For millions of people, the pandemic has been a journey, perhaps a training, in learning. In Hamlet’s words: “to be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space.” Enforced stillness can drive one mad staring at cracks in the wall, or it can enable you to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the patterns. In ways large and small, from discovering new purpose to immersion in a new hobby, isolation and anxiety have led people to hidden aquifers of fulfilment that in normal times may have lain forever undiscovered.
Shrinking our boundaries has impelled us to expand our comfort zone. First by reaching inward to think about what matters in our lives, what brings true satisfaction. Then by reaching outward to embrace the one inviolable freedom each of us possesses: the freedom to explore infinitudes of time and space within the nutshell of our skull. And thus even transcend the radical solipsism of life through compassion and unity with the other and the universe.
Can we come to see this as a way of life – a fundamental mindset redesign – and not merely a survival tactic for a Black Swan crisis? From productivity to creativity and overall wellbeing, the practice of finding richness – and possibility – within the stillness of morning may yield its true rewards when we are back in the maelstrom of “normal” life.