By Margaret Johnson
I recently saw a New Yorker cartoon on Instagram. The image depicted two friends in a living room, looking bored. The caption read, “I can’t wait to forget everything I learned about myself during the quarantine.”
Yes, we are definitely moving out of quarantine. In the last few weeks alone, it seems like so much has opened up. People are out. They are traveling, exercising at gyms, dining in, and even going to movie theaters. It all seems quite remarkable!
There is a lot of forward momentum to plan, fill up the calendar and step out of the past year. Indeed, it is a time for acknowledging that we are on the other side of a very challenging period.
But, before we step fully into all of that new activity, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on the past year. Maybe there are insights that are worthy of bringing forward.
What did you learn about yourself and your life during the pandemic? Perhaps you noticed that you enjoyed more unscheduled time. Perhaps you discovered new aspects of yourself. Perhaps you connected with nature. Perhaps you engaged with Spirit more often. Perhaps your perspective and priorities changed.
How can you take those transformations with you as life opens up?
Our world is an amazing place. It offers an incredible, non-stop supply of shiny objects that grab our attention with a blink of an eye, or a swipe of our phone. It is easy to get distracted, ungrounded, and disconnected from our inner realm.
Our attention can be grabbed and held by a myriad of external sources. It can be tempting to look outside ourselves for meaning, validation and purpose. We can get locked into the roller coaster of the outer world and get whipsawed, bruised and confused.
Among all of its challenges, the coronavirus gave us an unexpected opportunity to get quiet and simplify. For many, there was a lot of unfilled, unplanned time at home. We had an unusual opportunity to focus our attention inward.
Now as life is opening up, it is important to become aware of where we want to place our attention. We have the ability to re-engage with people, activities and the outer world, while remembering to practice connecting within.
To be “in the world, and not of it.”
In this way, we can put ourselves in the driver’s seat of our car of life versus finding ourselves in the backseat, hoping we somehow get where we want to go. So often we unconsciously allow the outside world to dictate how we experience ourselves and the decisions we make.
When we focus our attention outside of ourselves, it is easy to forget that we create our reality from the inside out. We can begin to attach our identity to the outer world and try to derive our internal sense of ok-ness from it. When that unfolds, we start riding that circular, roller-coaster of life–complete with big ups and downs.
We give our power away to the outside environment. “I won’t be happy until my partner changes.” “I can’t feel good about myself as long as I am in this job.” “Once my body looks a certain way, I can feel vibrant and healthy.”
I invite you to activate the power of your attention. As we emerge from this pandemic, remember that you have the power to direct your focus. Your attention is an incredible resource. Be aware of it and your ability to direct it.
Take time to go within. Take time to meditate so you can inventory your experience of you. How is it going? What do you like? What do you want to release or transform? What do you truly want to create? Take time to connect with the essence of who you are: an infinite being of light. A soul having an adventure in the physical realm.
When we go inward, we can align with the creative power of our spiritual nature. We can say hello to that energy and activate it. We can set intention to manifest where we want to drive in our car of life.
It is an incredible world. There is much to explore, enjoy and experience. And, when we engage with the world with the awareness of our spiritual dimension, everything changes.
To learn powerful meditation techniques that support turning inward, check out our free Meditation For Living program along with other classes and events at the Inner Connection Institute.