The last couple of months have been a massive time of transition. For all of us.
In my own world, there has been a health challenge which has limited my ability to work the way I usually do, leading me to bow down to the reality of now being a patient, as I deal with increased pressures on my family life and follow through with the decision to simplify and move my medical practice.
In the collective, there have emerged polarized views as I have never witnessed before around the COVID pandemic. Many are gripped in perpetual fear about how the pandemic may unfold, while others are being forced to lose their jobs and even basic human freedoms because they are questioning the government's policies, and especially the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
Over the last month I have witnessed a never-ending stream of tension, tears and trauma in my consulting room. This made me realize that one of the great hidden casualties of this pandemic are all those dear people who have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. So much is being rekindled - the trauma of isolation, the trauma of being bullied by authoritarian figures, the trauma of financial insecurity, the trauma of being separated from loved ones...
There has been a beautiful movement towards trauma informed care over the last decade - of taking fully into account what has happened to someone in walking alongside them through any health challenge, compassionately exploring options while fully respecting their autonomy. Yet now we are seeing people who can't wear face masks due to severe anxiety being forced to wait outdoors, or awkward conversations where some are vehemently labelled anti-vaxers when they simply wish to explore their options more carefully.
Doesn't this all make your heart break? It certainly breaks mine.
I sat with this one day after work near a majestic tree in my backyard, with a beautiful meditation known as heart chambers. In this process you bring an issue into each of the four chambers of the heart and tune into the message, medicine or intuitive response from each chamber. You also anchor your awareness in each of these chambers using a fixed eye position, which helps you stay fully present with and orient toward the layers which are waiting to be revealed from the depths of subconscious awareness. You let the heart do the heavy lifting, whatever comes up. Finally, you bring together the messages from each chamber into a single New Truth, or 'Song of the Heart',
As I sat with the first chamber - the top left - there was a theme of strength and courage. It began with a dive into the intense hopelessness for our world situation which I had carried from a patient I had seen that morning. I felt strongly the tension of the paradox that we should be able to trust those in authority, yet they are causing such harm to so many. Yet within me it became apparent there was a strength and courage to have faith that falling apart and upheaval may be exactly what's needed for things to fall into place. And that what is going on now is actually a tiny piece in a much greater cosmic dance of upheaval, emergence and unveiling of something indescribably beautiful and profound. So if I could just let in this new place, without identifying myself as a victim of circumstance, then I knew that resilience and courage would be my guiding light.
In the second chamber of my heart - the bottom left - there was a theme of connection - our common humanity. I was flooded by the recollection of a medical colleague with whom I shared conversations with, who shared much of the pain I was facing and struggled in a similar way to maintain ethics and integrity. Yet we weren't the only ones. There were other doctor colleagues, other health professionals, other people tuned into this same bandwidth. Many others, the world over. Like an intricate mycelium network connecting all the trees in a forest, our hearts were all connected to form a field which I knew was powerful enough to take in and digest the collective pain and begin a quiet, unseen revolution.
In the third chamber - the bottom right - emerged the exciting possibility of awakening and transformation. I opened to what is happening to our leaders and policy makers. I sensed their fear and powerlessness beneath the facade of power which everyone sees on the surface. Descending into this darkness revealed many layers of deceit, corruption and lies at the core of so many of the challenges the world is going through right now, feeding and fueling collective trauma. Yet there was also a knowing that these layers of deceit, corruption and trauma have always been there, and we have simply been ignoring it because we all assumed that this was 'normal'. And so burst forth a ray of hope, knowing that what has been buried in our subconscious is now finally being revealed to be illuminated and healed, as a greater number of us are waking up to what is actually going on in the world. Could it be that the forces of greed and corruption have inadvertently set in motion a mass awakening?
Finally, in the fourth chamber I saw friendship. Polarization and division have been tearing our world apart. My partner's daughter didn't want her to visit her six month old grandson unless she was vaccinated. I was unable to keep my group medical practice job as I felt unwell since my first vaccine and declined my booster. People have been meeting in secret to share their stories, lest the police be called in. Yet in this chamber I saw that despite our surface differences, we all have the same core and we all share the unbridled potential to come together again in friendship. Not just making superficial peace, but putting aside our fears, grudges and biases; being willing to really listen to all sides of the story in a spirit of friendship, so we can move together in one common direction - to heal our planet earth.
And so I was then able to attune to the 'Prayer of my Heart', listening to all four chambers sing in unison. Strength... connection... awakening... friendship. Strength... connection... awakening... friendship. Strength... connection... awakening... friendship.
May we share this song with all who we love and may it spread far and wide!