It’s now week nine of lockdown. Panic, fear and loneliness have swept the world. Many people staying at home on their own or with one or two others.
I feel extremely fortunate to have found myself living in a shared community household during this turbulent time. There’s about 20 of us in my household so there isn’t much of a chance to get lonely!
I felt the need to write this post to explain why it might seem like I’m hanging out with my mates all the time during lockdown, it’s because I have the pleasure of living with them! I’ve lived in lots of places and settings. Within a nuclear family, with one partner and with a small friendship group and even on a boat! And this is definitely my preferred way of living so far. I can’t imagine doing anything else now 🙂
I started my day this morning doing some yoga in the beautiful garden, surrounded by the forest and was cooked a delicious breakfast of pancakes by one of the housemates, Paul. A group of us swam in a local lake and sunbathed in the orchard during the afternoon.
I know this sounds heavenly and I don’t mean to brag or create jealousy but I hope this might inspire one or two people into thinking outside the box and to question our standards around achievement, success and true happiness.
Prior to turning 30 I was caught up in the pressures society places on women. Miserable and feeling like a failure because I didn’t have kids on the cards, a serious relationship or mortgage to my name. Luckily I realised fairly swiftly that none of that stuff equals happiness and somehow by absolute chance last Summer I ended up in this strange but wonderful large house in the forest living with a great bunch of people who I now consider like family.
Many of my friends have been enviously messaging me recently, saying how they long to be in the countryside and but they love seeing my pictures of us managing to have some fun during these restricting times.
The beauty of living with multiple people is that each individual has their own unique skills to share with the group. We have an art therapist, meditation teacher, sound healer, Alexander technique practitioner, biodynamic gardeners and lots of musicians! I haven’t had to partake in zoom calls or facebook live sessions because I’m lucky to have all the entertainment I need here.
I also feel incredibly nurtured and looked-after. If I’m unwell there is always someone who’ll bring me a tea and we can always lend each other a listening ear.
Of course we irritate each other at times but generally issues are resolved swiftly and people are pretty considerate of one another.
I have chosen to make the most of this time by connecting with the real-world as much as possible. Gardening, singing, dancing and being creative. I know this is a stressful anxiety inducing time for all but I know firsthand through my job as a holistic practitioner that in order to have a healthy immune system we must firstly focus on our state of mind and general wellbeing. Enjoying the sunshine, nature, laughter and living within the present moment.
It is my belief that society has become disconnected as a whole and we are generally over-worked, stressed and unhealthy. We’re overly obsessed with our screens and need to come back to our senses in order to heal. Being healthy isn’t about making an instagramable smoothie bowl it’s about connection to other humans, nature and ourselves.
I’m also guilty of rushing around too much and staring into my phone at times. I didn’t notice the bats outside my bedroom window or birds of prey circling overhead during the day, until the lockdown started.
My hope is that the virus will teach us to slow down, appreciate what really matters and take this new-found pace with us into our new way of living.