Covid-19 and The Art of Change
Updated: May 7, 2020
When the potter’s fingers press into wet clay, it can be reshaped into something profoundly beautiful. It the clay stood rigid and stiff, refusing to yield to the outside pressure, it would crack and break, losing its wholeness as it crumbles off the wheel. However, it is not the potter’s fingers alone that shape the clay, it is the integrity of the clay itself and its willingness to move with the force while not losing its strength to it.
When life imposes pressure, the power you have is the ability to hold your own while being curious as to how these external forces can shape you.
At the moment there are huge amounts of pressure in many areas of most people lives. We are all being pushed indoors, educators are being pushed to teach remotely, families are being pushed to undergo long separations, businesses are being pushed to adapt in new ways, grocery store workers are being pushed to tolerate bad behaviour and frontliners (our doctors, nurses and cleaners) and are being pushed to endure physical and emotional stressors they had never imagine possible.
This pressure gives us an opportunity for transition; to access new ways of being and to cultivate strengths and resources that will define our future shapes. It can allow us to let go of things that don’t serve us, watching them to fall to the ground just like hardened bits of clay fall from the potter’s wheel.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Henri Bergson
Right now, we are starting to see some of the beauty that is coming from the pressures of external forces. Community groups are setting up ways to meet the needs of the elderly and isolated, sidewalks are coloured with chalk drawn rainbows to enhance the outdoor experience of preschoolers who are largely confined to their homes, online studies, exercise programs and meditation courses are skyrocketing in numbers and people are taking the time to really sit and connect with those that they love, either in person or remotely.
However, we are also seeing those rigidly resistant hoarding grocery items, refusing to self-isolate and becoming aggressive with hospital staff who aren’t able to tend to minor medical presentations in ways they once were. By refusing to adapt and flow with the changes, their unyielding pushback keeps them from embracing a new shaping of self and a deeper connection to their transformative inner world and values.
Over the following months there is so much opportunity for you to reassess and take stock. As you recognise that it is both your strength and your ability to be changed combined, that will lead you to be shaped beyond your current form, you may make peace with the process and become curious to the outcome.
Like moisten clay in a potter’s hands, this shaping may result in you evolving into something more profound than you were ever expecting.