Given the freedom to create a blueprint for a new and better world, what would you change?
At the start of 2020, life was hurtling at full throttle.
Based in London with my husband and 2 small children, we lived by the clock and every day had a schedule. My husband and I were working crazy hours and we rarely saw each other.
The children had a packed extracurricular and social life that left little time for spontaneous fun. We were going through the motions without stopping to think if there was a better way for us or the world. Of course, we had dreams of less work and more time together but we didn’t know how to step on the brakes.
And then everything changed.
As the Covid-19 lockdown rules kicked in, suddenly we were all at home together 24/7.
What has changed?
Our daily life now is very simple.
We wake, eat as a family, and take our daily exercise outside in nature.
Through homeschooling, we have a better understanding of our children’s strengths and challenges.
We have time to play with them and spend most of our free time outside, which has given us a massive appreciation of the earth and how we are supported and charged every day by nature.
We value the simple acts of walking in woods, spotting local wildlife, feeling the sun on our skin, climbing logs, and splashing in streams.
Out of necessity, we have pulled away from the consumer culture, spending less money, and make does with what we have.
We buy locally, cook more, and waste less.
Our local community has rallied around and we now know so many more of our neighbors.
Although we are not able to socialize, we have discovered creative and meaningful ways of supporting each other.
Birthdays have been celebrated with street sing-songs, a violinist appearance, and an ice cream van. Games are chalked on the pavement for passing children to play.
Albeit at a distance, strangers have become friends.
I have found my own space has become precious. I get up before everyone wakes and writes creatively, read, or take exercise in nature. We all need regular time and space for ourselves for our spiritual and personal growth.
My approach to working has changed radically. I see now that I was addicted to being busy and my work/life balance was out of sync. As a yoga teacher, my plan going forward is to teach less but with more relevance to what my students need, and, right now, that is human connection.
As more people hear this global call for connection and offer up their skills online, music concerts, art exhibitions, and wellbeing support, I ask myself, are we moving towards a healthier online lifestyle? What would happen if we aligned our compassionate human values with our digital offerings?
Could this be a once in a lifetime opportunity to press the reset button and create a new and healthier way to live?
A new way to live?
My dream for the future is that we take more responsibility – for our health and wellbeing and the welfare of our society and our planet.
We have seen how small acts can lead to radical change. If we acknowledge that our problems are shared, by acting with generosity, empathy, and compassion, we could move away from global polarization and towards constructive communication and responsibility.
What if we regularly checked in with our values and considered what is important to us? Are we allowing enough time for rest, creativity, and personal growth? How can we rebalance our lives to ensure that we are living our best life? An ideal world would allow space for us to work, rest, spend time with our families, and pursue passions.
Remote and flexible working is open to more people than we realized. Ideally, our children’s education would also move out of the classroom and into the outdoors, with less focus on tests and more time playing.
We have seen how our fates are linked and how important it is to have a local support network. Our new world would be more connected at a local level, with stronger ties and more sharing of skills and knowledge.
It all comes back to connection.
Connect with our friends, families, and neighbors.
Reach out through a healthier digital lifestyle and share our skills with the world.
Connect to our inner wisdom, the voice so often silenced by the noise of life, so that we can finally be brave, take a chance and reach for our dreams.