Resisting Change and The Art Of Adapting
By Nigel Summerley and Rowena J Ronson
NS: Might this be an appropriate time to sing the praises of physical contact? The possibility of holding your children close… of throwing your arms around a friend… of being able to kiss someone dear to you… of being able to enjoy complete intimacy… We have perhaps proven that we can exist without these things? But are we fully alive without them?
RJR: I think that the lack of contact is causing issues for everyone – although too much contact is an issue for many (and not enough space). I think the many issues of our current times are bringing up stuff for everyone for different reasons. The elderly are feeling that they do not want to live out the rest of their lives like this. Young people are missing out on social interactions with their peers at school and university. Anyone in a relationship, or looking to find one, is online communicating and adapting to a new form of intimacy. Humans are capable of adapting – we do it all of the time. In what ways do you think our species is adapting at this time?
NS: It is probably too early to say with much certainty, but we have certainly been adapting in the past nine weeks to being, in more ways than one, “socially distant”. We have become used to not being able to see friends and family in the flesh, and to not being able to touch or get close to another human being. And I suppose, as when one loses the use of one sense and the others become more acute as a result, in the present circumstances perhaps our minds are becoming more enquiring and more sensitive and more attuned to the universal life.
RJR: I find it so fascinating – how much we do adapt. I have had a bad injury for the last six weeks in lockdown. My entire being adapted to keep me upright. It has been an exhausting process, but a fascinating one. I was allowed to visit my chiropractor today, for the first time in all of this time. With us both head to foot protected from each other, she clicked my tibia head back to where it belonged. My body is now going through a process of healing. On the ride home in an Uber – I have had no car since mine was written off in a hit and run at the beginning of February (to which I have I had adapted) – I had a miracle meeting with the 34-year-old Romanian beautiful human being who is experiencing this period of time as a great awakening. He excitedly shared with me what he is thinking and feeling, and what he is learning from this time. While reassuring him that what he is going through is for his greater good, I also offered him some names of books to buy to help him understand what he is going through. I left his car feeling so much lighter from the exchange. We are all connected, we are all as one. There is so much to learn from this time – if we truly and deeply adapt.
NS: Agreed. A simple yet perhaps important change seems to be that some of us are no longer looking back and no longer yearning to get back where we were (as we did in the early weeks of lockdown) and nor are we looking forward (since we see how fruitless that can be). So living in the endless present (and paying full attention to everything as it unfolds) now seems to be something that is not really so difficult.
RJR: I agree. For me, it is all about Shape Shifting – which is the process I have been going through during this time. In fact, I feel so passionately about it, I have renamed my work Shape-Shift Healing! We move around in our lives with a set of thoughts, feelings and behaviours – and they create a shape, our shape. We might flow a little out of it sometimes, like a bubble extending itself out in one direction or another – but naturally, we move back into the shape we create for ourselves. This period of time is an invitation for us to look at the shape of our life – and consider what we might shift! That might be thoughts, or negative feelings, or limiting behaviours. I am working much more deeply now – on myself and with others – to use this time to Shape Shift. Let’s Shape Shift our planet together. Let’s wake (the f**k) up!
NS: Just as the lockdown (despite its tragic dimension) has given individuals the opportunity to re-shape themselves and their lives, it perhaps points the way for humanity to get itself into shape. And the forces of nature are helping in that respect. I would ask in what way you think we will shift shape… but I suspect the answer is that we can’t know that. If we come up with some sort of plan or target to aim for, then aren’t we still stuck in the old paradigm? Don’t we have to be completely open to being reshaped in a way that we can’t foresee?
RJR: Let’s ask our readers…
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