When we’re accustomed to ‘how life is’ and ‘business as usual”. We take for granted that it will never change. Just look at the past two years, who would have thought that we would ever see the world change almost overnight – yet it has. Almost every area of our lives has been impacted. The way we do business, the way we shop, our social interactions, and even what we consume as entertainment. Scary, isn’t it?! 

Do you recall how we all were at the onset of the lockdowns, having retreated into the cave? We were a world in absolute disarray and panic. And look at us now coming out again, altered, having churned out a more resilient way of being in the world. 

We are witnessing the steady crumbling of all the structures we thought would be around for a long time. In South Africa, we are facing a crumbling of our infrastructure as our government cannot meet our electricity needs; in the US we have seen legislation passed, opposing the rights of women to choose what to do with their bodies; we have seen a watched the breakout of war between Russia and Ukraine. I could go on, but the point I am making is not a political one. 

Things are changing rapidly as we steer ourselves from one hurdle to the next, our landscape changes with little reprieve. Most of us have been taught to resist change, and that resistance always emerged in favour of our survival. I found The Croods (a DreamWorks Animation) a beautiful story that depicted this resistance all too well… Grug (the father) was challenged out of this belief upon meeting a more evolved caveman who told him it was no longer safe to stay in the cave, that staying in the same place would mean death for him and his family, as their environment was changing. So they set out on a completely unknown path to find a completely unknown world that was only heresy. Along their journey, they confronted many obstacles and were faced with many challenges. They were led only by the hope of a possibility. They risked what was safe for what one could have considered fantasy. We have been so conditioned into the belief that familiarity breeds safety. Of course, why not trust this model, it has gained eons of credibility? And in the past, we may have done exactly that. 

But as the waters of the past two years settle, realise we cannot go back. We are undeniably altered. And even if we could go back, we have grown immeasurably. Our physical realities have shifted and along with it our internal landscape. This creates a beautiful emptiness, a space in which one can choose differently or even the usual. The gift is our awareness of the choice that we have. We are beginning to open up to the possibility that change does not have to be scary and that maybe we are in more control than we think we are. We have become aware of how we can use our creative wiles and newly cultivated resilience to create something entirely new. The lockdowns were demonstrative of the nature of the human spirit as people found brought out their hidden talents and if they weren’t aware of them, they developed them. We saw people from all over the world post on social media about their creativity and artistic talents. Like a new breath to a second life, something quite beautiful was being born. 

We are learning that holding onto our old ways of thinking and being in the world, our comforts essentially could be to our detriment. It’s like being thrown into a pool of uncertainty in these times with no life raft in sight. Some of us have been leaning into new ways of being at the expense of the old. Surrendering all our old concepts of who we are and what the world is in exchange for embracing a completely unknown reality – quite possibly a more magical one. Some of us have stayed in the cave, not quite ready to let go, as we hold on to our beliefs because they give us a sense of safety and familiarity. Either choice has its own set of consequences and obstacles, but the choice remains ours. 

I’ll leave you with this: Will you choose to remain in the illusion of safety, or will you choose your evolution?

‘’The strongest principle of human growth lies in choice.’’ ~ George Elliot

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