We have woken up to a simple yet profound truth…
Everything and everyone is connected.
These are extraordinary times.
I’ve just returned from my ‘one form of daily outdoor exercise’. And I write this, locked down at home, during a global pandemic. I never thought I’d write that sentence in a non-fiction context. Weird. It’s all quite surreal.
Moments like this bring all the things we take for granted into focus. And we gain clarity on the under-the-surface norms and ideologies that underpin our beliefs and values. The more we disconnect and physically isolate, the more we can see how connected we truly are.
Everything impacts everything else.
Emotions, information, and ideas spread like subsidiary metaphorical viruses from one person to the next. Markets crash when the proverbial butterfly wings flap gently on the other side of the world. And the image of a single shelf of empty toilet paper can lead to mass hysteria and global panic buying of something that wasn’t a problem until it became a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Everything is Connected
In this month’s podcast I decided to develop this theme of connection. So I connected with friends (some old and some new), and invited them to share some encouragement during this period of uncertainty and upheaval.
It’s turned into the longest episode I’ve ever produced. I had a great time putting it together, and am excited to share the lovely responses from my big hearted gentle rebel friends. I asked them two questions: ‘how are you connecting right now?’ And ‘what does this make possible for you, for us, and for the world?’
How are You Connecting Right Now?
We are connecting with other people in different ways. We are connecting with new parts of ourselves. And we are connecting with aspects of society that have been inaccessible until now.
We are Connecting With Others
“It’s wonderful to have this technology. In a time when we must physically distance, we don’t actually have to socially distance.” – Mark Pierce
“Even though I’m an introvert, I know my limits. And I know that it can feel easy for me to go days without seeing anyone in person. But I still desperately need to connect with others. I need to be heard, and I need to hear others. And ideally I need to see them, even if it’s just on video. I just need to remember that.” – Cat Rose
“I am connected more with my friends, and I even connect more with my family at home. Because we are doing things like playing games and spending time together which we don’t often do.” – Lydia Wilmsen
“There have been moments of connection with strangers. Exchanging eye contact which says ‘this is weird isn’t it?’ There’s a moment of connection there. This shared loneliness is making it all a bit less lonely.” – Neil Hughes
“The family Zoom conference was such a rich experience for us. We laughed and reminded each other of how much we care. These digital tools can be used to continue spreading fear, static, and frustration in the world. Or it can provide a forum for laughter, where there’s real connection.” – Jacob Nordby
We Can Connect With Ourselves
“The world is slowing down. And it’s really tangible. We can feel it. We’re all part of this. We all contribute. And this global quiet is a result of all of us slowing down.” – Ben Fizell
“I’m connecting on the inside. I’m meditating and spending time doing inner work. And it’s such an empowering feeling because I don’t feel helpless or fearful. By going inwards, I feel as though I’m connecting with others in a telepathic sort of way.” – Carol Chapman
“We can begin listening out for patterns that show up inside us. A lot of panic and fear comes from other fears. Not just outer circumstances. It is stuff which is already in us. And right now we have more time to really look and go deep. This provides a huge potential for personal growth.” – Lydia Wilmsen
What Does This Make Possible?
“An event is something that brings to light a possibility that was invisible or even unthinkable. An event itself is not by itself the creation of a reality: it is the creation of a possibility, it opens up a possibility. It indicates to us that a possibility exists that has been ignored.” – Alain Badiou
Possibility is a powerful idea. It is not positive or negative. But is simply neutral. And at a time like this it is perhaps one inevitability. The past might be impossible to get back to. All we have is possibilities. Some of which were inconceivable just weeks ago.
“The bad news is we’re all in this together. The good news is we’re all in this together. Everyone is experiencing this and it’s the first time in our lifetime, that the entire world has had to agree upon a single problem.” – Jacob Nordby
“It’s like a big awakening and together we can all rise to a higher state of consciousness and make the world a better place. It’s an opportunity to evolve our way of being in the world by working together for the good of all humanity and the planet.” – Carol Chapman
“When the important things are threatened, we start to realise just how important they are. I hope, when this crisis lifts, we can keep hold of that. And make compassion-driven decisions based on what actually matters” – Cat Rose
“We have been forced to take a great big pause and people are asking themselves, what do I actually want out of life? How do I want to navigate my relationships? What’s important to me? We’re in the middle of a shift here. It might be messy and it might be really intense. And it’s okay.” – Lauren Sapala
What Can We Create?
“I think we really do have a possibility to create a more peaceful and connected world. What kind of a world do we want to live in when we come out of this? This can guide the choices we make around what we do with our time now as we go through it.” – Ben Fizell
“When the pressure’s on and we’re squeezed, that’s when we see what’s inside us. It’s not always what we’d hope it would be. If we become aware and take note, then it’s a huge opportunity to grow. And it’s a massive opportunity to mature and step forward.” – Mark Pierce
“Despite all the weird things going on in the world (people swerving Corona Beer and fighting over toilet roll), I’m very optimistic about people. Part of me hopes this could be a time when we can wake up a bit and we build a new social safety net…at the very least we’re all going to be washing my hands more in future, which is nice.” – Neil Hughes
Watch the Video Version of the Episode
About The Contributors
He is a meditation and mindfulness teacher. He runs the Peacekeeper Project. And his mission is to create a more peaceful and connected world by helping people quiet our busy minds and live from our hearts. Stillness and sensitivity run through the core of what he teaches. I connected with him through Faris Khalifeh on this recent video call.
She is one of the founding members of Hearts Rise Up. She provides resources to help people build patience, practice mindfulness, and nurture humility, as we rise up into the people we are becoming. I first connected Carol through the INFSummit at the start of 2020.
She coaches creative introverts and hosts The Creative Introvert Podcast. She also runs the League of Creative Introverts, where she helps people overcome their biggest struggles and live their most quietly creative life. In other words, she LOVES connecting with creative introverts and helping them live life in a way that reflects who they truly are. I first connected with Cat many years ago – we were arranging a UK introvert meet-up soon, but it was postponed because of the virus lockdown.
He is a writer and creative guide. The author of The Divine Arsonist – A Tale of Awakening, Blessed Are the Weird – A Manifesto for Creatives, and his forthcoming book, The Creative Cure, set to release in 2020. He leads Creative unBootcamp, a live, online course designed to help you heal the connection to your creative self. Blessed are the Weird blew my mind, and I was SO glad to connect with Jacob in person after reading it.
She is a writer, writing coach, and an INFJ. She wrote the book The INFJ Writer, a writing guide for intuitive introverts, HSPs, empaths and all other sensitive, struggling artists. I have a lot of time for Lauren because she gives so much to the community of introverts and highly sensitive people, always finding ways to support and encourage us.
She is a business coach and runs the Successful Sensitive Entrepreneurs Facebook group. I first connected with her after the INFSummit, and we have had some fascinating exchanges over the past few weeks.
He is a creative professional who has spent over 25 years working in the sweet spot where photography, design, and music collide. He lives in North Wales, UK, with his wife and daughter. I was fortunate enough to connect with Mark in person last year, after staying in a little cabin beneath a mountain in the next town along. Read more about that experience here.
He is a comedian, writer, physicist and – most of all – a worrier. He put all these things together to write his first book – ‘Walking on Custard & the Meaning of Life’—a comedy guidebook for life with anxiety. The short version of his talk about mental health and custard has been viewed over a quarter of a million times. When he’s not rambling about pudding, he’s releasing books about magical shops filled with human personality traits, or muttering bitterly at a pub quiz quizmaster.
He also makes me laugh a lot, as you will hear in the episode.
I was supposed to be in Lapland this week hanging out with my friends, Tuula and Timo. Alas. The trip was cancelled (for obvious reasons). The pile of thermals, warm clothes, and snow boots sat waiting to be packed. I don’t know when I’ll get to wear them. So I wore them while recording the podcast. Then I put them away.
One More Minute from One World Less: https://music.andymort.com/album/one-world-less
Hunting for Rabbits from One World Less: https://music.andymort.com/album/one-world-less
Help Me (if you can) from Year 0: https://music.andymort.com/album/year-0
Traveller from Year 0: https://music.andymort.com/album/year-0
Listen to The Gentle Rebel (Extended Play) Private Podcast:
Panic Buying and Other Interesting Things
If you like this topic and want to hear more of my (more personal) thoughts and reflections, as well as some exclusive ‘behind the songs’ insights, you can subscribe to the bonus podcast right now, through Patreon.