With days melting into each other, routines restructured, “normalcy” interrupted, time warping…How do we replenish ourselves, our society? How do we find wholeness, stability, eagerness for the future? How do we sit in awareness of the beauty of different ways of seeing, being, and thinking? It is easy to get caught up in thinking about our current moment, and focus on the crisis…but let’s flip the script! We can either focus on the crisis, or use the crisis to focus.
Crisis causes Focus.
Two topics have been top of mind for me this week: Victory Gardens and Significance-y.
In WWI and WWII, neighbors and communities planted “Victory Gardens” in their yards and empty spaces with the purpose of growing and sharing food to feed the nation and also to provide food for the soldiers oversees. During these wartime crises, the nation focused and came together to produce food – in fact – one third of the country’s food supply came from individual and community gardens. To focus on the terror, war, death, and threat to their worlds as they knew them didn’t serve them – and would certainly not nourish or make them whole. The nation focused on so many new and creative ways to survive, be productive, and be helpful to each other. Of course, fear was present, but they were led by the ethos, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” as proclaimed by their President, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It is possible to be cautious, take precautions, and do what we are being asked to do, and compartmentalize fear into its own place – like into an imaginary box that we sink to the very bottom of a theoretical lake. Fear is mutually exclusive and unrelated to taking precautions. Maybe fear inspired the behaviors, but it doesn’t have to be a continual part of the action plan. It may be the impetus, but it is not the reason we all feel compelled to take care of each other and feel compassion each other’s pain.
It is no different now. We may not be growing our own food, but Victory Gardens can take many forms – fashion designers making masks, virtual parties, neighborhoods posting rainbows in their windows so children can do scavenger hunts. And, people are literally planting GARDENS! They are literally getting grounded by returning to the ground – planting seeds and committing to the slow and satisfying pastime of watching nature work it’s magic on her own time. (if you want to plant a little garden, my favorite seed source is www.edenbrothers.com)
We are so accustomed to running on high – fast and furious – that this “slow” time of “nothing to do” and “what day is this” can be so uncomfortable. But we have to remember that regardless of our pace and accomplishments, each day is extremely significant to our lives and our collective connection. I ask you: is any one day of a seed slowly growing into a vegetable producing plant any less significant? Or is it the whole of the process that creates the overall magic?
I am hoping to remind all of us, that even though our days right now are not what we are used to, and a little less jam-packed with routine activities – we ARE being productive and every day IS significant. This is a time where as a global society we are all asking for the same thing: wellness, health, hope, safety, connection, and this “thing” to go away and never come back. And we are asking every day, all day, for ourselves, our friends, our families, our neighbors, and even complete strangers.
We are also asking for things to “get back to normal.” Well, they won’t. Right now, in our slow, significant days, we are planting seeds, and they are germinating, taking root, getting ready to sprout, grow, and be fruitful. Nothing will ever be the same, but so many things will be better. We have been asking for changes; help for our earth with climate change, acceptance for all people, distribution of resources to those in need, etc. and we are moving towards those things faster now than ever before. Old roadblocks lifting because they can’t exist while we shelter in place and make community welfare our collective priority.
There is SO MUCH POWER in that. We are so FOCUSED together on wanting the same things. This is historical. We have new found reference points, new patterns, new behaviors, new tones in our voices when we greet a previously un-noticed neighbor on an evening walk. We are finally starting to practice spatial awareness and be conscious of where we “put ourselves” in relation to others. We are giving each other “space.” We are giving each other permission to stop, sleep, relax, read, learn, clean up old messes, clear out channels that were clogged – and become better humans.
Don’t notice the crisis – notice what the crisis makes you notice.
And while we are germinating in this new-ness, if you feel compelled to do something with, or about what you notice – follow that thread. You may not end world hunger or bring peace to the entire world, but if you just start with a little seed, it will grow. Maybe you start that hobby you have told yourself you didn’t have time for, or wouldn’t be good at. Maybe you just netflix and chill and be okay with that because you really don’t have to do anything. Maybe you call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time. Maybe you just start giving yourself a break. Maybe you let go of old stories and start crafting the life you actually want to live. Maybe you let fear go and be yourself. Maybe you let some toxic people go. It doesn’t have to be monumental – just incremental bits of progress where you feel compelled. And, remember that ALL of it IS significant. If you have a day where you do nothing – it is still significant to your existence and the collective consciousness.
Practice remaining in Gratitude – fear cannot exist in the same space as gratitude.
I am forever grateful to all of you.
Lacey Haegen is the owner of Beaute Nouveau, a clean beauty company. After working in the beauty industry for the likes of Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, Lacey developed a passion for clean beauty. It all began when her husbands struggle with Psoriasis snowballed into other inflammatory issues, and she notices that she herself was overusing migraine medications and battling acne. Cleaning up their diet was her first priority, but then she realized that what she was putting on their skin was also just as important. In 2009 she started her clean beauty company and has never looked back. You can find her products at Zen Space!