From the beginning people were talking about ways to grow in a pandemic. They suggested learning a language, picking up that hobby you never make time for, and lots of other ways to distract ourselves. While many of us were not in the mental space to grow our skills, personal growth was still taking place as we faced our challenges.
The pandemic has been on our minds for over a year now. We all are coping with it in different ways, and many of us are even thriving. A number of people are going through a spiritual awakening and experiencing huge amounts of personal growth.
Adapting to Change
Adapting to change is one of the challenges when it comes to personal development. When we want to make a change in our lives, we often find that our subconscious mind wants to protect us from experiencing the discomfort of change. So it blocks us from doing what we set out to do. Think about when someone decides to get fit. But their subconscious sabotages attempts to wake up early and go to the gym. It says, “go later” or “you can do it tomorrow.” It creates an excuse that justifies why you don’t need to push through the discomfort and get yourself to the gym as you committed to doing.
Your subconscious doesn’t do this because it hates you, it’s actually trying to protect you. It wants to prevent you from feeling any of the emotions you have labeled as “bad” or “negative.” It knows that if things don’t go as you desire them to go and you may even feel like you failed. And your subconscious wants you to stay far away from failure. There are certainly ways around this. But for now, it’s important for you to understand that your subconscious is not the enemy, but it is holding you back.
When the pandemic spread across the world, your subconscious probably struggled to protect you. But we all had to face the changes head on, and we all dealt with them differently. Whether you look at the mask mandates, social distancing, work from home, a number of facilities and events cancelled, many people faced a huge change in their life. While we can focus on how difficult all of this was or is, we can also look at how much we have grown due to this challenge.
Forming Your Own Opinions
Throughout this pandemic, there has been information coming from all directions that tell us completely different stories. Many of us have had a good long look at what we believe and why.
As children, we tend to believe whatever our parents, teachers, or others we respect tell us. But as we grow up, it’s important to start questioning whether those things are true for us. When I applied for college, I wanted to be a journalist. I had a lot of respect for the media. However, throughout 2020 I had to question my beliefs about the media and why I was placing so much faith in what they were saying. I won’t go into too much detail about my own beliefs, but I especially became aware of when news reports were predicting the future rather than reporting on actual events. Now when I read the news, I have to critically think about what I believe. I discern what information is being shared to pull at my emotions. I also think about what hasn’t been shared. That awareness keeps me from getting sucked into the low vibration energy of fear, worry, and anxiety.
I believe this year has been a huge lesson on fear. Some of us have given into it and live in a constant state of caution, and others have gone the opposite way. I’m not saying either way is right or wrong, but no matter what your situation, there is a lot to learn. I have discussed with others this feeling of straddling a river. On one side I don’t have any fear for myself because I have no fear of death. But on the other side, I don’t want to spread anything (the virus or incorrect information about it). I’ve learned how to deal with that cognitive dissonance.
When we look at things like the numbers and rates reported, the information about vaccinations, and other news that we are programmed to believe, its important to look critically at them, but not from a place of fear. If you aren’t sure what to believe, tap into your inner wisdom. Take a deep breath, put a hand on your heart and a hand on your belly, and ask your body. What resonates for you?
You can look past the fear based language, and see the duality of the situation. There is a always a yin and a yang, a dark and a light side. It is never all good, or all bad, but a balance of the two. This is part of what helps me get past feeling worried or anxious. The other part is faith.
I am not a religious person and I don’t go to church. But over the last year I have deepened my belief in spirituality more than I ever anticipated I could. I really feel and believe that I am supported by the universe. I know that all things that happen around me and to me are actually for me. If you had told me this a couple of years ago, I would have laughed. But I feel more peace and joy in my life believing in MORE rather than LESS so I choose to continue to have faith.
Studies actually show that those who have faith in something bigger than themselves are happier and live longer. I know for many people, religion is controversial, and even triggering due to our experiences with organized religion. But there is so much more to spirituality than what is taught in religious settings. We don’t have to subscribe to any rules or traditions, but instead we can take what feels good to us from different religious traditions and weave them together to support our own growth. Instead of trying to fit into a mold, we can create our own special practice that is nothing like anyone else’s and still be spiritual.
Focusing on Health
Physical health and mental health have been huge topics over the past year. There is so much to take into account as we grow in a pandemic. We are being pushed to grow in ways that we didn’t know we could. When we are shown what we don’t want, we are forced to take action toward what we do. Most of us do not want to die from a virus, so we have had to take action to support our health. Mental health issues that may have been pressed just under the surface came to light when faced with social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Many more people suffered from mental health issues, and many more people sought help for them.
When it comes to supporting our health, there have been some simple recommendations that seem quite popular. One of them is getting more Vitamin D. This has encouraged going outside more intentionally, which helps us feel more connected with nature. It gave many of us the opportunity to practice gratitude regularly, and it offered us the time to meditate and get to know ourselves on a deeper level.
Developing a healthy relationship with our bodies can be a great way to grow during a pandemic. I trust that my body can fight off any virus or bacteria that it encounters. The fact that I am alive right now is evidence that this is possible. Before the pandemic, maybe I would not have focused my attention on this incredible ability my body has to fight off intruders. I am so grateful my relationship with my body has grown during the pandemic.
How Have You Changed
I know there are so many more ways to grow in a pandemic than this. I would love to hear about yours. Are you more resistant to stress? Do you feel less overwhelmed? Are you experiencing more compassion? What has changed inside you? What are you grateful for?
Take a look inside yourself and see how you have grown. Are you moving toward finding alignment for yourself? Give yourself credit for the amazing ways you have grown in a pandemic.
When I came to earth, I had a purpose. And each experience I have had from the moment I was born has helped me on that path. From growing up with narcolepsy, learning how to deal with my emotions, turning to mindfulness and meditation to get some peace, everything I have done so far has been preparing me for this point.
I hope that as you navigate your own journey this year, you start to move toward finding alignment that would offer you ease, and flow. If you would like to discuss what that would look like, please reach out to me so we can explore. Every path is different, be open to seeing yours.