you don’t have to prove anything.
Each of us has teachers in our lives, that have helped us, taught us, mentored us. It’s a part of what I do as a meditation teacher and yet, I am always saying to students that I truly am not doing more than offering another perspective or highlighting other possibilities. But truth be told, life is our true teacher, offering us experiences and circumstances that bring out our capabilities, our resilience, and our vulnerabilities when we fall apart and our strengths when we pick ourselves up.
There’s a lot of what we term “spiritual bypassing” going around at the moment. Comments along the lines of “What’s happening is Mother Nature punishing us for being so negligent.” and “This virus is the Universe correcting us.” In the Vedic worldview, the universe doesn’t punish and reward, nor does nature. It doesn’t work like that. It is true that evolution is the only thing ever happening. And as human beings experiencing that evolution, sometimes the experience is really, really tough. And it’s absolutely ok to feel this.
One of my students recently returned from London where she had been living for about a year. She had worked for years to get her dream role in London and worked hard and saved up to make the big move. And in her words, she was “living her best life” in London when the pandemic hit. Literally overnight, she lost her dream job, didn’t qualify for any work assistance and was faced with the decision of whether to stay in London or come home to Australia. She chose to fly home and arrived back in Sydney to a 14 day quarantine period.
After the initial rush to get home, she found herself alone in a small (albeit comfortable) room with no fresh air, little human interaction, jobless, with her dream life in London a memory and really vague ideas of what her future will look like. It was tough and she curled herself into a ball and cried for about a day. And then she reached out to me.
And I didn’t have the answers either, nor did I swoop in to rescue the situation. What we ended up doing was rounding and meditating together once daily for the duration of her quarantine period.
I don’t believe that we always need to constantly look for, and try to find the meaning and deliberate on what’s really happening here, searching for signs and the underlying meanings. Sometimes it’s just life that is happening, and it’s not the way we expected and that is that. And the universe is always delivering evolution, growth we can experience, if we choose to. It’s both.
One of the other observations about this period is this idea that we need to be doing something productive or useful with our time in isolation. Write the book you’ve always wanted to write. Clean out the garage. Learn a new language, learn to cook etc. Absolutely do those things if you’re charmed by them but if you feel the need to stop and have a meltdown, do it. Surrender to the vast unknown. Let yourself have a good cry. Breakdown if you need to. You can be a meditator and meltdown too. You can be a spiritual person and also have a good cry. You don’t have to choose one or the other. They are not mutually exclusive.
Your reaction to adversity doesn’t have to involve putting on a brave face or what you believe to be a spiritual approach. Your highest spiritual path is aligning with your most authentic self, and that means being truly present and letting yourself feel all the feels and doing what each moment demands. Our evolution isn’t always pretty like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, sometimes it requires a breakdown before the breakthrough. And it’s all good.
And remembering that this is, but a moment. A season, if you like. There will be challenging times – and this is one of those times. Hopefully, we will all live to see this season pass and look forward to the next when we can, once again, leave our houses and meet up with friends in person at our favourite cafes and not take any of these privileges for granted ever again.
With love always