The Pain of 2020: Planting Something New
The pain we’ve been feeling this year is both a combination of things dying and other things which are being born. With awareness, we can discern the difference and find a healthy pathway forward into a new life.
This has been very challenging. It’s been Covid-19 with more than a million deaths around the globe. It’s bee global financial disruption and disaster. It’s been #Black Lives Matter with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others fueling the fire to send millions to march in the streets. It’s been a bitter and divisive fight between Trump vs. Biden, right vs. left. Let’s not forget the natural disasters ravaging the US with massive hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. And all of the global disasters have felt like gasoline poured on the fires of our regularly-scheduled personal crises. We have all felt the oppressive pain and pressure of a truly unforgettable year.
Death and Birth
But as we are getting ready to say adios to 2020, we gotta remember that just like many forest fires, we will grow back stronger after these personal and global disasters. It’s nice to remember that some trees actually need the a wildfire to break open their cones and seed a new generation.
While some of the pain we are feeling this year is the necessary fire we need to seed a brighter future, other pain we’re feeling this year is the pressure of new things now being born.
One of these things that is being born is a global movement of consciousness. We can no longer stand by and watch to see what happens for our future. There is a reckoning happening. and the world is calling on you to join this movement, to wake up to your potential, to step up your Awareness or to step out of the way. The world needs you to seed the future.
As a world, we are waking up to our potential and purpose, causing many old paradigms and institutions to disintegrate under the strain of this change in global consciousness. Right before our eyes, we are watching armies demobilize, countries working together more than ever before, and institutionalized racism, bigotry, sexism, and disregard for the environment begin to crack and crumble. As a world, we are recognizing those things which are fundamentally opposite of our highest potential, and we are unwilling to accept it anymore.
But despite the relief in the passing of some old and broken institutions, we are nonetheless in the dying process of old ways of being and we all feel the pain of that revolution. We feel it in the form of collective rage, disgust, and an uneasiness or confusion of what the future will bring.
All this death reminds me of the Hindu goddess, Kali. In representations of her, she looks like she could be the lovechild between Gene Simmons and a pirate. She has wild eyes, a skirt made of severed arms and heads, a threatening sword raised above her head, and blood dripping off her long, serpentine tongue. Yet, Kali is a regarded compassionate deity. That’s right. She’s the one who says, “Enough, already!” and severs what needs to die. In truth, what she represents is killing our unconsciousness, putting asunder our old self so that we can be resurrected as our most conscious beings. Still, blood is blood and even though some things do need to die, this year has shown us that even necessary deaths can still hurt.
While some of the pain we feel this year is from things changing and dying, it’s also true that some of the pain we are experiencing is actually birthing pains. Whether we asked for it or not, we are being born into something new. After the death of what didn’t serve us any longer, it’s normal to feel the pressure of confusion about how to reinvent ourselves. We have identified as that old and broken thing for so long, we don’t know who we’d be as something else. Though we are being born into something new, we may experience the pressure that comes with that newness.
Resources for Perspective
Yet, in truth, there are powerful resources, like the relaxing and illuminating practice of Yoga Nidra that can be a tremendous asset in times like these, such as a robust internal sense of empathy, a broad perspective over life’s purpose and problems, and a ready capacity to be present with what is. When we can draw upon our ability to be compassionate, responsive and not reactive, empathetic, and loving to self, we can better access the greater love that is available outside the chaos or trigger.
But even with the world waking up to Awareness, who’s going to clean up this messy world?
What have you discovered about yourself during this year and what has helped you to resource your best self to manage this difficult year?
Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott just moved back to Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.