Most people have have been dealing with the shift we are all undergoing by learning new skills.

Some have enrolled to multiple online courses, others have dusted off their passion for food.

If you are a parent you probably had to find new ways to support your child, or maybe you finally learnt a fun way to stay fit which you actually enjoy.

Anything in order to make sense of a life which we hardly recognize any more.

It’s almost as if, by learning new things, we could justify the hardship of this time.

That both helps us to navigate these very choppy waters and also stay sane.

I have been wondering lately what exactly is that I have learnt this last year.

If the world suddenly started to function again, what could I tell others I have created during the lockdown?

And while I sat there thinking about anything clever to say, I got nothing.

Truth is, all the way through I have felt like I should be doing nothing but “living” this moment.

To me that means going through each day with whatever it brings.

Bad days, good days, all the same.

I owed myself that much to let life happen has she needs to right now.

Without trying to fix it, make it better, or disappear.

Because I actually saw right away how that was going to break my heart.

I started to work with life instead, the best I could do.

This was both new and frightening, for I had to let go of all the bullshit I had been hiding behind and be bare in all my f***** up glory.

When you are on my path, there is always the risk to arrogantly assume you know how the world goes.

Suddenly a virus throws that up in the air, and you are left standing in front of a cliff.

The vast unknown opening up in front of you.

What do you do?

Do you jump and take flight or go an hide for you are just too scared to face what’s on the other side?

I chose to fly and yet many times I just wished I could go & vanish under my duvet.

A year on, I see a very different person in the mirror.

Her face shows lines which only appear when life tries us.

Her heart bears the scars of having sat with “lady darkness” over & over again, without ever running away.

So here I am, taking care of myself.

That is what I have done during this pandemic: I took care of myself.

Which does not involve lighting candles and incense, and play some nice meditation.

For those things do not longer work.

When you take care of yourself, there is only you.

And you alone.

You know well enough that nothing but yourself will ease you through yet another day.

So you start letting go of whatever has been distracting you from your own grace.

You ruthlessly look at what no longer sits well within your heart, whether it’s the food you eat, your beliefs, and even the people in your life.

Suddenly you are not afraid to stand on your own, if that is the only way to connect to your soul.

Most of all, you do not shy away from meeting your own dark side.

You look at it straight in the eye, same as all the other lovely parts of yourself.

The ones you show the world, hoping to impress it and make it fall in love with you over and over again.

When you take care of yourself, you learn that your darkness is your divinity and you are no longer afraid of it.

Life becomes then an incredible adventure, which fills your heart with joy through the tears.

If we are to build a new world, let us create one where we all learn to take care of ourselves.

Where the needs of our heart are attended to with the same loving care we offer others.

For when we do so, we become the leaders this world has been expecting forever.

What does taking care of yourself feel like to you, dear friend?

Does it feel like an invitation you have put off far too long?

And if yes, are you now ready to accept if with an open heart?

Or guilt and shame are still distracting you from the intimacy your soul has been yearning for?

I bid you good grace dear one, trusting that you can, too, hear the new world calling us all.

Antonia Lyons

 

 

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