By Amie Mignatti
Our world has been turned upside down and inside out for the past few months, and has forced us to create a new normal for our everyday lives. Some of us feel comfortable in our new realities, while others of us wish to go back to our former lives– and quickly. We’ve been faced with different challenges as mothers and as families, and have had to solve problems where none had previously existed. For some of us, this has been a beautiful journey with space and peace, for other of us it has been fraught with uncertainty and fear. For many of us it has been a process of coming to understand what our personal comfort zones are and how flexible we are in the face of change. I believe that for many, this has been a time of great personal exploration.
We have learned about what we are capable of as individuals and as a society. We have been forced to reexamine the way we live, the way we move, and how we interact. We’ve been asked to drastically change our lifestyles to avoid mass death. We’ve complied and we’ve changed. No one asked us if we wanted to do this or if we enjoyed it, but it had to be done– and we understood the reasons why. Human lives are at stake and it could always be our own.
Our minds are powerful tools. Our minds control our emotions, the way we perceive situations, and the way we react to them, yet we have very little control over our minds. Our minds bounce around from subject to subject constantly, as if our thoughts were popcorn in a kettle. We are influenced by outside sources like social media, the news, peers, friends, family members, etc, and it is hard to establish the connection between our own personal thoughts and those that we have ingested.
Our mental health is the key to not only surviving this time, but also thriving in it. Our perception of our situation and the way we think about it is the only thing standing between our enjoyment of it or our hatred of it. Many, many things are hard right now for all of us. For some it’s financial, or personal, or family related… or, or, or… The list goes on. Yet for all of us, there is a certain level of uncertainty that we are living with and that is scary. Most of our lives have been spent under the illusion of security: that we are safe and that the ground under our feet is stable. The carpet has just been pulled out from under us, and none of us stand on even ground. That is reality.
Yet we have the power to change the way we think. This is our superpower as humans. We can see the present as a place of suffering, fighting, and sadness, or we can see the lessons that are in it for us, the changes we need to make both within us and as a community. We can see the little gifts that are in each day because they are there. Rather than viewing things as hard and difficult, we can make them fun and playful. We have to change our mindset in order to bring the change we wish to have into our lives.
We can look towards the future with hope in our hearts and with ideas in our heads. We can learn to reach out to others, to look within ourselves and discover new talents, learn to live with less, have more patience, listen deeper, and change what is not working in our daily lives. This requires a mindset switch and then working on setting it into place. Perception is the key to almost everything in life.
A positive mindset will lead us to deeper and more meaningful relationships, happier days, a feeling of lightness and joy, enthusiasm for what is and a wellspring of creativity. We will be healthier and have more energy to complete tasks, and have more desire to do things.
This time does not have to be one of frustration, uncertainty, fear and anger. It can be, and it is allowed to be, filled with peace, calm, space and love. It’s all how you look at it.
Amie Mignatti is committed to bringing children and adults into the outdoors, so that they can learn new skills, feel at home in nature, and be in a space where they can connect more deeply with themselves. She is confident that more time spent outdoors can lead to a healthier and calmer life, a more positive attitude and a never ending sense of wonder. She is happiest when she and her family are in the forest around the campfire with good friends. She leads courses and retreats for all ages. http://www.amiemignatti.com