I’m writing in April 2020, which will be remembered as the Time of Coronavirus. Everything is changing, and everything will be changed.
It’s almost automatic for me to begin making predictions about large-scale behavioral change. But the truth is, none of us have a roadmap for this. And as soon as we make one, it will change.
I miss my office. I’ve been working from home so I can be available for my teenagers. This setup comes complete with barking dogs, breaks to unload the dishwasher, and not seeing any clients in-person. I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of virtual gatherings (along with lots of other folks, like Priya Parker) and about how we can learn to be present to one another in a variety of modes.
I’m guessing there will be some things many of us don’t miss. Like long commutes, meetings that could have been emails, eating out 3 nights of the week because we’re too busy to cook, going days or weeks without really listening or being present to our children or spouses or friends.
I had an email exchange with a mentor yesterday who said, “I too am challenged by the shift in ways of being with others. And with myself. Different abilities are called for to maintain or build heart connections. Do I know how? And, what do I want to do? I’m learning how to support the ‘groupness’ of online groups. Sure, I know a lot, but none of us have been here before. I want groups to congeal to the benefit of their members and the world around them. How do I help that happen?” Such good questions.
All of us are learning in public here, trying things that might not be successful, taking a hard look at what won’t work anymore and what the essence of being together really is. It’s exciting, it’s sad, it’s exhausting. A quote from Jack Kornfield that’s been important to me for a long time is “The un-awakened mind makes war against what is.” Our reality has shifted, the awakened heart and mind is invited to befriend this new reality somehow. I’ll be working on it.