Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can install in us.
2020, an unforgettable year, is about to end:
What happened? What do I take with me? What do I leave behind? What do I let go? What am I going to change? What is going to change?
A virus goes around the world and paralyzes our “everyday life” worldwide. The viruses sweep like waves over the planet and unsettle, annoy, irritate, make sick and kill.
Nothing is save and plannable anymore – everything taken for granted, well-loved and familiar is suddenly no longer here.
Everything and everyone are focused on defeating these viruses.
Experts are on duty around the clock with the aim of finding strategies and solutions for this. The politicians try to follow the recommendations of the experts and people feel at the mercy of the experts or they are asked to take responsibility and look for solutions themselves.
Many use this opportunity to create, innovative, new ways in all areas of life or “lend a hand” and initiate a wave of solidarity to strengthen the “we” in the common fight against the invisible enemy.
On the other hand, too many are afraid about their rights, criticize and enter the dark world of conspiracy – preferring to negate, resign, demonstrate and block.
The current situation has forced us to look into the mirror – made transparent what damage we humans have done to this planet, to Mother Earth, over the centuries what we have neglected more and more in our own lives. The virus crisis has put the brakes on for us, stopping and questioning the pursuit of “more, more + faster, faster”.
Once again, we have to realize that we are all connected and interconnected and that all life on this planet is one.
For humanity, this crisis offers the possibility of a complete change of direction, of turning in and out, of a tremendous growth in consciousness in many ways.
JU’S 3 QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
1. How do you personally take advantage of this opportunity of reflection and reversal? Which of your strengths helped and still help you most in dealing with the crisis?
2. Will the positive moments and experiences from 2020 and the power of sharing end up being stronger than all the negativity exposed during the crisis?
3. To what extent can the individual grow spiritually in and through the crisis – what are your own experiences and recommendations?
🙎🏼♀Lore Margreiter 🇦🇹🇸🇮🇺🇸
Lore and I first met in Vienna in 2008 – we were both guests at the 50th birthday party of my neighbor who was also a friend at the time.
From the very beginning, I was fascinated by Lore’s elegance and joy of life.
Lore worked for 36 years as a pediatric audiologist full of fire in the support center for hearing-impaired children and adolescents in Graz. During her first 10 years of retirement accompanied her mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease and met her life’s companion three months after her mother’s death.
I admire Lore for her sense of the ‘delicate’ in many aspects of life, her elegance and beauty, her lived interest in culture and art – she is a woman who shines more and more with the years and who knows how to enjoy and capture the beautiful moments of life without overlooking those in need surrounding her. Lore has been accompanying and caring for seriously ill people for several years.
🙎🏽♀Naomi Mwanasha Chigulu 🇦🇹🇰🇪
The first time I saw Naomi when she was about three days old. Her Mum and I used to travel a lot together – in 2000 we visited Kenia together, this was also when Naomi’s parents met – they later asked me to become Naomi’s Godmother. It has been a gift for me to see Naomi growing up and develop a strong connection with her. Today she is a wonderful and very beautiful young lady – I love Naomi’s positive, heart-centred and often funny way of dealing with people. She’s is a talented writer and has an extraordinary beautiful and strong voice. At the moment she is attending the Vocational School for Tourism Modul, in Vienna; Naomi has an eye for extravagant design – I am a fan of her fashion style.
👩🏻🦰Marilyn Prebul 🇨🇦🇺🇸🇵🇱🇨🇿
Marilyn is Canadian, she lives in California and works as a Mastermind Facilitator and Accountability Coach for Strategic Coach. The first time Marilyn and I met was at a Christmas Party at Strategic Coach in Toronto in 2013. I Immediately felt connected with Marilyn and we became friends; we met again in Los Angeles and Vienna the following years – I admire Marilyn for her natural beauty, her heart centred way of listening and communicating, her love for nature, arts and cultures, her flexibility and her curiosity and commitment for continuous learning.
🙎🏼♀Lore Margreiter 🇦🇹🇸🇮🇺🇸
Corona hit me extremely hard. At the beginning of February, I got two diagnoses: The first one, was a melanoma on my forehead, which wasn’t discovered by my dermatologist, and a basal cell carcinoma invisible in my nose. I had to undergo two operations, as both had to be operated urgently. Bitter weeks followed and the surgery result is not pretty, but it was cut in the healthy area.
This insidious Coronavirus, hiding behind supposedly healthy people, triggered traumas in us and worldwide.
The inhumane conditions of isolation of very old, dying people, the struggle for survival in overcrowded and overloaded clinics and the sudden threat to the existence of working people and many companies are shocking consequences. Helping each other and thus moving closer together will continue to have an effect in small circles in the future.
But the crisis will leave traces in all of us and worldwide in our souls.
The negative that has now come to light, however, will unfortunately continue to exist as soon as the wounds are closed. Greed and the pathological pursuit of profit will not be curbed, and so poverty will continue to increase worldwide.
I am also skeptical about the achievement of the climate goals and thus the attempt to preserve land masses.
Only in the expected catastrophe one will be forced to look for new ways of living together.
My recommendations from the experience of an aged but young-at-heart under 80:
☆ Life is a journey. Don’t take too much luggage with you.
☆ Set goals that make you happy and persevere to achieve them.
☆ Speak your mind in a friendly and clear way. Take every opportunity to learn.
☆ Spending time together is more important than material things.
☆ Take time even alone to go into nature and look at all the wonders of plants and animals. Ask your inner self which form of spirituality is good for you and live it out.
☆ And the most important thing: Love is divine. Be loving! With yourself too.
🙎🏽♀Naomi Mwanasha Chigulu 🇦🇹🇰🇪
Accepting the situation helped me a lot. That doesn’t mean though that there is nothing you can do to change the situation in a positive way. It is therefore important to take responsibility for the current situation and to try to make the best out of it. A regular daily routine can also be very helpful. You feel much happier when you know you’ve accomplished something. Work gives me a certain sense of self-affirmation. Exercise in the fresh air and work outs in the morning support me and it keeps me fit, especially because I am sitting in front of the computer all day long. (Keyword: online classes). I continued to keep in touch with my grandparents or other family members through the phone. Especially now you realize how important good close relationships are. It is an opportunity to be more cohesive through the crisis, to talk better with each other, and to appreciate and support each other in a new way. Through the Corona crisis I have learned to be more grateful for what I already have and what is going well in my life. It is generally up to us what we make of the whole crisis situation. We can go into the victim attitude or use the crisis as a chance to do certain things differently in the future and thus grow from the crisis. We can only try to make the best of the situation.
A crisis is a turning-point in life, that provides us with new challenges, but als with new chances. Unfortunately, we are often focused on the problem, so we can’t see the opportunities. 2020 had a lot of lows. We have seen friends and family as little as never before and the other restrictions in daily life aren’t that fun and turn life your upside down. Unfortunately, the bad this year pushes itself into the foreground and the beautiful moments of this year go a little under.
But it doesn’t help, the situation is the way it is. So, it doesn’t help much to be constantly angry about it or to be permanently afraid of contagion, job loss or loneliness. It overlooks what we all already have. Maybe we are already happier than we think. But the only way to find out is to first become aware of it. Right now, we all have time to think and we should use the time to do so. I know that positive thinking can be difficult, especially at times like this. However, it is helpful to bring to mind during the day, or perhaps in the evening, three things that were good that day. You could write a positive message or something that went well on a piece of paper. I think positive thoughts definitely make life easier and you shouldn’t let negativity enter your life.
I think that the Corona crisis has given an important impetus and opened new doors. You can clearly see through the crisis how the environment around the world is recovering, for example. The world can finally breathe. Vacations are all well and good, no question – but it is important to me that we all pay more attention to our environment and especially to nature. I think that just this crisis is the perfect turning point to get a grip on it and maybe one or the other will learn from such pandemics. I am aware that the current situation is extremely difficult and complex and that a lot of people and companies are affected. Nevertheless, this time provides a great opportunity to come out of our “cave”, to question our actions and to look at things differently, because we humans are destroying too much, and this must come to an end. This is easier said than done, but I am convinced that we can succeed in making changes. I still expect everyone to really stick to the Covid-19 measures so that we can prevent a third lockdown and visit more friends or family members again. In addition, I also feel particularly sorry for tourism because it is the most affected. Since I attend the Vocational School of Turism “Modul” in Vienna, my interests lie tourism secotr. At our school, we are required to do a summer internship in the second year. Applying for a position in this sector is very difficult for us students at the moment. Due to the pandemic and the closed borders, many Austrian vacation resorts are forced to focus on the domestic market, and I think this is an important way to stabilize tourism a bit and keep it in Austria.
I hope that there will be soon a vaccine and that everything will slowly return to normal. Everything takes time.
I have experienced the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to prioritize and focus on what is most important: Health, spirituality, relationships, mental fitness, and personal growth. During the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic I was moving into and renovating my home while pivoting my work from in-person to virtual on Zoom. I was going nonstop and neglecting self-care while thinking that once things get back to normal, I would resume my healthy routines and habits.
In July 2020, when it became apparent that the pandemic will continue through 2021, and perhaps into 2022, I let go of the goals and vision I had created in early 2020, and I decided that I wanted to come out of the pandemic in the best physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health, and more confident than ever before in my life. I am optimistic and tenacious, and I decided to cut out or limit the negative influences such as the news, drinking alcohol, and fear-based thinking. Anything that made me anxious or caused me to think negatively, or disturbed my sleep was cut out. I chose to disconnect from the dominant fear-based consciousness.
I realized that I needed to create a structure and routine to support me in having balance in my life and provide my own energy source so that I could be a light to myself, my clients, my friends and my family. There are certain daily habits that I have been practicing that have helped me to grow spiritually in faith and to trust the process of life. I have 30-60 minutes of daily prayer and meditation to connect with God and be still so that I can hear my intuition or internal guidance. If I have a moment of negativity or anxious feeling, I go into my prayer corner to pray or meditate. As long as we keep doing the things that are good for us and support our goals, there is no need to worry about tomorrow. All we have is the present moment. What we focus on multiplies, so I have been keeping a gratitude journal that I write in every morning. I write what I am grateful for, I reflect upon my strengths, my accomplishments, I recount the people who love me, and I write about what I am looking forward to in the next seven days.
For me, physical exercise is crucial. I am blessed to live near the Laguna Coast Nature Preserve in California that has miles of hiking trails, and I am able to get in nature daily and get at least 10,000 steps. I also keep my core strong by practicing Lagree fitness1Lagree fitness is a trendy workout from Hollywood that combines Pilates with strength and endurance exercises for a toned and defined body. (Source: https://www.lagreefitness.com) on my fitness tool, the Lagree Microformer at home.
I read a lot of books on self-development to recommend to my clients, and one book that helped me in terms of creating a daily structure to support me in becoming the best version of myself is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I love to learn, and I also enrolled in a French course through the community college to keep me sharp and connected with a diverse set of people outside of work. Since my family lives in Canada, and with the 14-day quarantine in effect since I would be traveling from the USA, I have been using Zoom and Messenger to stay connected more meaningfully with my family. This is the longest period of time that I have gone without seeing my family.
Since we are all spending more time with ourselves, I believe that this is the time to grow more in love with yourself, and if you are living with a partner, children, or other family members, to grow more in love, acceptance and forgiveness for yourself and others. This time during the pandemic is such a gift to be able to see ourselves as we truly are, provided that we don’t give into addictive behaviors, habits or distractions. The words, images, thoughts, food that you put into your body either strengthen you or weaken you. Choose every day to consume what strengthens and amplifies your strengths. The choices you make today determine who you will be tomorrow.