Today I was in community for over an hour with a group of seasoned coaching professionals via Zoom. As pioneers and thought leaders in the world of self leadership and empowerment our conversation explored the depths of what is unfolding in this unprecedented time in history. Eventually the question was posed, “What are the long term ramifications of ‘social distancing?'”
To which I blurted out, “Why are we even calling it ‘social distancing?’”
At the very core of our human-beingness we are social creatures. Since the dawn of humanity our survival has been because of the structure and the strength of the tribe. To rely on one another for food, shelter, protection, and companionship is to be human. Even if we don’t see the direct correlation as transparently, today, because of the infiltration of technology and national/global commerce- we have survived and will continue to survive by leaning on one another.
The idea of not leaning on one another is categorically detrimental to the soul of our species especially in the time of a pandemic size crisis. Already too many of us spend our days feeling isolated and alone. Already too many of us feel disconnect and separate from the collective! Do we really need more of what already is a major cause of depression, anxiety and suicide?
Yes, the most responsible thing we can do is practice physical distancing according to the current health and safety guidelines. But, I insist, do not distance yourself socially. Now more than ever is the time to lean-in to one another emotionally and communally. Now is the time to literally plug-in and connect. Now is the time to put the gift of technology to work in an uplifting, intentional and supportive way.
We DO NOT need social distancing.
We DO need physical distancing and also need extreme social connection.
----> Take this example into consideration…
If I am practicing “social distancing” when I take my dog out for a permissible walk or go into town to pick up essential supplies how will I respond when I see a neighbor walking towards me? Can I make eye contact? Should I say hello? Is it ok to wave? What is acceptable social behavior?
If I am simply practicing physical distancing, yes I will create a bubble of space between us and yet I can still interact from across the street or the aisle. In fact, we might share a giggle regarding the absurdity (albeit necessity) of all that is unfolding before our eyes. We can be distant in proximity and still share a warm neighborly moment. Connection, small and sweet, imprints a smile on our heart. This is the medicine we need more than any vaccine.
Social connection is why the people of Italy are singing to one another from their balcony’s. Social connection is why there are pages-upon-pages of offers to help one another, via picking up groceries, baby-sitting kids, running errands in town, etc. Social connection is why all of my meetings this week have been cancelled and rescheduled via Zoom.
Make no mistake, we are being called together. We are just being called to band together in a different way.
This is not to say that we are now intended to hunker down behind closed doors hiding behind a screen. No! The opportunity is to embrace the Italian attitude and fling open the windows and doors and let our song be heard! The opportunity is to let our creativity express freely and embrace intentional ways to connect with both others and the natural world. We are being asked (maybe forced) to stop the chaotic and frenetic pattern of being and interacting, implement a pause, and seek meaningful and rich connections.
We are all human and we are all in this together. CV-19 has highlighted this fact brilliantly. Like the virus, our humanity doesn't know skin color, religious background, political persuasion, age, orientation, economic status. We are one. We are connected. And we are resilient AF.
This is Truth. And no virus can distance us from this divine principle.
Don’t believe me? Take advise from a famous family….
"The lone wolf dies and the pack survives."
The words we choose have power! Who decided to call it ‘social distancing’ anyway?
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