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Posted by Michael Finkelstein | March 24th, 2020

Now What?

Like all of you, I am taking stock of life, and things I have taken for granted. This is an extraordinary time, and though challenging and scary, it is ripe with anticipation as well. What will the world be like when this is over? What will I be doing? What will be different? And…. how might my thoughts and actions now steer that course?

One could also simply focus on the need for immediate protection and preservation. That too is a reasonable response. People are different and have different ways to handle crisis. What I’d like to invite you to consider, especially if you find yourself drawn to the survive-first dream-after
approach, is the opportunity you have to shape your life for the better even in the midst of the storm.

Absolutely, we need to cut back on our activities, especially in public spaces. And, that’s not an easy adjustment to make. However, what this forced confinement offers is a lot more time to nourish our deeper selves, examine some old patterns that have kept us in ruts, and connect with others in a way that the fast-paced life of usual times doesn’t seem to allow. The healing potential of this shift of focus is enormous.

Even if you think that prioritizing your immune system is the call of the day, the ideas listed above are just what you need to reduce the debilitating nature of a disturbed inner world. The importance of cleaning your inner space is no less critical to the body than it is to the mind.

This is really good news; as it presents us with an opportunity not only do this now for ourselves, but to do it while everyone else is. The potential of a major collective shift may have never been so palpable. That said, our awareness that there might be losses in the process is hard to accept or ignore. But, that’s not new, frankly. All of the people I speak to on a regular basis are quite aware that the world (specifically the living beings that inhabit it) has already been in a precarious place — call it climate change, the extinction of animals, or the epidemics of famine and disease, social injustice, war and crime — that humans all over the world, including in our so-called “advanced” western democracies, were getting sick. Everyone was at risk before in a big way. Indeed, this current epidemic, was anticipated. Though we all lived as though it wasn’t going to happen any time soon, we were naive. It’s here now, as we expected.

So now what? Continue with the same old plan, including the plan to go back to the way things were when this all began? Or do we look to change something? And, if that is the case, do we wait to change when it is all over, or do we take charge now?

That’s your choice, and you have a right to make it any way that suits you. But I ask you to consider joining me in the dream of a better world; and to get there sooner, to take care of your inner being now. I know that will have the greatest impact in the world around us when the dust settles and protect the greatest number of our family members and friends in the process.

Mitakuye Oyasin,


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