and connect with ourselves on a deeper, more authentic level. It is very counterintuitive for us “Type A” personalities to slow down, but this is about being with these situations and emotions but not being run by situations and emotions. We must step outside the old paradigms that have run us up until now.
I am confident we will be better off if we look inward and embrace this shift. The choice is ours. A new paradigm is already forming. We are already here. We are already in the future. I encourage each of us to embrace this shift and to learn a new way of being with each other. A new way of being in the world. The first step is looking inward, and that is the only way out.
Join me for a virtual guided meditation each Thursday at 10AM to kickstart this process of looking inward for yourself, so that you can make this shift a reality.