As we continue with life through the Covid-19 pandemic crisis which has disrupted our lives on one hand, but given us the grand opportunity to sit down and reflect while digging deeper into our existence on the other hand, I find myself swimming in a myriad of emotions.
Like many of you, I am not one to expose my issues and problems to the world, however my biggest learning from this pandemic crisis has been the opportunity to allow myself to open up to myself, exposing my problems and feelings to myself as honestly as I can. You can hold back whatever information you are not prepared to share with the world in this lifetime but the one thing you cannot get away with is lying to yourself.
As I slowly opened up my eyes this morning, I could hear the birds sing and the slight blush of the leaves from the wind blowing and somehow, I just broke down into tears as I lay in horizontal stillness dreaming, thinking, wondering and praying.
My emotions were hovering all over the place but I could not pin point whatever evoked these feelings as I lay helplessly, feeling sorry for myself. As much as I have been taught to believe that these type of emotions and negative feelings are bad should be shun out, I let them in one at a time. Interestingly and to my surprise, I have slowly but surely found a release in allowing myself to go through these feelings and grow through them as and when they come around.
Disappointment can be constructive
There was a feeling of disappointment as I thought about the current state of my business, work and progress. Perhaps, due to the fact that I could not measure my progress despite how many hours I put my back into my grind, it seemed like I was grinding myself away.
It is fact that whenever expectations and positive feelings are disrupted, disappointment will come along, however experiencing, expressing and embracing disappointment can be constructive and can help strengthen our personal resilience.
As a multidisplinary creative entrepreneur who finds myself exposed to opportunities around entertainment, edutainment and connections with people, the Covid-19 pandemic along with its restrictions, cancellations and every other challenge it revealed has just as much hit me as hard as it has hit many of you. Despite the current situation, let’s keep in mind that it is not the end of the world; we are still alive and able in many ways.
My constant reminder to you and to me is that the whole world can shut down and lock down, but the world did not and cannot lock down your creative fire. Whether you choose to express it in the shower or in your garden or on the streets, you are in control of that aspect. Let yourself go through these emotions without ignoring them or ruling them out as negative and manage your disappointment without dwelling in it.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
There is direction in confusion
Imagine if you knew every step of you journey all through to the end and everything made sense to you every day, how would you grow? How would you evolve?
There is no question that the last few months have turned out packed with a whole lot of emotions including confusion, which is a state I have been in touch with. As we go through life with its highs and lows, sometimes taking a walk in the park, talking to a friend, sitting in your garden, lying down in silence, taking a long swim or doing nothing at all is just as much a way to hear and understand and clear the underlying issue so that you can unlock the confusion.
“Should I stop or should I keep going?”
“Should I get up or should I just spend the day in bed?”
“Should I get on the next flight out or should I wait?”
“Should I stop this business or should I keep moving?”
With 100 questions racing through my mind minute-by-minute from business decisions, to lifestyle changes, to personal goals, there just seems to be so many decisions to make suddenly now amidst all that’s going on.
It may not seem likely, however with all the anxiety and stress that confusion stirs up, it is also a sign of great and powerful change. When it comes knocking on your door, acknowledge, recognise and embrace it without allowing it to persist for too long. Remember that everything you are going through is happening for a reason. Whether you can see and understand the ‘why’s’ right now or next year, everything will make sense in due time and bring clarity.
“Confusion does serve a higher purpose. When you feel confused, it is a sign that your mind is expanding a little more. It is a sign that you are allowing your heart, mind, body and soul to make room for something that wasn’t there before. Being confused is really a process of opening up.”
-Tanaaz Chubb, Author of The Power of Positive Energy
Exhaustion - also referred to as 'burnout'
A result of misalignment between input and output
With the good, the bad and the ugly that life throws our way every second of our existence, exhaustion can turn the most positive person into the most negative person if we do not take care of ourselves.
I still do not understand how and why I would wake up in the morning feeling exhausted. This was not once, not twice but several times. The covid-19 pandemic crisis has major psychological effects including exhaustion and I believe there is so much more we are yet to discover.
During this period, I generally would wake up in the morning and once I was up, I would be on a crazy-and-intense work mode so that I could just work through the period and through everything I did not want to deal with. In my quest to fight the confusion and uncertainty I felt hovering around the air, I would work for long intense hours; sometimes till 3am just to reassure myself that I was doing something about something I had and have no control over.
Unfortunately as I continued with my crazy routine, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired and barely had any more energy left to sustain my flow. This was another moment of breakdown for me. Even if I wanted to get back on my crazy workflow, I no longer had the emotional nor physical capacity to keep going.
I have always envied the people around me who can just wake up in the morning and do nothing but relax all day. “How do they do it?” I ask myself. How can something so effortless be so easy for one to pull off and so difficult for the other?
Lately, I have changed my perspective to allow me to find a new way and while embracing that change, this has been one of the most powerful releases in my life. All I have to do is 'say no' to anything that is too much for me to handle.
'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.'
As much as exhaustion could be a common symptom of a condition, diseases or other elements based on our daily lifestyle choices, we are all exposed to emotional as well as physical exhaustion in the wake of this global crisis.
“I wish I could go back and tell myself that not only is there no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and high performance, performance is actually improved when our lives include time for renewal, wisdom, wonder and giving. That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion.”
There will always be ups and downs and highs and lows. Embrace them when they come and experience them so you can rise above the lows and celebrate the highs. This is my reason to embrace all my good, bad and ugly emotions so I can go through them and grow through them.
I hope you are inspired to feel whatever you are feeling without shunning the feelings away before accepting, embracing and managing them.
“Take a deep breath, pause to consider your options, reframe your initial expectation in the context of your new situation and learn as you go. We are all with you. We are learning as we go.
You are beautiful, whole and complete lacking nothing!
Be kind to yourself!