pandemic lesson: collectivism & intuition
The global pandemic that we continue to experience has been an interesting container for a number of conversations, realizations, and practices. Most notable for me has been the practice of intuition listening. If your circles look anything like mine, you might hear or say often, “Trust your intuition”. For me that phrase has come to mean, ”Trust that of the Divine that is within you.”
With the amount of uncertainty that the pandemic ushered in, we were left to grapple with the theme of trust in a way we never expected. We found ourselves trusting in a myriad of personalities, theories, rumors, and world views — including our health professionals, politicians, the rising cases of infected people globally, and the reality of the death tolls in our families, towns and cities, states, nations, and the world. Finally, for some there was this odd realization of our gut feelings, and a hesitant lean into what felt like our collective intuition.
There was collective murmurings that perhaps pre-pandemic we had been overworked and participating a little too willingly in our capture by capitalism; collective whisperings that Zoom was causing mental un-wellness; a collective nod that people needed more time off to be with their children, and that educational systems needed quite a bit of reform; and finally a collective understanding that racial reconciliation was far from our reality as a nation than what we thought it was.
Intuition is quite a strange thing. For some it appears as a tickle in the gut — a feeling, a discerning inclination that something isn’t quite right or that we are on the right path. It is the thing that makes us go and check on the baby, or our partners, or the stove, or the news. It’s the inkling that makes us take a different way to work, or choose to stay home rather than out with friends.
During a period of distance, we assumed a consciousness that was extremely integrated and so far from our typical practice of individualism. It was reflected in the ways we embodied our politics, the way we showed up for one another, the ways in which we advocated for our values — whether right or wrong, left or right, harmful or healing, boomer or gen z, what we experienced was multiple levels and intensities of collectivism.
“An individualist is motivated by personal rewards and benefits. Individualist persons set personal goals and objectives based on self. Individualistic workers are very comfortable working with autonomy and not part of a team.
The collectivist is motivated by group goals. Long-term relationships are very important. Collectivistic persons easily sacrifice individual benefit or praise to recognize and honor the team’s success.” (Future Lean)
But how exactly did we get there? We slowed down. We slowed ALL the way down, and lived in uncertainty.
There were moments in our communities where we slowed down long enough to hear what others were saying, we empathized and adopted dynamic goals. And because we had no idea how long the pandemic would last, we embraced uncertainty and began prioritizing our relationships — our relationships with our families, our friends, and even nature. This period of slowing down, allowed for us to deeply explore our intuition, our “feelings”.
Some say that intuition sits in the seat of our womb — our deep seat of power, wisdom, and the well of our creativity. It is often helpful to think of the womb as a non-gendered spiritual organ that we all possess or to think of the womb as the place within us where creation occurs, the place where we receive (ideas, inclinations, etc), the place of visitation, the place that can be opened or closed, a birthplace of sovereignty, a place that can be blessed or cursed, and place where you can become estranged from the Divine.
No matter where intuition lives, or how collectivism is born, it’s hard to even examine that part of self when you are running helter-skelter or when you constantly choose reliability and feasibility over possibility.
Regardless of the negatives, this pandemic-container showed us all the ways in which we need healing, all the ways in which we can show up for one another, and how interconnected we all are. In my seat of power and creativity, I know that individualism is not sustainable for us as a global community. Our collective power allows us to usher in meaningful change, and we shouldn’t lose that pandemic-lesson.
Try this on:
Journaling: I believe that journaling is a deeply spiritual practice that should be used everyday. Feel free to set the mood of intimacy before you begin this process. Light a candle, buy yourself some flowers, and journal around the theme of trust. Here are some guiding queries:
- What is it about my life that I trust
- When was time that I used my intuition and it gave me a better and unexpected outcome
- When is a time I didn’t listen to my intuition? What was outcome and experience?
And each time you “feel a way” or experience a gut feeling journal about the feeling, your action or inaction, and the result.
Happy growing! Till next time.