Can you feel it? The pace has slowed. There is a stillness where once there was constant urgency. We are used to being busy. We became very good at being busy. Too busy in fact. Too busy for kids, or game night. Certainly, too busy for our creative passions.
We have work to do. Obligations, duties, things of great urgency.
But now? When the world has ground to a halt. What do we have? When all the busyness has simmered down to a mandate to spend time exclusively with ourselves (Gasp!?).
Words that are interchangeable with Quarantine are: isolation, seclusion, separation, containment.
But how can we stay busy if we must be in seclusion?! What about the meetings and the important work, gatherings?
There are a couple of options that I consider normal for us to gravitate towards. Option number one is to obsess over the current state of affairs and our lack of control over them. We are inclined to gobble up all available information (true or false) thus becoming overloaded. Unfortunately, we are more comfortable with the feeling of over stimulation because it mirrors the feeling of being busy.
The second option is to allow our imaginations to run wild. Wrung with all the possibilities of ‘what could happen” inciting havoc on our internal systems by engaging large amounts of stress hormones such as cortisol to take control.
I encourage you not to take this route, the nervous system is a delicate complicated system and the best way to keep it calm and happy is to reduce negative stimulus and practice self-care.
That leads me to my personal choice at this time. Get creative.
Circle back to your creative passions, this is the time to dust that diary off. Dig through the compost of your creative endeavours and remember what makes you feel joy. Baking perhaps? Indulge in that recipe you have continued to put off attempting. Get creative with what you have in your pantry, experiment.
Recite that poem that lives stuck in your throat, let it out. Write it down, sing it, dance it, feel it. Do not numb it.
Create your own bedtime stories for your children, show them how powerful healthy thoughts and expression can be, especially when we are scared.
There will be those that say now is not the time for art and creativity, I promise you that the opposite is true.
Instead of telling stories of damsels in distress, create stories where men and women band together to protect each other and lend a helping hand. Change the dialogue to one of fear and hysteria to one of hope and coming together for the greater good. We need stories like this. Remember some of our most renown fairy tales came from the most “Grimm” of circumstances.
There will be those that say now is not the time for art and creativity, I promise you that the opposite is true. We need art and creativity more than ever. Creative expression acts like a lifeline, keeping us in touch with what it is to be human during these frightening and isolating times.
When we allow our internal creative an opportunity to produce, be it art, writings, music etc., we inspire others, making them feel not so alone.
Just as the world watched Italians sing to each other from their balconies in a spirt of solidarity, not seclusion, we all felt connected. We are in this together. We are all closer and more interconnected than we can possibly imagine.
We must behave this way, connected. We must share our joy and passions through safe mediums for the world to see. It is so important that we have hope and that our humanity and love for each other remains safely intact.
So, write, knit, cook, sing, dance, paint, sketch, doodle, but most of all, draw from the positive before reaching for the bad.
As we are all hunkered down at home, take the time too reset and take stock not of material items but of those of joy, happiness and hope. Listen for the quiet voice from deep within. It’s been so very loud for so long; I know it is hard to hear it but, in this stillness, there is opportunity for real growth. I will be rooting for you; I will be rooting for us.