EPISODE 90 – PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
Hi there, welcome back to Kelly Martin Speaks. I’m your host Kelly Martin and this is episode 90.
In this episode I am going follow on from last week’s episode when I talked about ‘How To Manage The Chaos In Life’, only this time I am going to talk about what to do and not do when the world is in chaos, because it can be very easy to rush full steam ahead when things are out of our control and to try to control our surroundings or life as a whole.
In life many things can happen that feel chaotic, from the loss of a loved one, to being made redundant from a job, a business going bankrupt to health scares and right now we are in the middle of chaos, a pandemic, a virus that is sweeping the world.
For many of you listening, you may be out of work for a while or longer and in lockdown and/or self-isolation and it can be very tempting to try to organise and to try to create certainty in this very changeable and uncertain time.
I’ve been facing uncertainty for years now, so I understand very much what it feels like but I also need reminding often that during times of great uncertainty these are not the times to begin new things, to make big sweeping decisions, to suddenly get married, to have a baby, move house because right now we are all going through a period of letting go.
And letting go can bring with it feelings like anger, frustration, fear and grief. Grieving the loss of the illusion of certainty, grieving the loss of our roles in society, grieving many things. Whatever you did a lot of before this pandemic, if your life has changed considerably, consider yourself more than likely in a grief cycle right now and a time of deep surrender, a time when fixing life or arranging plans may not work.
Relax and Let Go
You could start your new cycle by rushing into planning and organising, but as someone who has experienced my fair share of uncertainty, it’s far more graceful to take your time, to surrender into it and allow yourself time to do nothing. Your creative and social self may want to micro-manage your family, your life and create order in disorder, but now is not the time to do this.
I was sitting in the garden this week, on a sunny Spring day, I have things I would like to do, but I realised for this past week especially, I felt supremely unfocused and unable to keep myself on one subject or task at a time. It would be easy to be frustrated with myself, but I realised that most of us, especially if we are sensitive, are not only experiencing great uncertainty personally, but we are picking up on the chaos, disorder and uncertainty of the world right now.
We all know if we experience great loss for example that focusing is practically impossible and if you met someone who had lost someone you would tell them to practice greater self-care, rest, take time out, take all daily pressures off their shoulders and right now, all of us are in this position, maybe to a milder extent. We may not be able to really commit to a task or focus deeply because in a way many of us are on hold, feeling into the void, unsure what to do, how to do it. Should we start something new? Should we organise and plan? I would say probably not. Now is not the best time for this.
In the UK we are in a sort of lockdown, but not fully as we are still free to exercise outdoors, for now, but I think many of us are waiting for the full lockdown and this in itself can make us feel unfocused or anxious. In a way we are waiting for a sense of security in an insecure time and are wanting more certain boundaries even though they may be challenging. We all have inner children and having boundaries can make us feel safe. Also, the waiting game or wondering if people are to work or not work, can we do this or that in this semi-lockdown experience plays on the mind a lot and it’s difficult to concentrate.
So if you are feeling like this, but have in the back of your mind this voice saying ‘You should be doing this or that’ right now, try and let it go and trust that all will be revealed to you when you need it to, now it’s okay to take time out and let go of control.
Give Yourself Permission To Do Nothing
And when the world is in chaos, be it from a pandemic or other life turbulence, give yourself permission to do nothing. You can sit in the garden, enjoy a hobby, listen to music, watch TV and be okay with this. You are not a bad person for taking time out and letting the chaos unravel.
You will know what to do and when, when the time arrives, but there is no need to try extra hard to mould your life into a form you wish it were in right now. Your mind will be thinking of lots of different potentials, your heart may be feeling extra fragile right now and your relationships may be a tad difficult as you adjust to a new reality of spending a lot more time together and often in a more confined space.
To keep this clear, what you CAN do during a time of chaos is
- Let go of control
- Relax as best you are able
- Give yourself permission to be okay doing nothing
- Accept that things will change, that this too shall pass
- Become more like a child, available for the new and unexpected to take place without attachment to the outcome or what form that may take
And what may help to NOT do during this time is
- Don’t try and create new relationships, businesses, or move house
- Don’t obsess over organising and planning
- Don’t expect yourself to know the answers
- Don’t give yourself a hard time for taking time out
If we consider how children behave, as the Eastern Mystic Osho says:
Children, as they are, are never focused; their consciousness is open from all sides. Everything is coming in; nothing is being excluded. The child is open to every sensation, every sensation is included in his consciousness.
And so much is coming in! That is why he is so wavering, so unstable. A child’s unconditioned mind is a flux–a flux of sensations–but he will not be able to survive with this type of mind. He must learn how to narrow his mind, to concentrate.
And I feel that during times of chaos like this, we need to take something from the way of children and learn to allow the shifting carpet of life to move and to adapt as we go for a time.
When it is right to concentrate or become more focused, we will do. All at the right time, not a moment before.
So for now do nothing and know that sometimes doing nothing is the best activity of all. Because you are more than your ‘doing’, you’re more than your job, you’re more than your status or role in life, you’re more than how much money you earn or don’t earn, and perhaps during this time you are being encouraged to let go of the old identity and get to know the real you, the you hidden behind all the social masks.
Wait and See What Happens
It’s unfortunate that in our society people value action even when it’s not the right thing to do. We are conditioned to believe that if we are not doing, we are not achieving and if we are not achieving ‘something’ ‘anything’ then we are nothing. And interestingly the word nothing when split apart becomes no-thing and there is a truth in this, because we are not a thing, we are no-thing, we are so much vaster, expansive and changeable, we cannot be pinned down and boxed into a specific thing as a spirit inhabiting a human body.
Our conditioning often doesn’t allow us to just wait and see what happens, when this is exactly what is required during a time of chaos. Because if we wait and see what happens, allowing life to unfold, we then discover the most optimum course of action at the right time, in the right way.
If we jump into action when conditions are not favourable so many things can happen, we can fall at the first hurdle, we may not build the foundations of the house, be that a real house or a metaphorical house. Waiting and trusting allows us to avoid potentially more challenging mistakes that we would find even harder to come back from.
So, the next time during this time of chaos that your mind tells you that you must do something, that you should take some action, before doing so ask yourself what is urging you forward right now? Is it truth, your heart, your wisdom? Or is it fear of the unknown or attachment to a specific fixed outcome? Is it the rational voice speaking that is based on a clear grasp of what is truly taking place right now or is it the scared ego trying anything to control the uncontrollable?
You decide what to do and what not to do during this time of chaos. All I recommend is taking time out and checking in with yourself to see if you are allowing or controlling and go from there.
I send you all my love during this time of isolation, lockdowns and challenge knowing in truth, your inner wisdom will come through and show you the way.
Thanks for listening to this episode of Kelly Martin Speaks
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Until next time…bye for now