All Change Again?
In the last few weeks I have had a real flurry of enquiries and bookings from new clients, from people I haven't heard from for some time and from existing clients wanting extra sessions. This really highlights for me how tough things are for so many people right now. And, in the last couple of days, we have been greeted with the news that England may now be facing another lockdown, following those that have been happening in other parts of the UK and Europe.
Given how things have been going in some ways this isn’t a surprise. But, even when we know something is likely to happen, that doesn’t always stop it feeling really difficult when it does come. The uncertainty of knowing something is coming, but not yet knowing what, is also something that can really raise our anxiety. These are all extra challenges for us, both personally and with our work and businesses, at a time when things were already not easy.
I have no idea what the announcement on Monday will bring us but I am aware that there is a possibility that it may require me to once again close the physical doors to my two practices. I acknowledge this awareness with both sadness and a little anxiety, alongside acceptance that I, like most other people, can do nothing to control what happens next. I am committed to continuing to work as long as I am able to but it is also very important to me to follow whatever guidelines I am given in order to help keep my clients and myself safe, as well as contributing to our combined effort to get this virus under control.
It is perhaps even harder when we may disagree with some of the decisions taken. There have certainly been times when it has seemed that measures put in place have been over-zealous and placed excessive restrictions on people’s lives and businesses. At other times the approach has seemed over-cautious or too tentative, resulting in stronger measures then being required. There has also been much confusion and at times contradictions about what we aren’t allowed to do.
Whatever views we may hold as individuals about what is happening and how our governments are managing it one of the most challenging things is how out of control it leaves us. As humans we generally prefer some sense of predictability and choice. We are generally more comfortable when we feel that there are things we can do to take control of our environment and our lives. This year has involved so much living with uncertainty and ‘waiting to see’ what those in power decide about how we live our lives and deal with this scary virus. This year has confronted that tendency much more than any other in my lifetime. At the same time so many of the things that we usually seek out to help us feel more in control, or more ourselves when life is difficult, have been taken away. Now, just as they were beginning to return, we face further restrictions once again.
As well as talking with people about all that has been difficult, I have been repeatedly struck, as the year has gone on, about our human capacity to endure, to accept and to find light in the dark corners. Many people, even amidst the struggling, have found little flashes of positivity, growth and new adventure. Many of us, who were not in front line roles, were able to enjoy the greater quiet and peacefulness of the world at the extreme of our lockdown experience and the slower pace of life that brought. For some there were opportunities to learn new things, connect up with new people or to try different ways of doing things.
For myself, the discovery that I could still continue to offer some support to my clients and students, even through the limitations of my computer screen, has been wonderfully reassuring. Of course, it is not the same as seeing people in person and doing the energy work that is so valuable, but it has still been hugely beneficial for many. It has enabled me to keep working, at least a little, and has even yielded some real positives for changes to how I stay in touch with and continue to offer support to my Reiki students. Meditation classes have been much needed and worked well online too and there have been opportunities to offer support to people who can’t usually get to see me due the constraints of geography. I had no idea, at the beginning of 2020 that this is what a good chunk of my year’s practice was going to look like! I certainly wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me back then but it has been good to discover new things were more possible than I imagined.
It is not always easy but if we can find a balance of taking time to allow all our feelings and reactions to the tough stuff, alongside seeking positives in our situation as far as possible, we may discover new and wonderful things about ourselves and our own resilience. This isn’t always easy to do in isolation though. I have very much benefitted from talking with friends and the people close to me in my life, to my colleagues, to strangers in online forums facing similar issues and from having some coaching in my business.
It is not a failure to need some help to find that balance in our lives and is a sign of strength and growth in itself as we get better at asking for help when we need it. Most people don’t feel bad about calling an electrician or plumber when something goes wrong at home, or taking their car to a garage for a service or when it breaks down. Yet we often don’t feel entitled to ask for the help we need for more emotional, personal or internal type things.
We are at another challenging moment within all that this year has brought but I’d like to end this with some ideas for how we can keep finding our way through:
- Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself in whatever area of your life is feeling a struggle.
- If something is difficult ask someone for help.
- Practice the best self-care you can. This can include simple things like drinking water, looking at your diet and exercise, getting outside in nature as much as you can, getting plenty of rest and sleep or practicing meditation or Reiki on yourself if you are attuned to use it.
- Avoid too much news or social media if you start to notice it adversely affecting you.
- Give yourself moments, or days, to be struggling, we are all having them. Acknowledge those overwhelming and difficult feelings and try not to judge yourself for them – ask if you need help with this.
- Do try to notice one or two positive things a day or things you feel grateful for. There is usually something, although some days will of course be harder to find.
- And to repeat number two, as it is so very important: if something is difficult ask for help, you don’t have to struggle alone.
© Dr Karen Janes
31st October 2020