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  • Writer's pictureMeg

We Are in This Together

Updated: May 14, 2022


On March 1 I took this photo at Jan Juc. I had set myself up to study but was captivated by the dark and stormy mood of the sea and sky. In this moment I felt I could relate to our collective Mother like never before. I felt more dark and stormy (than usual) too. As I studied the Focus of the Month for March, little did I know it would be my last month of teaching Yoga Dojo for a while. I felt a bracing within my body and uninspired contemplating “the stages on the path”.

On March 11 the WHO declared COVID a global pandemic, I heard this news on the radio on the way to work and realised that shit was about to get real in health care.

On the March 20th a fellow colleague and I joked that we should start a tally on the office whiteboard of the number of days worked on the frontline (without PPE) during pandemonium, we started the tally from Friday the 13th of March.

On March 19 I told a supervisor I felt uncomfortable still seeing people face-to-face when other agencies had closed to work from home. Though their intentions were good in directing me to counselling services for staff, I felt unheard. I had concerns for the safety of myself and the already (often medically compromised) clients I see each week. I started to worry that I may be an asymptomatic carrier.

On March 23 I got so overwhelmed hearing each person coming into reception complaining about toilet paper and spaghetti that I closed the doors to my consulting room and practiced legs up the wall (in high heels) to ground myself.

On March 24 it dawned on me that my partner could lose his job.

On March 25 we watched too many hours of news. I was so overwhelmed, that I started a bickering argument over dishes, then when asked what was wrong, cried, and cried, and cried. My trauma-informed therapist friend’s online sharing helped me to realise that the contextual, collective trauma that was unfolding was activating personal traumatic memory of insecurity and instability from childhood.

On March 26 I worked my first day from home, I did less working and more calling IT for remote access support. On this particular night I would have taught but yoga studios had been shut down shortly after gyms. I was glad have more space in my stressful transition week but heavy aggrieved at the loss of contact with my spiritual community.

On March 27 I spent my first career ADO with Katie, I confessed that I’d been manifesting a home-based lifestyle like those I’d read in Retrosuberbia and perhaps should have been more careful what I wish for. Instead of going to the three day festival we’d excitedly anticipated for months, we walked on the beach – I felt soothed. A few days later they closed access to beaches to non-residents.

On April 1 we moved into our new home. I was bleeding heavily but the promise of security had me lifting and cleaning and unpacking like a woman possessed. Since that day I have not watched TV – because we don’t have one. I’ve lived in TV-free households before and it was good then but its even better now. That week was the slowest, most frustrating work week of my life but I was pleased to have time and space to nest.

On April 10 Pat told me it wasn’t responsible to sneak off to the (extremely socially isolated) bush to spend Easter at home with my in-laws, as is our tradition. I cried. That week leading up to Easter I guess I had denied anything was wrong and deluded myself into thinking things could be as they have always been. 

In accepting this emotional loss, the long weekend at home helped me to expand. The itchy irritability held within my nervous system was discharged with movement and rest. We planted out our garden, I started setting aside hours for reading yoga books and doing – nothing much at all (a radical new experience for me). I was interviewed by my friend Tessa about my own mental health and healing journey that weekend too (its a big and beautiful story and it will never end). On Easter Monday, in a synchronistic way, I walked into Pat’s study at the exactly time his live stream of the ABC News was reporting on the closure of hospitals on the Northwest Coast of Tasmania. My Mum and best friend Ella who live and work there were obliged to quarantine for two weeks.

Last week I worked four days from home, the video platform didn’t work once but I had some powerful phone sessions and somehow coordinated risk assessments remotely. It was the fastest work week of my life. I told my supervisor on Friday afternoon that after four weeks of business-unusual, I felt as though I’d landed. I had honoured the messiness of my experience when it began and hence avoided a crash landing. I felt myself softly landing on the tarmac – after a several week journey – like we did when we used to fly.

As I have throughout the pandemic, this week my priority has been slowness and rest. For me, resting involves pottering around the house, tidying, taking the time to make something wholesome to eat, yoga including yoga nidra, reading and rolling around in infinite time and space. I still feel a little wired at times, perhaps from more time behind a screen, but mostly I like this slowness of self-isolation. I still have a job and I still feel just as connected to the people in my life. I am so grateful for that. This week I have got things done that have sat on my to-do list for the last several weeks, because I finally felt that I had the personal power to do them. That includes sharing these thoughts with you – I wanted to put my heart into sharing my experience of indeed a very trying time.

Today is Earth Day, I fed the wild birds a few more seeds than usual this morning and enjoyed the warmth of the autumn afternoon. As a collective I believe that we are reconnecting with the wild, earthy essence that exists within us and the interconnectedness we have with each other, non-human animals and the planet we all share.

Tomorrow Mum and Ella no longer have to quarantine.

Next weekend I will have my 27th birthday in self isolation. I’m looking forward to opening a bottle of champagne and sitting in the garden with my beloved.

I hear that on May 11 we will no longer have to self isolate, I’m still not sure how I feel about that prospect.

The Barefoot Investor has forecast that the heath care crisis may have been averted in Australia but a financial crisis is just beginning to brew. In five months from now the already sluggish economy is predicted to bottom out with very high rates of unemployment.

I know that the days, weeks, months and years ahead will be tough for many of us, indeed the social poverty associated with this recession is going to be enormous. For those of us more privileged, like myself, let us remember to extent a hand of support to others where we can. Be mindful not to spread fear but also not toxic positivity. Breathe, deeply. Share your own experience, truthfully. Stay in the slow lane. Recognise your every action affects us all, for better or for worse. Wash your hands. Play. Soothe yourself when it all gets too much. Take more breaks than usual. Meditate. Count your blessings. Grow your own food. Recognise your capacity to outgrow the old and outdated ideas about our current mainstream food and economic systems. Listen, to the hum and buzz of it all. Move, in whatever way you feel to. Smile. Continue to support small businesses in whatever way you can. Enjoy the pleasure of social engagement when you have it, however and with whomever you have it with. Study. As you sit isolated in your warm, spacious home, empathise with the animals that spend their lives in cages so cold and small they can’t roll over or flap their wings – all so we might enjoy bacon and eggs. Cry and give yourself permission to feel your humanness and the messiness of that. Enjoy the feeling of the Earth beneath your feet.

It gets said a lot but lately I feel in down to my bones; we are all in this together. May we never forget this lesson of just how interconnected we are with all of life.

Thanks for reading,

Meg x



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