“Help us to surrender, send a flood of salty tears in this time to acknowledge and release. Show us how to give in and not give up,” Pixie Lighthorse
IF I am to believe Facebook, in six months’ time, when we all emerge all dusty and disoriented from lockdown, we will be a world of best-selling authors, fluent in several other languages, with perfectly manicured gardens and diamond clean ovens from which we will be producing first-class meals. If I am to believe myself, and follow my instincts, this is simply not true. In recent days, there’s been a flurry of frenzied friends, posting frantic “to-do” lists on social media, about how to “use this time wisely” and to “become a better person”. And it’s making me overwhelmed, depressed and anxious.
Why? Because, to me, it defeats the whole point of this life-changing event. That the world is currently a mess is indisputable. But what if, just what if, Mother Nature is telling us to slow down? To just sit with what is. To do nothing. Sure, if you are scratching to write that novel that’s been itching you forever, go for your life. But don’t believe the bullshit, and pressure, to perform. Yesterday, I did an online yoga class with my favourite regular teacher, and while I agree it helped calm my nervous system, if yoga is not your thing, again, don’t do it just because everyone on Facebook seems to be recommending you stretch your precious body and mind during these confusing times. Hate gardening like I do? Forget it. It’s not going to cheer you up, although, again, social media is pressuring me to get out there and get my hands dirty, my skin itchy and my back sore. Why?
“Show us there is a time to make decisions and there is very much a time to sit with strong feelings. Witness us leaning our swords and spears in the corner to rest awhile. Teach us to clean out old ideas, old expectations, old patterns, old triggers and old bad habits,” Pixie Lighthorse
As humans in first-world nations, we’ve been conditioned to never slow down. Busy is the new black. How are you? Yeah, I’m real busy. Important. Except you’re not. You just haven’t learned the secrets of slowing down. In my first blog of 2020 I talk about the unbridled bliss of being bored on your break after I took a rare holiday to Bali. Those were long, luscious days of coming back to earth time, sleeping nine-hour nights, lazing by the pool reading, punctuating my chapters with a swim, chatting with the locals, and following my star. When it rained, I sought refuge on the veranda of my local hut, and watched as the fat water droplets rolled off the frangipani trees. I succumbed to the daily electricity black outs when those angry tropical storms rolled in over the ocean, and some days I’d venture to a beach bar and let the cool, furious breeze wash over me. At night, I’d crawl under my mosquito net, torch in one hand, book in the other, and just read. It was that simple.
These are no longer days of beach bars, swims and flitting through foreign fields. Except they are. In your mind. These are the daring days that will define us. So my advice: throw away that “to-do” list. That’s not the point. Yesterday afternoon, as a warm Brisbane day finally conceded to a cool night I stood on my back deck, glass of wine in hand, and in these eternal, ethereal hours watched a butterfly float around the garden. The point is to sit with yourself. Lay in the hammock of your heart. Witness the sunset of your soul. Read if you wish, nap when you can. Rest, relax, recuperate along with Mother Nature. She’s giving us one big lesson. And that’s all the learning you need.
“Help us to surrender. Let the waves overtake us and spit us out on the open sea, that we may know both the depths of our own mystery. Allow us to revel in the beauty and nakedness that surrender is,” Pixie Lighthorse