By Trish Whynot
How interesting! If you think about it, we were social distancing long before we were told to social distance. Texting had replaced phone calls. Dating apps had replaced serendipitous meetings. Before the shelter-in-place order it was common to see people walking down the street staring at their phones, completely oblivious to their surroundings and the people around them. You’d hear about kids preferring video games to playing outdoors with friends. One of the last times I was at a restaurant, pre-pandemic, there were six young adults at a table. None of them were talking with each other while waiting for their order; they were all on their phones. I’d call these behaviors social distancing. It’s only a big deal right now because we’ve been told to do it this time rather than it being our idea.
So now what’s happening as society softly reopens its doors? Everyone either has to or it’s strongly suggested (depending on where you live) to wear a mask. Here again, people have been wearing masks for years. Coping skills are who we become when it doesn’t feel safe to be ourselves. Coping skills are manipulative. They are the masks we have at the ready to keep us safe when we fear being dumped on—rejected, judged, shamed, duped, blamed, condemned, shunned—for who we are. Chameleon, over-achiever, pleaser, perfectionist, strong one, to name a few. You might know what yours are and you might not but everyone has them. You needed them to get through your childhood, they are great for hiding behind, but these masks are destructive to healthy adult relationships. You can continue to figuratively wear one if you want but literally wearing one is showing us how uncomfortable a mask truly is.
Metaphorically thinking, the macrocosm is a reflection of the microcosm. Personally I think it’s fascinating stuff. My heart goes out to those who are ill, those who have lost loved ones and those on the front line. Their plates are full. But as for the majority of us, we get to ponder: is it really about the pandemic? If society was already sick and this pandemic is the physical manifestation of our ill thinking, how could we help?
- What might happen if we dropped our proverbial masks, confronted our fears and healed our wounded self-esteem instead? Maybe we’d emerge more grateful.
- What if we stopped our proverbial social distancing and began looking people in the eye again—really connecting soul to soul? Maybe there would be less racism.
- What if we dedicated more time for doing things we love, expressing ourselves creatively and stepping outside our comfort zones rather than playing it safe and protecting our pride? Maybe we’d resurface happier, humbler, healthier and more whole.
A metaphorical perspective is one I can work with, which always makes me feel better. Our unhealthy operating systems were halted by a virus. It felt like we got sent to our rooms to reflect on how we contributed. Now we get to come out and demonstrate what we’ve learned. What will be a new normal for you worth committing to on a microcosmic level—one that will stretch and grow you in wondrous ways? Picture a world filled with people stretching and growing and expressing themselves in all kinds of beautiful ways. Let’s make it a good kind of contagious!
Trish Whynot, D.C.Ed. has been practicing holistic counseling for 21 years. She is the author of “Why Me? Why Now? Why Not? Finding Opportunity in Your Obstacles,” an illustrated guide to living that expects opportunities even during challenging times. Trish utilizes meditation and assistance from the mineral kingdom in her work with clients remotely and in person. Visit her at www.TrishWhynot.com.
On The Fast Track With The Coronavirus
Vywamus channeled by Andrea Seiver
At this time, many of you have been in the quiet of self-isolation, and most of you are without some of the activities and props that were part of your everyday life up to now. You may have suffered fear and losses, and even faced the possibility of you or a loved one’s falling ill. You may be reaching out to others or caring for them in ways you have not needed to do before. You may be connecting more with nature and your physical environment, and needing to find new ways of working and playing.
In the midst of all this disruption, you are more often alone and in stillness. You’ve had the opportunity to stand aside, somewhat, from your previous everyday patterns and reflect on what is really important to you. Set aside some time every day, if you can, to go inward and reflect on what you’re learning right now. What is all this about, for you? You are being guided into seeing a deeper and broader meaning of the world, and a deeper and broader meaning of who you are in it. For some of you, this may even be your next step toward what you call enlightenment or awakening.
Take time to look at the larger picture as well. Look at what this current crisis means for everyone on Earth right now. You’re all in the same boat. Many of your customary ways of doing things don’t work anymore. They may not work again. The world as you have known it before is history. You and all other humans living right now are on a fast track to – somewhere!
Where? None of us guides can tell you where this fast track is going because the destination has yet to be determined. By all of you.
What we can tell you is that what’s happening now, with the advent of the coronavirus, is a major speedup of change. Your old forms of thinking and ways of living are breaking down. They are no longer large enough to fit you. And new forms are emerging. This is happening now. It is happening fast. And not gently or gradually, but roughly and with chaos and losses. It has taken something as extreme as a worldwide virus to break up the gridlock, divisiveness and resistance that have stalemated your evolution in recent years.
This virus and its aftermath may be the first real breakthrough that shakes up the old ways of doing things and offers you the opportunity to make other choices. This is a time for you to look for the insights and the new opportunities for change, and how you can use these opportunities to lead you into a better future. And, more than ever in human history, in these times you have the power and the knowhow to create something new.
You have a chance to reinvent yourselves and your world. What would you want? You could create new forms: a fairer economy, fairer politics – a society which cares for the welfare of individuals and Earth, which you live on. You could even create a new way of being which gets you out of the trap of the winner-take-all system that has evolved in most societies on Earth today. This is your chance to have a vision for the future and join with others to bring it about. That may take some time and it may not happen all at once. It will probably be step by step. But it can be done. It really is up to you.
Some of you are nostalgic for the way it used to be and want to go back to “normal.” That’s understandable. Those of you who feel this way will resist going forward and try your best to go back to the old ways. Though they were never really normal. But it won’t work – or not for long. When a chick grows to a certain size, it cracks the egg and emerges. There’s no going back. You can only let it be – or, you can actually feed the chicken. Eventually, all of you can only go forward. How soon you do that, and with how much or little pain, that is yet to be determined. By you.
Confronting and dealing with a worldwide pandemic is one of the first and more dramatic stages of humanity’s letting go of old, broken forms and creating a different and better future for all of you. These are turbulent times. It’s natural to feel stressed and thrown off center by what’s happening around you. Yet, even in the midst of all the current fear and chaos, there are ways to find peace and balance in your day-to-day life, and at the same time, help along the changes that humanity needs.
As you read this, the tremendous changes occurring in all of humanity are speeding up exponentially. You are all on the fast track now. But you are not alone. We guides are by your side. We hope you will ride this fast track with us. We are here to guide you, to offer our love and support in hard times and good, to carry you when you need it, and to cheer you on.
All this is your destiny, being here at this time and in this place. This is your moment. What will you do?
Vywamus is an ascended master and teacher who has a special interest in helping humanity develop its awareness of the high-frequency energies available to us that consciously shape our own evolution. A practicing psychologist for 26 years, Andrea Seiver, PhD, has channeled Vywamus since 1986. www.andreaseiver.com
Catalyst for Change
By Alison David Bird
“Come my friend, ‘tis not too late to seek a newer world…we are one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” — Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1833
Consider now, what is it that you seek?
Is it the security suggested in the reassurance of sameness?
Or does the future you seek offer new horizons of expansive landscapes?
Do the mechanisms that drive change hum like the sound of a well-oiled timepiece? Or do they clatter and clang like a rusty cart dragged over cobbled roads?
You bemoan and complain about the way things are, so change them!
How else do you think change will happen? Do you believe you will wake one morning, and simply have willed the new world into existence?
That is not quite how it works. In the physical realm, action imprints intention on the manifestation field. Inaction is the same frequency as inertia; nothing changes!
Someone has to get down and dirty and be the instrument of change.
What makes you unique is your ability to create with your hands as well as with your minds. When used together amazing things can happen.
That’s why those of you with the warrior nature volunteered to come here, remember? What is that phrase? “Never argue with a madman or a volunteer!”
You came here to be crazy mad at all the dysfunction that you see in the world!
You came here to be fired-up by the corruption you witness every day, incensed by the injustice served up in the judgment of others, sickened by the cruelty and unkindness leveled at every living thing, and to be ready to defend the weak, the sick and the vulnerable against the tyranny of the power hungry.
Sounds like a superhero, doesn’t it?
On paper, there is nothing wrong with your society, or your establishment. Your founding fathers laid the foundations of a strong Federation of United States, as a template for a future state of United Earth! Yes, Earth, not just the USA.
A catalyst is needed for the kind of change you seek, as with every period in your history that has ever been the portent of real change in the world. The pandemic timeline is not as catastrophic to the planet, or potentially destructive to infrastructures as other timelines. It is optimal.
Stripping this reality back to the bare bones, it gives everyone one last chance to choose either to be in service to others, or to refuse change and remain in service to self.
Yes, sudden change can smart like ripping off a Band-Aid. It will sting you to tears without a doubt, but real healing only really begins when the wound is allowed to breathe.
Alison David Bird, C.Ht., is the originator of Marconics, an evolutionary energy healing system carrying the ascension frequency of higher dimensions. She is the author of Marconics: The Clarion Call and Angels of Atlantis. Visit marconics.com.
By Julie Rost
The cicada shell stopped me in my tracks. This “cause to pause” has become a signal to me that I need to listen. Some wisdom is trying to come in, but I must open my mind, allow quiet, and focus my attention upon studying the energy at hand.
The shell made me laugh, in light of one theme of our Yoga Philosophy Course. We are studying how to prepare for a New Reality, which begins with how to shed the old ways, programs, wounds and lower vibrations of both our individual and collective energy. The old shell becomes obvious to us when we are feeling judgmental, critical, worried, angry, possessive, rigid, controlling, fearful…got any of that? That’s our old shell. We can learn to look at it, perhaps with some compassionate horror!
The great news is that we, like the cicada, will emerge — and with wings! In fact, that which delights, uplifts, enlightens and makes us feel like we’re soaring is great guidance to follow! That’s the direction we are going. And, like the cicada, it can happen quickly. Both recognition of the old shell, and the fast pace in which we all are waking up, invite us to take good care of ourselves, allowing ahimsa (non-harm) to lead the way through intentions of humility, gentleness and discernment.
We can bring this forward into action via our voice and, again, take wisdom from the cicada. Most known for its sound, the cicada sings in various harmonies and rhythms that have fascinated and mesmerized people for ages. Honor rhythms by knowing when to speak and when to stay silent. Let us sing in harmony with those around us, and notice how it is this harmony that is molding, shaping and calling forth the new reality.
The cicada draws on the wisdom of a famous quote (attributed to pacifist A.J. Muste) as it offers this advice:
“There is no way to Harmony.
Harmony is the way.”
Julie Rost is the founder and director of YogaLife Institute of New Hampshire in Exeter, NH, offering private yoga therapy, mentoring and teacher training. www.yogalifenh.com
Rights of Nature
By Thomas Linzy
Between the forest fires, plagues, and locusts, it’s beginning to look like humanity has finally breached the “seventh seal,” initiating a showdown of biblical proportions. Unlike the holy version, however, this time humankind has only itself to blame.
In a statement released in June, leaders at the United Nations, World Health Organization, and World Wildlife Federation International declared that “pandemics such as coronavirus are the result of humanity’s destruction of nature. . . the illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade as well as the devastation of forests and other wild places are the driving force behind the increasing number of diseases leaping from wildlife to humans.”
Will the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 be the tipping point for humanity – the point at which we realize that our incessant bulldozing of the natural environment must end because we are destroying ourselves along with it?
Probably not. If a vaccine comes along, it’s likely that the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic will recede in our memories just like the 1918 Flu Pandemic. The phrase “returning to normal” can already be heard on the lips of governors across the U.S., from Oregon to Florida, and elected leaders in-between.
Returning to normal, of course, means returning to an economy fueled by the belief that endless growth is possible, that the planet exists solely to fuel our iPhones, our data centers, our new Space Force, and our seemingly endless fascination with the Kardashians.
Taking steps to recognize that nature, and yes, the planet itself, has certain rights; and empowering those who care about nature to step in to legally defend the rights of rivers, oceans, forests, and mountains in front of courts and environmental agencies, would be one big step for nature, one small step for humankind.
Beginning in 2006, cities, towns, and counties across the U.S. began passing local laws recognizing the legally-protected rights of ecosystems to “exist, flourish, regenerate, and be restored.” They were driven by specific threats of siting toxic waste dumps, fracking for shale gas, corporate water withdrawals, new high voltage power lines, and aerial pesticide spraying.
In 2008, the people of Ecuador created a new precedent, overwhelmingly ratifying a new national constitution recognizing legal rights of nature, or Pachamama.
Over the last five years, courts in India, Colombia, and Bangladesh have declared that rivers and other ecosystems have rights, and political parties across the globe – including the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in the United States – have declared their support for rights of nature laws.
Tribal nations have also led the way. The White Earth Nation of Ojibwe has adopted a law recognizing the rights of manoomin (wild rice), and the Menominee, Yurok, Nez Perce, and Ponca Nations have adopted laws and resolutions recognizing the rights of rivers and other ecosystems. As they have expressed, this represents both an issue of sovereignty, as well as an alignment of tribal laws with long-held indigenous respect for nature.
In the end, this is the beginning of a long journey to rediscover our place on this planet. As Derrick Jensen, an environmental author, writes, “If we wish to stop the atrocities, we need merely to step away from our isolation. There is a whole world waiting for us, ready to welcome us home.”
Thomas Linzey is a Senior Legal Counsel at the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER).
Downtown Ghost Towns
By L.W. Oakley
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822
The downtown cores in many big cities are poised to vanish or become shadowy ghost towns of the past because of the global pandemic, worldwide recession, and the end of the office era.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people travelled like herds of cows, flocks of birds and schools of fish to and from work in the crowded core of big cities.
But they didn’t walk, or fly or swim to get there. They came and went in subway cars, railway trains, express buses, street cars, ferry boats, water taxis, air planes, and of course, automobiles. And if they didn’t bring their germs with them, something worse happened; they brought them home at night.
Think of the risk of infection from one typical journey from home to work in downtown Toronto, similar to my daily routine years ago when I worked for Alcan Canada in a glass office on the 30th floor for of the Royal Trust tower at King and Bay at the very heart of Toronto.
With a laptop over one shoulder and gym bag over the other, you leave your high-rise apartment or high-priced condominium and take an elevator that stops on almost every floor on the way down to the front door. From there you walk to a crowded bus that takes you to the subway, where you take an escalator underground. If you missed your subway train or couldn’t get on because it was too full, you didn’t worry, because you knew another one would be along in a few minutes.
After leaving the subway you walk underground past coffee shops and shoe stores to the elevator in the air conditioned skyscraper that you work inside of, and never leave all day, except to take the elevator back underground to the crowded food court, where you eat a green salad from a Styrofoam container with a plastic fork.
The trip home at night is the same as it was in the morning, but in reverse, except for a one-hour stop at the gym, where you spend your free time running in the rat race on a treadmill, while plugged into an iPhone listening to musical escape songs with lyrics by The Boss like this:
Oh, baby, this town rips the bones from your back
It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we’re young
‘Cause tramps like us
Baby, we were born to run
Because of the pandemic most of the office workers now work from home. The workforce has shifted from downtown work pens to suburban bedrooms and basements.
Information technology allows workers to connect, communicate and be productive by e-mail and Zoom calls. They don’t have to run the gauntlet for an hour each way between home and work while exposing themselves to an invisible virus on buses and streetcars that are standing room only.
Like social distancing, working at home may be the new normal when the pandemic ends. Employees can stay safe and save time and money by remaining at home. They may not want to return to overcrowded downtown COVID-19 epicenters where they once worked. Employers may not want them to, especially if it means they don’t need to rent office space, hire cleaning staff and pay insurance premiums.
Of course, some big companies may not survive and recover from the economic decimation caused by COVID-19. Big league sports franchises like the Toronto Raptors, Maple Leafs and Blue Jays are also located downtown. They probably will lose millions of dollars due to the impact of social distancing requirements on their large venues with tens of thousands of seats.
Other downtown Toronto tourist attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Roy Thomson Hall and the entire theatre district including shops, bars, hotels and restaurants will incur large decreases in revenues and staff from which they may never recover.
What will happen to all those multi-million dollar skyscrapers and big expensive buildings if they become unsustainable and obsolete?
Herds of cows can’t graze inside their uninhabited office stalls, flocks of birds can’t nest in their deserted hallways, and schools of fish can’t swim in their empty underground malls and parking lots.
No one wants to buy an unkept fifty-story eye sore. No one wants to see an empty old dinosaur that was once a baseball stadium with a retractable roof that was closed to block the sun and stop the rain. No one wants to be reminded that we once built big ivory towers with gold-plated windows over green fields.
There’s only one thing left to do.
Knock them down and take them away.
Maybe the herds of cows and flocks of birds and schools of fish will return to graze and nest and spawn in a place once considered a center of civilization.
L.W. Oakley is a retired accountant living in Kingston, Ontario. He is the author of Inside The Wild, and was born and raised in the east end of Toronto.
A Verse For Our Time
We must eradicate from the soul
All fear and terror of what comes towards man out of the future.
We must acquire serenity
In all feelings and sensations about the future.
To everything that may come.
And we must think only that whatever comes
Is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom.
It is part of what we must learn in this age,
namely, to live out of pure trust,
Without any security in existence.
Trust in the ever present help
Of the spiritual world.
Truly, nothing else will do
If our courage is not to fail us.
And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves
Every morning and every evening.