So, how are you?
No really. Whatever you’re doing as you read this, I invite you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath and ask yourself “how am I doing?”
Maybe the answer is fine. Maybe through the lasting wonder of words you’re reading this at a time when the world has settled and life feels safe and secure. In which case that’s bloody wonderful, and I’d like you to know that the very thought is making my cheeks perk up in a grin and me want to reach out and hug you through the keyboard!
Because as I write this… well it’s fair to say the world is in a slightly different place to that.
We’re in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and here in the UK we’re entering our fifth (I think. Does time even have meaning anymore?!) week of lockdown and unsure quite when that will end.
It’s a sad and scary time for sure; even despite the fact that so many countries are hearing we’ve “passed the peak”, there are still hundreds of people dying each day in the UK alone, and still an awful lot of fear about what happens if the virus reaches us or someone we love.
But a few weeks into this situation and the overwhelming sentiments I’m hearing about this time aren’t rooted in fear, but in a completely different kind of consciousness.
The world is changing
There’s no doubt about it, this pandemic and the way in which so many countries have effectively just shut themselves down to keep people safe has changed the world. And will continue to change the world.
If we’re honest, that particular aspect of this situation isn’t hugely surprising. After all, we’ve known for a while now that big changes need to happen… We’ve overwhelmed our planet and her ecosystems and resources, the divisions within our societies have become broader and broader and with every passing day it seems that we get busier and busier and pay less and less attention to what is actually important for us.
Of course none of us expected the opportunity for big change to come from a global pandemic (who even knew that was a thing three months ago?!). And we definitely didn’t want so many people to suffer, die, or lose those they care about.
But the idea of change isn’t hugely unexpected. In fact it’s something that many of us have been told was coming for a pretty long time now.
And while that doesn’t make these experiences of ours any easier, and certainly doesn’t make the loss that we’re facing any less painful, it does give us something else to carry forward with us:
Hope for a way of life in which we can remember what was really important to us during this time.
Hope that our entire planet will learn from this experience and find ways to embed the positive changes that our lockdowns have had on the environment long after we’re back out in the world.
Hope that this sense of community so many of us are experiencing, and respect for the essential workers that have for so long been ignored, will continue.
And hope that we’ll all know and remember how to make all of that happen.
So what do we do that?
Ah the million dollar question eh? “That’s great, but how!”
On a grand scale, I have no idea. Which is a bit of a shame really, because personally I think “Saint Ceryn” has something of a ring to it…. 😉
Seriously though. On a worldwide scale I don’t know, and I’m really not sure anyone does (although my money’s on Jacinda Ahern if so!). But on a personal scale? Well that one is a little easier to call.
On a personal scale, the truth is that moving into that new, hope filled future isn’t actually about doing anything. No. To paraphrase that old chestnut I’m so fond of, creating the future we hope for is less about doing and more about returning to our roots, and taking our place as human beings.
That’s right, I firmly believe that this new world, and our own ways of life within it will be less about the to dos and the actions, and more about learning to be and then going with the flow of that as we step into that whole new consciousness.
What on earth is consciousness?
“Oh here she goes,” you might well be thinking. “Off on some ramble with spiritual jargon and words the rest of us don’t understand.”
I hear you. Oh buddy, do I hear you. Ironically, spiritual jargon is something I’ve had a bit of a telling off about while we’ve been in lockdown, but that’s a story for another day. For now, let me just assure you that that’s really not my intention…
Because yes, I know that the word consciousness is one of those often used in meditation studios by people who claim to be able to heal you and unlock within you all the secrets to the Universe. But in its simplest form it’s really not that complicated or mystical.
Think about it in the terms that we all know:
When we’re asleep with no clue what’s going on around us, we’re unconscious.
When we’re awake enough to drive a car, make a cup of tea or hold a sensible conversation, we’re conscious.
When we’re acting in a certain way for reasons we don’t fully understand, that’s often the result of our subconscious minds.
And when we’re fully aware of the reasons why we’re doing what we’re doing? Well that’s us acting consciously.
So when I talk about stepping into a new consciousness, really, it’s just as simple as that. It’s about expanding our awareness of ourselves and of the world so that we can enjoy the tea and the journeys and the conversations even more deeply, and understand ourselves better than ever.
Of course there are many ways to do that, and you can read all of the books and take all of the courses along the way too, but in my experience of doing this stuff for over 20 years now (eek!), there are four key things that will expand that awareness more than anything:
Listen to yourself. Get quiet and listen to what’s really going on in your body, your heart and your mind. No, I’m not talking about the noise of your to do list, but about the fears and passions that drive you and about the places where you’re feeling stuck.
Step out of your comfort zone: Challenge yourself to re-assess the ways you’d usually spend your time and to see what you really want and need to be doing. Switch off the music you’d usually listen to and put down the books you pick up without even thinking. Then try something else… Not to take you away from what you love (you’ll always go back to what’s important to you after all), but to broaden your perspective, and help you to see how other approaches, mindsets and experiences differ to your own, and what that newness might have to teach you.
Let yourself feel. I can’t tell you how bloody important this one is. Our world is so so keen to stop us feeling and keep us quiet and numb… that’s why it tells us to shop, eat and drink our pain away and why it’s so keen to tell us we can’t be complete without another person. Because when we break down the dam and let ourselves feel, that’s when we become powerful. It’s when our joy drives us to the things that are really important, our anger ignites the fury in us to change the world, and our sadness helps us to empathise with one another and remember that we were never separate, but always connected.
At it’s most basic level, consciousness is about awareness. And right now, the consciousness that we’re being asked to step into is an awareness about ourselves and the world.
What’s so important about that?
“So what?” I hear you say. “What’s the big deal about consciousness?”
Quite simply, because the more expanded our awareness is, the more we’ll realise the world needs to change, enough to be willing to play our part in that.
What’s more, an expanded awareness will inevitably give us an expanded pool of resources too. I’m not necessarily talking about money there, or social media numbers, networking opportunities or anything else we’ve been told to see as a resource (although who knows, maybe those things too); but about ideas, inspirations and all the things we actually need to show us how to move forwards… to answer that “how” question we talked about earlier.
This broader awareness helps us to see ourselves in a different light; a powerful, trusting light that not only inspires us to want to move forwards, but also helps us to understand more about how we do that.
And although it sounds twee, if expanding my awareness and working with others who do the same has taught me anything it’s this:
That the more of us there are with that understanding, the wider it will spread and the more changes we’ll be able to make… Turning that hope into action and that action into positive new beginnings.
That’s not to say that any of this is easy. For all too long now the world has been trying to keep us all small; convincing us that we know everything we can possibly know and that there’s no way or need to look for a different perspective or step outside of the boxes we’ve been put into.
Looking at things through a different lens – even if that’s just about watching something outside of the norm on TV – can challenge so much of what we think and know about ourselves, our lives and the world around us and force us to really dive into our own experiences of those.
And doing that work, coming to know ourselves and more of the world around us, can be painful, difficult and exhausting.
That doesn’t mean it’s not important, or that we shouldn’t do it. But it is an important reminder of why we don’t need to do those things alone.
Of course I’m going to plug my own work here; because whether you’re someone who’s new to the idea of expanding your awareness and wants to work with a spiritual therapist through Soul-Led Therapy; or a healer or teacher who knows they need to make some changes and see the world and their work differently but needs some Soul Support to do that, then I can help with that.
And hey, if you’re looking to dip your toe into this whole idea of soul work and conscious connection, then you could definitely do worse than ordering a Soul Journey Insight Pack from my Etsy store.
However, none of those are the main things I wanted to mention here.
Instead, I wanted to direct you to something that is completely and utterly free, which is always good, right?! Over on my Gifts page you’ll find a stack of meditations, exercises, journal prompts and readings all aimed at helping you to navigate through these strange times, expanding your own consciousness along the way.
There’s no need to enter an email address or sign up for any of those things – just pop to the page and download whatever feels right for you.
And of course get in touch… If you have any questions, any specific concerns about this, or anything you’d like to see in that toolkit I mentioned above then let me know. I’ll definitely try to help if it’s possible.