The Quarantine Chrysalis

Shifting Our Collective Perspective

Editor's Note:

Question: Why do some people struggle while others seem happy, healthy and free? The answer is in the question. This week we explore the power of beliefs and how they shape our lives.

Greetings to all who are reading! Khalilah here, local Peace Dancer and ‘Metta’ maker of the modern world. Metta is the Sanskrit word for peace. What makes me such a prolific Metta maker is my firm resolve, knowledge and certainty that peace is an innate part of nature, human nature, the Earth’s seasonal rhythms and life itself. Life has many aspects. Peace is an essential one! 

Speaking of essential, I’m writing this story from my bedroom as we officially cross over into the 6th week of the Shelter In Place ordinance. This new lifestyle thrust upon us by necessity has had an interesting effect on the ways that we interact. The way that we relate to the world and each other has changed. No hugs. Absolutely no coughing in public. No gym and (OH MY GOD) no accessible swimming pools! In California?! What?! When we focus on what we are missing, it’s easy to feel deprived or discouraged. Never fear. This Week In Peace is on a mission dedicated to shifting our focus to the everyday good that unites us. Numerous scientific studies have proven that whatever we focus on expands by leaps and bounds. It’s high time for us to focus on the unlimited good underway right now.

If you ask 10 people, “How’s quarantine treating you?” you will get 10 answers, each one different from the rest. While it’s true that each person and situation is unique, it also happens to be true that what we believe as a society touches us all. In the past six weeks, I have collected multiple staggering conclusions from people including but not limited to:

  • “Masks make it easier to hide emotions.”
  • “ People seem more hostile now.”
  • “The world is never going to go back to normal. Our old way of life is gone.”
  • “I can’t believe how quickly everything changed!”
  • “There’s nothing we can do about any of this. It’s out of our hands.”

These statements are only words. They have no power or meaning except that which we assign to them. What we believe shapes our life experiences for better or for worse. Beliefs are like seeds planted in a garden. We water them with our attention. We feed them by repeating them to ourselves and others. From there, beliefs grow from a little seed to a mighty Oak. Why not plant delicious, juicy, worthy seeds in our mind gardens? The mind is the most fertile garden there is. The seeds that we plant there can nourish or poison us. It’s all depends on what we choose to believe. It’s not what we tell ourselves. It’s what we hold in our secret heart to be true. Because beliefs govern our lives, they are worth examining.

The following are a few observations that have proven true in my own life experience. I focus on these because they provide hope, strength and much needed joy. In turn, I share these life affirming beliefs to encourage others to be at peace. Allow these to flow through your mind and awareness, noticing the sensations, reactions or objections within. Based on our private inner responses, we can reform our conclusions into empowering beliefs that work for us.

  • “We are all taking this opportunity to be more creative.”
  • “Nature is restorative. We have a greater appreciation for it.”
  • “People driving on the roads seem more patient and peaceful.”
  • “We are all doing our best and we all want the best for our fellow humans.”
  • “It’s nice to see families spending time together.”
  • “We have a chance to build a better world going forward.”

How did those statements make you feel? What stirred up inside? Any reaction we may have is the correct reaction if we are willing to look honestly and objectively at it. Each person has the power to put focused attention on anything they choose. Once we discover the current state of our beliefs, we can transform ourselves for the better. How? By uprooting the beliefs that cause us fear and suffering. When we do, there is more space in our gardens to plant healing loving, hopeful beliefs that uplift us. Play with this technique today and note what happens. If the words above do not resound with your experiences, make up your own. Keep this quote from Be The Change Yoga instructor Tenaya S in mind when planting new beliefs, "Whatever strikes you as beautiful, sweet, joyful and pure, that's what you should be thinking about right now." You can't go wrong when using such guidelines so create away! Thanks and see you soon!