Little did I know what the adventure trip with my daughter really had in store. Last autumn my daughter begun her 6 month internship in Madrid. Her fluent Spanish would get another boost and we decided to take a road trip together both in Spain and Portugal before flying back home to Helsinki, Finland. End of February we met up in Madrid and some days later I had my first symptoms, severe stomach flu and aching. We still continued our 2000 km route, with some days off in between. We experienced and shared great moments in beautiful places - not yet knowing that THE virus had joined the trip.
Back home the symptoms continued but luckily mildly and I could manage just staying in home quarantine. I have fully recovered and I would like to point out that most of us will, too. However, whenever I fell into the fear mode, my symptoms got stronger. This is really a mind over matter quest, so you'd better keep safe also in your thoughts!
Despite all odds, I can see good things coming out of these unprecedented times. Would anything have changed if we were not being stopped in our tracks so dramatically? In my case many small things have gotten a new meaning. During my home quarantine I missed many things that I used to take for granted, like freedom to shop or go out for lunch and meet people and much more. Suffering from severe headaches, I couldn't really do much else than turn inwards to reflect and listen in. I felt this amazing gratitude for each day and I learned to calm down, be fully present, listen to my body talking and find inner peace. I also went on the memory lane, enjoying amazing photos from my summer place as it is not possible to visit this area for now.
I have always been on the go, working efficiently with clear goals to reach. My body has willingly adjusted to the high pace and I've been stretching myself quite often. Until now I really didn't know how to deeply relax and just be.
Presence has got a new meaning as I have started noticing details with all my senses, embracing the moment and the beautiful nature in springtime. I feel very blessed.
Accept that there are things you can't influence, that you react strongly, that you might feel lost now, that you don’t have answers for many of your questions. Fears are a natural part of this human experience and they showcase where you feel lack of control. Focus now only on what you can influence and let go of other themes.
Fear patterns – our viruses
I have talked about workplace viruses for more than a decade in my work as a corporate trainer. During these times this word has got a new, even deeper meaning. Below a short description of the seven 'viruses' and how these fear patterns get in the way of daily life.
When sabotage takes over, then borders are crossed and bad things start to happen. This virus usually leads to poor decisions and impulsive behaviour, disrespecting others and not playing by any rules.
Greed Give me more, greed whispers. Selfish interests creates friction and a lack of collaboration.
Self Deprecation A poor self confidence is typical for those with self deprecation. It is hard for them to take up space or voice their opinion and therefor people around them easily take advantage of them.
Those who think they know it all create a negative spell around them, that suffocates others - they can't admit their error but rather criticise others for anything.
Martyrdom Workaholic behaviour and blaming others are typical traits to spot the martyr. They try to prove they are super humans, forgetting about any reasonable work-life balance. During these circumstances it is more than easy to slip into this fear pattern.
Impatience When impatience takes over, it is impossible to stay present and focus. Things are left unfinished and there is the restless feel of being two steps behind. Prioritising and good routines are forgotten, life becomes a race against time.
Stubbornness With stubbornness as a fear pattern, changes are very scary. They rather stay stuck in old, familiar ways of doing - even if they are totally outdated in these times.They can't accept that the world as it was is gone and now it's time for reinventing how to move forward.
Here some hints how to cope:
· Breath deeply a few times, whenever you feel stressed
· Focus on one thing at a time, be present to yourself and others.
· Be kind to yourself, the world is not getting any better by rushing.
· Take good care of yourself and your close ones, but don't overdo things, you must not try to show up as a superhuman.
· Happiness is in the small moments, that you are alive and you are able to experience these special times.