At times during this period of lockdown, I’ve felt completely trapped.
But, today I was standing at the top of a set of stairs after collecting my washing and I looked up. In the close distance the Himalayas, the Mussoorie hills, lay in front of me. Looking calm, looking green and bold and bulging with life.
That’s when I realised, my mind was the trap. It doesn’t matter my surroundings or how the external circumstances keep me in one place for a long period of time... it is my mind that traps me. Into thinking I’m not moving forward or I’m stuck or that we’re at a stand still. That stuck feeling is a choice. It's my choice to believe that even when I can see the expanse of the North of India, even though I'm surrounded by people I love, when I'm cooking more than ever, building a business slowly but surely and learning what it is to help raise a friends child... it is my choice to feel entrapped in my mind. But today, I will choose differently.
What if I could change my mind? What if I could untrap my entrapped self? What if I could release myself from my own mental constraints?
Changing your mind takes practice and repetition, choosing new thoughts when the old ones pop in. Instead of feeling trapped, I’ll choose to feel free. I’ll choose to read something new or watch a new series. I’ll choose to talk to friends and family. I’ll choose to be kind to myself even in the most demotivating or low points of this experience of lockdown but one that could free us all.
I’ve seen people talking about using this time wisely and focusing on being disciplined... today I even read a quote that just pissed me off. It said something like, if you don’t learn a new skill, get active or something else with this time, then it’s not that you didn’t have time before, it’s that you don’t have discipline. I call bullshit on that.
We are all in this completely strange and unknown space and it takes time to get into a new swing and just when you think you’ve got it, you’ve found your new motivation, it disappears again. It’s not enough to be disciplined, that gets you so far and maybe doesn’t work at all for some people... it’s also about being inspired and passionate and feeling safe. It’s also about the removal of fear and uncertainty, replacing that with curiosity and excitement for what could be.
You have to find new stimulations and new ways to think without the external to prompt you. Or you have to create new external triggers like reading a book, watching a new documentary or something to create inspiration. This feeling of inspiration comes and goes much like motivation. Or, rather than looking for external triggers, sit with your internal self. Consider your thoughts, consider your essence, your body and what your physical sensations tell you about how you're feeling. Maybe it's a chance to become more in tune with ones silent self. Or just to be able to learn to silence oneself.
Instead of being hard on ourselves when we come out of this, like we didn’t learn a new language or we didn’t learn a new skill and now we’re not good enough... let’s just be kind to ourselves and each other.
Let’s be unjudging.
Let’s listen openly to how other people experienced this time.
Let’s just be caring.
Let’s release our own minds from the burdens of ourselves.
Look out at nature, grab an inch of perspective and untrap your mind from the constraints of the physical lockdown.