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It’s summer 2021; let’s get physical.
We have all moved through the global event of the pandemic—intense shock, fear, and confusion. We are now finding ourselves reemerging after this big collective and individual process.
Where do you find yourself now? What has or hasn’t changed? Have you evolved at all?
We rose up, out, and into complicated new ideas and possible solutions, triggered old, unsafe traumas, and created panicky new ones. The news made us all feel anxious. The limitations of the lockdown were both physical deprivation and physical containment.
As we begin to settle and reassemble ourselves again, it seems that many people are waking up, perhaps for the first time, to the importance of our physical embodied life.
Embracing our physicality is a major paradigm shift in perception.
We were used to thinking of ourselves as problem solvers, finding analysis, strategies, assumptions, and conclusions. We thought what and how we thought was what mattered.
Before lockdown, we were all happily online for many hours of the day. Online for work, distraction, and entertainment. Online for shopping, dating, and exercising. We were all seduced by the shiny, moving, capable modern devices.
And during the lockdowns, with our freedom of options curtailed, we adapted to many hours on screens. The online trend intensified and reached a climactic peak—a substantial turning point in our experience and tolerance of disembodied life.
Screens and technology are wonderful—energy and emotions can be transmitted in addition to content and information. But they absolutely have their limitations.
Now, as we open up, people are realizing how important it is to be physical, in person, in a way that they might not have really noticed before the months of being trapped.
Essentially, many of us have gained a new appreciation for being physically healthy. We have a renewed gratitude for literally being able to breathe—the fundamental function for being alive—and being able to do so without effort or pain. We realize how important it is to be able to smell, not just our food and drink, but to be able to smell the subtle smells that signal attraction, trust, and danger. And the ease to be able to be energetically active.
There is a fresh recognition of how important other people are to us. How good it is to be in the physical company of other human beings. To look into their eyes and see the many small details of how they move, dress, talk, eat. To watch a smile spreading across a face. To sense the vital importance of touch with others, whether it’s a full-on hug, hand holding, or an occasional shoulder brush, touch negotiates and transmits many of our communications and connections. The importance of a real coffee or a meal together. The colourful sight and shared experience. A hard flat-screen just can’t substitute for that.
And all of the social rituals about who speaks first, and about what, and when. The different conversational dance of meeting one or several people out there in embodied life.
There is also a new understanding of the importance of physical movement, the pleasure of stretching or moving in space—the release, peace, and exhilaration of physical exercise again.
Before the pandemic, we could rest in our mental-rational arrogance. We knew ourselves and others from our analysis, assumptions, and conclusions. Now it is incontrovertible to realize we are physical creatures with physical needs in a physical world.
This is, I think, a major paradigm shift in thinking, an identity shift, a change in orientation. Now we know our physicality is an essential component in our well-being and contentment.
The old pre-pandemic way was disembodied, disconnected, and unsensual. Now, in our collective enthusiasm, hunger, and joy to reconnect in person, we bring our newly awakened sensitivity to the sensual.
This is a step toward greater inclusion of all of who we are—toward self-love, self-care, and self-acceptance. It’s a step toward more personal responsibility and alignment.
It is a recognition of more reality. We are social and physical creatures. We are our bodies.
From this vantage point, it is obvious that care, respect, and kindness for all others are essential, for all other sensitive, sensual, and feeling beings in our world and the world. Life is physical, not rational—an experience, not an answer.
After all the loss and deprivation, the fears and frustration, we are all aware that we want more pleasure in our life. Pleasure takes place in the body. Pleasure is the essential nourishment we need for happy relationships, productive work, and vibrant health.
Now is the time we can start to build a different future world, based on positive physical “pleasureableness” as our foundation, rather than suffering, shopping, and shiny devices. Let’s make the most of this cultural reset to create a world and lifestyle that we really deserve.