During an interview on the Goodbye Crop Top podcast with movement medicine guru and founder of the Aligned Life community Lauren Roxburgh, one sentence caught my attention.
She likened what the planet was going through regarding the dreaded Covid-19 to a rebirth, and subsequently we humans were experiencing the contractions.
What a great way to think of the reset the world is undergoing. People everywhere are re-examining their priorities, the way they live their lives, what's important to them, who they coexist with, and their relationships at large. This unique period of time, which we are sharing globally whether we like it or not, and which hopefully we won't have to endure again, is the perfect time to reinvent yourself.
Over the weekend I had lunch with friends I've known for nigh on two decades. Many of us of this age have been working, not necessarily in the same job, but maybe the same profession or industry, for a similar time. With an air of uncertainty about the future and a resignation to the fact that it won't ever be quite the same, what better time to step out of our comfort zones, start a side hustle, formalise a side hustle, retrain or at least equip ourselves for the rest of our lives in a way which suits and excites us now, and importantly, in the future?
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The WFH grind, which blurred the lines of life and work, highlighted many a lack of job satisfaction, how precarious an industry can be, and that a sea change can be better than a Gold Coast holiday.
Suddenly friends are using words like retraining. Brave, inspiring moves and ideas that have been influenced by evaluating job security, flexibility and the desirability of older workers for certain professions in the future. Thoughts all brought to the fore by the pandemic, which have stirred people into moving towards reinvention. They are asking, is it enjoyable? Is it worthwhile? Will it even exist? Is there a place for me?
Reinvention need not be limited to career. Friends overseas have whittled down their social circles, cutting people loose and acknowledging that some relationships are based on soft footings that without regular socialising or personal contact don't have much there. Some have found it exhausting to keep in touch with large amounts of friends, relishing being in better control of who they associate with during forced distancing, which has become the perfect way to gently excuse yourself from a friendship.
Reinvention encompasses examining relationships with your community and the environment. After all the different forms of grief we have collectively experienced, by now we surely can acknowledge that we are in it together, a feeling of unity that was decidedly absent pre-pandemic. Reinvention may mean becoming of service in some way to others or changing your relationship with the environment, things that many people in their busy worlds pre-pandemic didn't consider due to a lack of bandwidth, time or awareness but are now important.
It's hard to get off the wheel when you're running full speed, and change can be disruptive and difficult. But it's not often the world collectively pauses and allows us to reset. Before the rest of the world opens up and we are swept along, now is the time to look inwards and think about how you want to live your life in the future, what you want to be doing and who you want to be doing it with.
It's the perfect time for reinvention. The contractions may be fierce, but like childbirth, they will be worth it.