After speaking to many people over the past couple of weeks, it was becoming increasingly noticeable that more are enjoying life in forced isolation. So, earlier this week I ran a poll on my Instagram stories asking if you want to go back to “normal” life. In 24 hours, surprisingly almost 80% of you said that you don’t want life to return back to normal. So why are so many of you enjoying lockdown?
Isolation has taken away many things from us – contact with people we love, travelling, enjoying dinner and the movies, going to our favourite yoga class, events and activities, shopping our favourite shops in store, visiting the gallery and more. So the “process of isolation” has been likened to the Five Stages of Grief.
Lockdown has also taken away access to things that weren’t as obvious to us. I have been working with clients over the last couple of weeks who have realised a lot of things in their life that they didn’t like or weren’t working for them:
- I have one client who has really been struggling with her young children. Having them home a lot more and because they require full attention, she has realised just how much she has “lost herself” as a mother.
- Another client is single and struggling to be home alone. She has lost her job, which was highly stressful and required long hours of work. She is also missing her friends and the ability to go on dates. Isolation has brought to her attention just how much of her day-to-day life is filled by keeping “busy”.
- And then there is my client who is working from home and has realised just how much she loves it. It’s highlighted that she is lost and doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. But she knows that this is far from it.
- Then there is the client who has totally isolated herself with her family and is loving the opportunity to get closer to her husband and children, and not being forced to run around and do things for everyone else around her. She realised her ability to create boundaries and say no.
So, despite all of the things that have been taken away from us, we have actually gained so much…
Isolation has enabled us to gain new perspective. For the very first time, it has forced us to go within to identify what is working and what isn’t in our life. Our relationships, our jobs, our habits…
So many of us depend on things and people outside of ourselves for validation about who we are and what we should do. This is a learnt behaviour we form when we are young – we form our identity as children based on grown ups around us telling us and showing us what is acceptable or appropriate. Then as we grow older, we start to look at our peers for this validation.
For the most part, we aren’t encouraged to trust our inner guidance to navigate who we are. So this learnt behaviour becomes the norm. We go to school, we go to uni, we get a good job and we marry a nice guy and have a kid, we go to yoga 3 times a week, we eat low carbs, and then and then and then… it continues on and on. We are always mirroring others in a way that is appropriate and acceptable.
It is our pursuit of ultimate happiness and fulfilment.
But are you happy and fulfilled?
Take away your ability to cope with not being happy and fulfilled and you expose just how unhappy and unfulfilled you really are.
Take away the things and people you used for so long to validate who you are and hide your truth and you expose just how unhappy and unfulfilled you really are.
If you have a moment now, I want you to write down 3 things you do or people you have in your life that you use to “cope” instead of sitting with the discomfort within. Now is your opportunity to shine the spotlight on those habits you feel like are hiding your truth.
You may have formed new habits now from being in isolation that are still trying to pull you away from going within. You may be working out more, eating or drinking more, texting your ex, screen time and scrolling, online shopping, working more, etc.
Write them all down and I spend a moment sitting with each one and ask: “What do these people or things represent for you?”
Our coping mechanisms are simply a representation of something else, something deeper that we need or desire. And you are the best person to uncover this, better than anyone else. You of course, are your best and most powerful and effective healer. Sometimes all you need is the right tools and guidance to help you.
If you feel called to explore this deeper with me, I’d love to work with you on uncovering what it is that has been hiding from you and how we can truly create a thriving and fulfilling life that makes you happy. Using a combination of both healing and coaching, I am able to get to the root cause of what is holding you back and then together we can build a process to cultivating a life you love.
All my love,