I’m writing this from the UK where we are in the midst of escalating restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Coronavirus UK is a strange and unsettling place.
We are all feeling scared and anxious. Please know that you are not alone and that with collective love and compassion the world will come through this a better and more connected place.
The quietest Mothers Day
Its Mothers Day here in the UK today. Although we aren’t on lockdown yet due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, there will be no happy trips out for food this year, or the usual meals with family and friends. All the pubs and restaurants are closed and as we are avoiding mixing with older people we can’t go near our mothers in order to keep them safe.
Many people are struggling with dealing with the news about the Corona Virus.
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If you struggle with Health Anxiety, as I have done in the past, then the current situation can be especially difficult for you.
These worries have got me thinking about our Mothers, and their Mothers, and their Mothers before them. The long chain of strong and fearless women ancestors who snake off from our current lives into our distant past.
You are the product of strong women
By definition, your female ancestors were survivors who all passed down their maternal DNA to you. Take courage from this fact in these worrying times. When you are scared remember that you are the product of a long line of strong and fearless women.
They faced dark times, especially in the recent past. As we now face a war with a virus, they faced a more human enemy. They can give you hope when the dark news of the past few days threatens to overwhelm you.
Florrie Keeps calm and carries on…
Let me introduce you to my Grandma, Florrie.
Florrie lived through the Second World War in the city of Salford in the UK. She lived in a deeply industrial and poverty-stricken area known as Salford Docks which was a major target for enemy bombing raids. Florrie had 2 small kids to look after, My Dad, who was 6 and his older sister of 11.
I can’t even begin to think about how petrifying and difficult it must have been for her. Every night the bombers droned overhead, dropping the payload on the surrounding docks and rail infrastructure to take it out of commission. Florrie and her children hid in the cellar, calmly waiting for the all-clear. My Dad remembered that she never showed fear while this was happening but took toys and games down to keep the kids entertained. She did what the much overused wartime poster ordered. “Keep Calm and Carry On…”
One of my Dads abiding memories is watching the walls of the house belly out from the blast of a bomb in a nearby street. Thankfully they held although they were scarred by cracks for ever after.
His Father, Percy, spent every night in Salford City centre watching for fires and alerting the fire brigade. One morning he came how from work and couldn’t find his own house because extreme bombing had changed the landscape so much that he was disorientated. Thankfully he found their little terrace house unscathed amidst the bomb carnage.
On top of this, they had little food or possessions. My Dad was one of the “posh kids” in the street as he actually had shoes. Most of his friends went barefoot.
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But Florrie kept it together. I’ve no idea how, but she did. My Dad can’t remember her ever panicking or freaking out. She made sure everyone was safe and had food and she stayed outwardly calm so none of the kids were worried. She just kept on keeping on in the face of terrible circumstances.
Miraculously they all survived the war and Florrie and Percy went on to live happy and productive lives into old age.
What would Florrie do?
Whenever I feel worried by the recent Corona Virus escalation I always ask. “What would Florrie do?”
Maybe you have similar strong women in your past. Women who lived through terrible times and came out the other side. The strong determined women who kept everything together in the face of frightening circumstances.
We stand on the shoulders of strong women
We stand on the shoulders of our mothers, and their mothers and hundreds of generations of women who dealt with tough times and survived and made sure their children survived too.
They are there in your past for you. Draw on their strength if you feel anxious or unsure in these strange times.
We can survive this. We are all realising that we are all one connected planet. We are all in this together. All part of the collective. A world where people think of their links to the rest of the world a little more. Maybe the world will come out the other side a better and more connected place where we care more about others.
You are not alone and together we are strong and there are better less anxious times ahead.
Message from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
I will leave you with this beautiful Message from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers:
“As you move through these changing times… be easy on yourself and be easy on one another. You are at the beginning of something new. You are learning a new way of being. You will find that you are working less in the yang modes that you are used to.
You will stop working so hard at getting from point A to point B the way you have in the past, but instead, will spend more time experiencing yourself in the whole, and your place in it.
Instead of travelling to a goal out there, you will voyage deeper into yourself. Your mother’s grandmother knew how to do this. Your ancestors from long ago knew how to do this. They knew the power of the feminine principle… and because you carry their DNA in your body, this wisdom and this way of being is within you.
Call on it. Call it up. Invite your ancestors in. As the yang based habits and the decaying institutions on our planet begin to crumble, look up. A breeze is stirring. Feel the sun on your wings.”