Much like prior to Sir Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile in 1952, we have assumed a smug position, thinking we're all that without even scratching the surface of our full potential and purpose as humans.
We teeter between FEAR and FAITH on a daily basis, perhaps even hourly. Could it be possible that we are in this precarious situation to elevate who we are as humans - our awareness, our interactions, our values - to build a richer, more meaningful, complete experience of this existence that we call life?
In a recent Globe and Mail article, Natasha Crowcroft (@NSCrowcroft), a Cambridge-trained public health doctor specializing in infectious diseases, encourages us to consider some very interesting questions:
- "North America has lost nearly 20 million jobs in about three weeks, mostly women and young people in the gig economy. What kind of jobs were they? Not well-protected ones, evidently...
- Why are there nowhere near enough gowns or masks or ventilators or beds in our hospitals? Maybe the so-called just-in-time economy – the global framework of logistics that maximizes profitability by manufacturing goods only as we need them – doesn’t provide enough security in an eight-billion-person world that occupies a state of emergency and contagion more often than we like to admit. Now that entire countries are withholding critical supplies from each other, maybe globalization and trade theory and nationalism will get a rethink.
- Canada’s one of the wealthiest countries on the planet: Why, then, are so many Canadians living month-to-month? Maybe a guaranteed annual income is in the works. Perhaps the market-rocking, office-dwelling, prepandemic system we all think we miss wasn’t as healthy as we thought.
“Whenever you have an infectious outbreak,” Dr. Crowcroft said, “it brings out the inequalities of the way we live. I mean, we’ve had so many complex issues to deal with, like climate change. But the thing that got the airplanes out of the sky was an epidemic.” The pandemic is costing the economy trillions by forcing people to stay at home, but the reward of being at home, Dr. Crowcroft said, may be that “we will all travel less, connect more, look out for others more.” Who knows? Maybe we will even think more."
Our Return to Fundamental Wholeness
We can and must do better. In fact, we were born to do better, and that begins now.
We live each day on a teeter-totter of emotions and uncertainty. The global situation has raised it off the ground to where the highs are higher and the lows are lower than we ever imagined. On one end of the teeter-totter sits FEAR; on the other, FAITH. But it's the fulcrum point in the middle of these two that I most want to talk about.
A fulcrum is defined as, "the support or rest..." It's only fitting that I want to talk about this point of rest while we are all, well, resting. Imagine for a moment that you could rest - fully and completely rest - knowing that your fulcrum could handle it all, every ounce whatever it might be.
As you stand on the centre point of the fulcrum with one foot planted firmly on each side, pondering the contrasting two sides:
- On one side sits everything you are deeply concerned about yet have no direct control over (FEAR). This includes how the current situation will play out, how long it might last, what the aftermath could look like to families, business and the economy, and how long it will take to find our footing in the New Normal afterward.
- On the other side sits all that we have immediate control over (FAITH). Where you are choosing to place your focus, the perspective you have and share, how you treat your partner, kids and those essential service workers you come into contact with, and who you are being through all of this. A great reality-check: If your Future Self looked back to observe you right now, what would his or her reaction be?
"Society was only playing with 15% of their full potential because that's all that was needed for individual success." ~ a Leader of World-Class Collective Impact in 2030.
What if the point of all of this isn't what is happening laterally between FEAR and FAITH, but instead what could happen vertically. Is this is of interest to you, here are three way-finding markers to consider:
FORGIVENESS | At the base of our fulcrum lies forgiveness. It is the foundation and serves two purposes: Forgiveness is our mechanism to heal if we use it, and it allows us to lighten up as we release blame, hurt, and disappointment. Think of it as positive potential or inertia that lies wasted until ignited by three simple words, "I forgive you" or "I am sorry".
FULLNESS | There is absolutely nothing wrong with being 'in pursuit' of something; however, if you never allow yourself the opportunity to experience gratitude, appreciation, simple pleasures, and peace, you remain constantly searching, empty, and lacking, leading to exhaustion. Pause to enjoy the feeling of satiety, fulfillment, and contentment. Even your favourite athletes have periods of training and competiton followed by periods of celebration, rest, and recovery. A state of fullness and wholeness is unifying. You begin to bring ALL of you to your relationships, opportunities, and interactions. The result is an inevitable up-leveling (RISE) in your day-to-day experience and impact.
FLOW | JET BOOTS ON! This is where and when it becomes easy, and here's how: It takes a Village. The final door to walk through into our New Normal isn't meant to be entered alone. FLOW, a term typically saved for yoga studios or meditation classes, can be found when we work together in community to ensure things become easier through congruency, efficiency, effectiveness, and conserved energy and effort. I have experienced glimpses of FLOW within my own organization and am now looking to expand our experience at a community-level - locally, nationally and globally.
This may sound like a fairytale to you so I encourage you to go back to your favourite sports team and line of players. Recall the magic as they play together, utilizing each other's greatest gifts and talent, complementing one another, anticipating and responding. I've experienced FLOW in my work when I've been fortunate enough to stay in what my colleague Christina Benty refers to as my 'Zone of Genius', where work becomes play, my mastery is expressed creatively, explored, leveraged, and fully expanded. Now, we usually reserve these types of conversations for board rooms and team-building off-sites, but I'd like to suggest that these three way-finders, FORGIVENESS, FULLNESS, and FLOW, will lead us forward into the New Normal as Innovators, Visionaries, Change-Makers, Creatives, and Teams who care more about collective care than individual success.
WHAT IF our only job in the New Normal is to return to a state of Fundamental Wholeness?
WHAT MIGHT our economies look like both locally and globally if our #1 focus was on strengthening our Village (community) by ensuring each person's gift (contribution) was recognized, activated, utilized, and appreciated?
WHAT IF the answers to our way forward together in the New Normal lie in what we've forgotten in the past?
Our full potential and purpose as humans lies in our ability to prioritize Taking Good Care of each other, our community (local and global), and our HOME.
WE ARE CALLED to return to our natural state of Fundamental Wholeness as we return HOME.
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