It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog, or should I say published a blog. I have written many but they haven’t seemed appropriate or right in light of everything that’s going on.
Humanity is really in a big mess at the moment Covid19 has impacted every country in the world to varying degrees. On a political level some countries have handled the situation in a very considered and careful way and others are recklessly still clattering through it without much consideration to the health and wellbeing of their citizens, their focal point being economy and profit.
On a human level it has been hard. Lockdown is hard, fear is hard, loneliness and separation are hard. There will be few people who have not been emotionally impacted by the last few months. We are human and no matter how introverted, reclusive or shy some of us are, all humans are social animals.
This has been made apparent to me in my own experience of ‘stay home stay safe’. Initially I found it easy staying home opening up to my more creative side, drawing, painting, gardening (started a veggie patch) spending more time with my husband and youngest daughter. In my heart I am happy in my own space, going at my own pace. Looking back in the beginning it felt more like a holiday but as weeks began to pass I felt each day differently with emotions moving between happy, sad, anger, confusion and frustration. In these last two weeks I have cried everyday with no rhyme, no reason. Just like the rest of the world I am overwhelmed and missing the rest of my family and missing friends.
Even though I am a Yoga Teacher I am not particularly sociable and even when I did socialise it was mostly small occasions, in fact I have always considered myself to be anti-social. So when it came to my classes I thought it was only my love of teaching yoga that gave me the drive and confidence to teach. It wasn’t easy (still isn’t) sharing a passion was exciting but also horribly nerve-wracking for me but that intention to help others see and feel the benefits of yoga felt like a guiding light. No matter how scared I felt teaching it was worth it because I wanted to make a difference.
So when public classes became a non option on top of everything else that was happening I felt a little lost and empty with regard to my work. Thinking it was the lack of teaching that was causing the emptiness I started free live classes on Facebook. Again a terrifying prospect, teaching in a new mode. By no means am I an expert in the technological or social skills required but I felt I had to teach and also in all of the anxiety surrounding Covid19 I wanted to do something that could help in some small way. FB live felt like the best option to give access to everyone.
I have been posting 3 live online classes 3 x a week for a month now. Classes go between comical and awkward, some better than others but after I still feel empty and lost. Of course there are so many greater things going on in all of this socially and politically other than my teaching that will aggravate this melancholy but what I have realised is that it is not just the teaching that I love and miss, it is the connection that comes from teaching. In a real class I get chat, anecdotes and stories, I get to hear how everyone is and I get a feel for how everyone is. The room has a mood and energy. This is what I miss, not just in class but in life.
There is simply no pill that can replace human connection. There is no pharmacy that can fill the need for compassionate interaction with others. There is no panacea. The answer to human suffering is both within us and between usDr Joanne Cacciatore
Maybe it sounds silly but I can’t believe how ground-breaking this is for me. As a self declared anti socialite to realise that physical and energetic human connection is what I miss, is what I am empty of. I am not missing shopping or cinema or the pub, I am missing humans.
Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and without it there is suffering.Brene Brown
What to do with this thought and feeling right now I don’t know, it seems there is still some time to sit on this emotional roller-coaster and think before we all get to become socially interactive again. Maybe we should consider the importance of connection with others on any level, a smile, a hello, taking more time for each other and respecting the individuality of each person we meet. I’m not sure I will become more sociable after but I will be most grateful for all the people I interact with even if its just a smile.
If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another personFred Rogers
So while social media doesn’t replace the gift we have as humans for connection I will keep teaching on FB live. Please feel free to message, ask questions, and tell me about what you’re doing to pass the time. We can still connect this way as best and as safely as possible.
Until we meet again, be kind & stay safe.
photograph by photosbyzoe