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Is it the right thing?

On Good Friday our friends who are neighbours went on their daily after-dinner walk and texted to say they were coming by so we could have a social distance how-do-you-do. We gathered on our porch as they stood down on the sidewalk. But we both have kids and the need in them to commingle is strong. Slowly they became closer and closer, and we all watched and yelled out the occasional “6 feet apart!” And watched as our children, aged 10 and younger, did their damn hardest to wrap their minds around this weird new rule that makes no sense to them. They did so well trying to make up a new way to race each other where they’re not actually standing side by side. I watched as Gracie held Lily back, to ensure she was keeping her distance. And I watched as the conditioning set in and wondered, will it take them as much time as it will take us as adults to come back into each other’s space, to embrace each other, to see each other as friends and not look with a thin veil of suspicion trying to see any microscopic speck of bacteria that might be lingering? I watched our kids try to figure out how to be with each other without being in close contact, which is counterintuitive to their nature and felt a squeeze in my chest with each car rolling by. Are they looking at us? Are they reaching for their cell phone? Are we breaking a law right now? We’re doing our best, my kids haven’t seen other kids in such close proximity for weeks, are we doing the wrong thing? I cannot help question the narrative running in my own mind now, the noise is so LOUD even I am having a hard time shutting it out. Because inherently I want to do the right thing. And so this is where we begin.

I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks, and it’s been burning in me. Truly, I mean that I physically have felt everything that’s been happening in the world. It’s manifesting in shoulder, neck and back tension, frequent headaches, nausea. Do you feel it? I know I’m not alone. I’ve written, deleted, edited, rewritten this same entry time and time again. You might already follow me on Instagram and seen some of the stories I’m sharing, I have so much to say. I’m so scared to say it. But I’m more compelled than I am scared. I write this with a deep pulse of LOVE and hope you feel that when you read it.

If you’re here because you want my Silver Lining Lessons, stop now and pop your info here. And if you’re ready to journey through some hard shit with me, then please, keep going. And share this blog!

I’ve never lived in such a polarizing time. And I know that because of my privilege, of where I was born, the time I live in, that I have a life that is far more comfortable even now than the majority of people on this earth. So understand that I write knowing my position. I know too that this topic is divisive, complex, confusing and mind bending and that some people will have hurt feelings or anger in reading it, we’re all experiencing our own “lockdown”. I’ve come to the place that I can’t allow my own complacency in not speaking up when I feel like something is very much amiss. This quote from the Talmud comes to my mind over and over: “If not me, then who? If not now, then when?” I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve held my own opinions on something because I felt scared of hurting someone else. It’s why I’ve thrown this article in the trash over and over. But I’m moving forward, for my own self preservation, to not be that party who enabled by their omission. Part of the new reality I build from this includes speaking my truth no matter what.

In previous edits I wrote out facts and data and calculated rates but I’m not doing that this time. I’m not a medical professional, I’m not a scientist, and that will always be relevant in my writing; I’m just an ordinary human who is paying attention and sees something I can’t hold back on. And nothing that I write, now or in future, is meant to be hurtful and I also know that some will perceive it as such, as we all are experiencing everything through our own lens. I also know that this is how I’m feeling now, in this moment, and that there may come a time I no longer feel that way. This too is okay, for me and for you. We need to be okay with having some differing opinions, we need to hear these different thoughts and we need to be discerning when we make up our own minds. And we need to keep connecting back in to see if this is still true for us.

What’s true for me right now is that, though I can definitely survive this imposed isolation, I don’t agree that it’s necessary. I believe it’s far more detrimental to our wellbeing than we can actually currently imagine and I worry what the outcome will look like. As I write this, all of my basic needs are met, and for that I’m eternally grateful. Many are not so fortunate and I wonder when we speak of taking this stance “for the greater good” if we truly understand that concept. It’s not the measures we’re taking that I have issue with, it’s why we’re taking them that feels incongruent.

Lockdown life with these 3

The issue for me isn’t about being relegated to our homes with no timeline for a return to what once was, though the uncertainty can be worrisome, the issue is how we handle ourselves and our health when it’s been challenged. Ultimately for you to be on board with the measures we’re collectively taking right now, you would need to believe that your health is outside of your body, that it’s not within your control. You need to follow germ theory that includes viruses being contracted in certain ways. You need to believe that this particular virus is in a different category than what we face day in, day out. You need to believe that mainstream media isn’t manipulating facts and outright lying to ensure that you stay gripped by the daily dose of fear and panic they’re doling out. You would need to believe that there is an unmanageable viral outbreak and that in order to cure it we will need to look to medicine that isn’t currently developed.

When I was 15, my family doctor, who has since retired, was testing me for strep. After palpating my neck and looking in my throat she said she was certain that it was indeed strep. And then she said the most accurate thing a doctor has said in my presence “Well it looks like strep but, just like anyone else, I’m guessing. And doctors are wrong 50% of the time!” After doing the swab and sending in the culture it came back that I did not have strep but instead mononucleosis and the difference is that the heavy duty antibiotics she had prescribed wouldn’t be effective.

When we have a belief that our medical practitioners are infallible, we put ourselves, and them, into a dangerous situation. We are so used to outsourcing our health care that we somehow feel we are no longer responsible. And if we are not responsible then we are not to blame should anything go wrong.

This line of thinking is precisely how we could so easily become complacent when something like a pandemic should arise.

We’re witnessing the extraordinary, a global response to a perceived threat where everyone follows the same basic measures – this type of collaboration only works if we all subscribed to the same set of beliefs. Not for famine, for violence, for human rights or for the environment have we ever been so cohesive (but imagine if we did??). If this is a focus on health and disease management, why hasn’t all conversation turned to the best holistic ways we could understand and manage our immune system? We’ve actually made it next to impossible for anyone outside of conventional medicine to see, treat or advise their patients right now, precisely at the time when it’s most needed. There is a gain here for some, you can easily sort that our yourself and it’s hard to ignore.

Our deepest fear, facing our own mortality, is being continually poked but why? Is it really true that this virus is more deadly than any of the other colds and flus we are faced with year over year? The numbers so far, though reportedly terribly inaccurate, are still quite low. The projections were nightmarish, yet the numbers are low. Is it because we all did such a great job of ‘flattening the curve’ by self isolating? Some would argue so. And for those who do, I wonder how they believe we’ll manage to move along when we stop isolating and social distancing. Or do we just never stop? Some argue that we’re building powerful antibodies in this time, but how does one build antibodies if they aren’t exposed to the virus? I’m not pretending to know the answers, but the questions beg asking. You can find any manner of different theories to give you the answer you most feel comfortable with, I am still seeking mine.

No matter what your belief is around what the virus is, how severe it is or how one should best treat it, we seem to think that ultimately we just shouldn’t get sick, we shouldn’t face death. I’m not minimizing anyone’s experience with losing someone they love right now, it is always sad when a life is lost. It is tragic when someone we care for is taken before it feels it’s their time. But we can’t make ourselves immune to that by simply pushing death away. We could better understand how illness has always played vital roles in biology, how as we contract and heal from illness we strengthen our immune systems. But over the last 100 years we have tirelessly worked to ensure no one is lost to what we deem to be controllable illnesses. Is that our decision to make?

We’ve heard now from our own PM that we can’t expect things to go back to normal until a vaccine has been created. I’m not making this a vaccine debate, but I am curious…if we vaccinate now for this low-risk virus, what do we do next year? Logic says we would just simply create a new vaccine each time, but would that be in our best interest? Do we know the safety and efficacy of a vaccine if it’s being rushed to manufacturing? If we do have an adverse reaction, will there be recourse? We know Bill Gates, the largest pusher of vaccines to date, has claimed indemnity on any patents in his name that go forward. Curious!

Beyond the vaccine safety, its ingredients, its agenda, it makes me believe something deeper about humanity. We don’t trust ourselves, we don’t trust our bodies, we don’t trust our own ability to maintain health. We are constantly battling sickness and misnaming it healthcare. I read recently a quote that said we are so afraid of dying and yet we are not living – THIS. I feel this. We somehow have decided that we are not okay with our own mortality and that we believe we should be able to overcome it. And yet we don’t live fully — we medicate, we sink into deep depressions and addictions, we don’t give voice to our authentic selves. We want a contrived panacea to make everything seem as though it’s okay when it isn’t.

Everything has been amplified in this time. We see now that the margins we live in are so tight that if our ability to make money alters or disappears, we are in ruin. We see now that we are estranged from our partners, our children, and ourselves to such a degree that when we don’t have our constant stream of distractions, we might be tipped over the edge. We live with so many broken systems that just limp along barely functioning that when a global stop is impressed upon us, we can’t manage them and people are left desolate. We somehow have been complacent enough to believe that shutting ourselves inside, keeping away from others, is what will keep us well. And yet none of us can attest to feeling more alive, can we?

Right now people want to sound the alarm bells because several hundred Canadians have died, reportedly, from this virus. But if we try to question what’s going on, question our news source, our healthcare providers we are condemned as though we do not care about people. And yet, it’s because I care so deeply for people, my family being number one, that I have to question what’s really happening here. My three children and my husband are the absolute lights of my life, and though being housebound day in and day out poses myriad issues for us, I can be locked down with them for eons and that won’t destroy me. It isn’t that part. It’s that I don’t believe we need to be locked down to begin with, that’s what I have a problem with. And watching as people willingly give up their livelihood, shut down their businesses in many cases for good, cancel the plans they spent years planning and saving for, because they’ve been told it’s for the greater good. For the greater good? If we’re really going to throw terms like that around we best understand them. It would be for the greater good if we had a thriving and sustainable economy, a healthy community that could rally around those who are compromised or unwell, to properly shelter them from illness, to be able to extend gestures of food, cover lost income, offer holistic hands-on healing. That’s how we care about the greater good. We have to really check in and go deeper than the numbers, the click bait articles, the 5-alarm news being thrown at us to decipher what is actually going on and who is affected.

Because if we’re reacting like this now, why haven’t we before? Why aren’t we every flu season?? Why haven’t we, globally, gone into revolt over the staggering number of children diagnosed with autoimmune diseases or ASD? Why don’t we stop wasting totally decent food in the name of starvation? Why don’t we collectively ban alcohol or cigarettes when we know they are deadly? Why don’t we exercise more caution in driving cars when we know accidents are so fatal? How can fast food still be sold when obesity is such an issue? Why now is the point. What is so important NOW.

I saw an ER doc that shared that we are “fighting WWIII against this virus right now” and I that’s when I turned off all social media for a week and never returned to mainstream news. I think we can all agree that saying something that is both so fear-inducing and intensely minimizing for people who currently live in war torn areas of the world is beyond reprehensible. That’s apparently that one doctor’s experience right now, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of bravely outspoken medical professionals who have the complete opposite view. Who are sharing non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical approaches to mitigating the devastation of this virus. Who are sharing their own estimates of how minimal this virus is in light of others we face more commonly. Who are sharing their decades long research on how germ theory isn’t what we once believed it to be. That’s all getting buried, people don’t want to listen to that. And I say they’re bravely sharing their views because it’s brutal out there, society is chomping at the bit to unleash their pent up aggression right now. These docs have nothing to gain and everything to lose by their honesty. What would mainstream media have to gain I wonder?

What it also brought up for me was the thought of how pervasive this agenda truly is. The comparison to war made me think of the millions of people who were slaughtered in WWII. And how we can all, now, point our fingers at Hitler, be shook by his malevolent worldview. But what’s breathtaking isn’t how one man had crazy, sick ideas about humanity, because there are heaps of those guys out there. The problem is the millions of people who violently supported his view because they were deeply afraid.

Fear will do things to people. It will make us look at a scene like I described above on Good Friday outside my house and be worried that we’ve done something wrong. It will make my neighbours see that same scene and think “I’d better do something here, I’ll call the cops.” It emphasizes the divide like nothing else, it brings out the best in some and the worst in many. When we’re meant to all be in it together, we’re also being socially isolated to ensure we can’t possibly maintain a level of community. So that we are easily swayed to “do the right thing” and let the police know when you see someone walking less than 6 feet away from someone else, or enjoying a cup of coffee alone at the waterfront on a bench. Look inside yourself, you’ll see how close to that edge you already stand. And it can maybe allow us to look at something like the Holocaust or Rwandan Genocide with a different understanding. Us against them is in conditioning, and we’re being conditioned in a way we’ve never before experienced.

It’s only been a few weeks! Sheesh! I know. I get what you’re thinking and saying right now. In light of the majority of the world’s highly disadvantaged population my complaints can seem outrageous. My basic needs for myself and my family are being met right now. But I’ll be brave enough to say that basic isn’t good enough when you don’t believe that we are in the fight for our lives. And even if you do believe that we are battling a highly contagious deadly virus, how long are you willing to shelter in place? What else will you willingly give up? Will you be okay when they want you to carry a certificate claiming you’re healthy? Are you okay with surveillance or microchip ID? Just curious. I wonder what the bottom line is for the complacent folks right now.

I know this isn’t anyone’s plan A, not even those who are still earning their paycheque and not going into work. I don’t think anyone is thriving right now. And my hopeful place in all this mess is that we are being encouraged like never before to collectively STOP, to reorganize our thoughts and to push forward in a way that we never have before. A new world is being built, we all see now how “normal” wasn’t working out. We’re being offered an invitation to bring compassion, awareness and consciousness to our decisions shaping this next chapter.

In my Silver Linings Lessons I talk all about how we can perceive now as being given the grace to completely revolutionize our way of living. We now know how quickly we can all choose to live differently, we can continue our education on being better stewards to the earth and to each other. Remember to pop in your name so I can send you your copy!

Each day I am redefining my reality, I am all about finding the ideal aspects of life and amplifying them, that is my work. So though I have felt vast amounts of fear and concern I have also felt a wellspring of hope. I am actively participating in shaping the view of this time for my children, by protecting them from media and adult conversations, by maintaining a daily rhythm, by cooking nourishing food and engaging in fun, laughter and play. I’m doing this for myself too. Ultimately I believe that our reality is shaped by our perspective and mine has always been one of joy, love and truth. I’ve never been one to conform or live conventionally and that’s being challenged more now than it has before, but it’s allowing me to better speak up and share what my heart says. There is deep, intuitive wisdom in each of us and many feel disconnected from that source. Though we’re being beckoned onto our couches to fall back into a Netflix and fast food induced coma right now, we can choose to sift through the information we’re being given and find our own truth in the matter. It may define how we continue forth when this all ends, it may inform the shape of our lives evermore. There is no right or wrong way to feel right now, but it’s wise for us to sit through the confusion and fear and understand what matters most.

I’ve always felt like I was outside the norm, in my peer groups, my family, my place of work, there was always something different about me. For most of my life I allowed my own narrative to take place, in peace, internally and quietly went about living in disagreement with most. But now that the way I want to continue living feels challenged I can’t help but speak up more. I’m in a constant state of learning, trying to better understand humanity right now, trying to best identify my own core values so that I can strongly stay aligned body, mind and soul. More now than ever it feels like I don’t know where there is space here for me. It’s knocked me off balance but it’s also allowed me to build courage in living life on my terms. I don’t know what the future holds for any of us but I believe there is space for us all to think and to decide what’s best for us individually and as a whole. And maybe we’ll build a new world to better honour that.

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