Yesterday I attended my first social gathering in three months. It felt both strange and wonderful. I loved seeing people I had interacted with on Zoom throughout the lockdown. We shared food, laughs and stories. I felt the physical presence of everyone in a very strong and special way. I experienced a new and deeper appreciation of the biggest gift that we give to each other - our presence.
When we meet people, all of our senses are affected by their presence. When it happens all the time, we perhaps don't notice things as much. But when it happens only occasionally or less, we notice the effects more strongly like me yesterday and perhaps like all of us as we ease into the next phase.
Lockdown has posed many challenges for people - financially, personally, health wise and from a business, relationship and family perspective. But it has also given us time to think and reflect.
We have taken distance from much of our lives and our relationships which has given us an opportunity to step back, see things more clearly and with new eyes and decide how we want to move ahead.
Over the lockdown I have been lucky to interact with many - teaching meditation, doing workshops related to resilience and just generally engaging with and helping people make sense of, accept and adjust to the changes they are experiencing and make the best of their situation as is. I have been amazed at the incredible learnings people have had despite and perhaps because the challenges.
The fact that we have taken distance from our lives has given us all a great opportunity to see what is working and what is working less well and see what we want to change.
I spoke with a client yesterday. She has had a difficult relationship with one of her business colleagues for over two years. While there is some mutual respect, there is also a lot of tension and frustration between then - and most of it is unspoken and unresolved. She had time to reflect on her own mistakes and feelings and is now eager to create a new dynamic between them. We have explored some ideas and she is entering this new phase with a desire and a strategy to improve things between them.
This is one person and one relationship. They are both part of a bigger team - of 20 people. And they both have families and other networks and groups they are involved in. We all interact with so many people. The positive potential for creating more caring and ultimately fruitful relationships is huge.
While lockdown and COVID have posed and continue to pose some severe challenges - many of which may continue for years to come, it is also giving us an opportunity for a fresh start - particularly relevant for situations that were not going so well before.
This week why not look at your life. What situations / relationships are you happy with? And which areas / relationships would you like to improve? Relationships are based on the combination of what and how we think, behave and treat each other and how in turn others respond and think and behave with us. If I behave differently, that gives any relationship I am involved in the possibility to change. And so, it goes on. One person I spoke with a few weeks back said the possibility for a fresh start is the best thing COVID has brought to her. It could be similar for all of us if we seize the opportunity.