In Lockdown


Did you know that the brain wave states active when you are feeling threatened are different than when you are at peace? And that in the fear-based survival mind you lock onto a “me versus you” orientation towards others, while a primitive territorial aggression around scarcity arises?

Imagine now that millions, maybe even billions of us, because we are in such longstanding states of chronic stress, are walking around feeling threatened by others. As well as fiercely territorial over our capacity to get our own most basic needs for safety and security met. When you add it all up, do you know what you get?


Here’s the real kicker. We can be making it all up in our own minds. We can literally be preparing for battle based on the thoughts we are keeping; with no imminent danger actually before us. And because the body believes everything that the mind says, it kicks into action, preparing to defend itself, by tightening up and getting ready for war.

The truth is, no one will ever do worse to us than what we do to ourselves in our own minds. If you are with me thus far, it only becomes the next logical step to see that the real make or break place when it comes to how it feels to be alive, is within our own minds. For the reality is, every moment of every day, we have a choice. Will we choose heaven? Or will we choose hell?

I see this being played out as my body continues to unwind from an injury, so does my mind. I am watching how long standing patterns of gripping and tensing, a kind of hanging on for dear life in my muscle patterns, are an expression of a survival mind. One so old that I had not noticed it at this level before. So old that the tension has become familiar to me. “Normal.” Expected. A way to structure myself. This is concerning, for to structure oneself around stress is to suffer.

And it is to cause suffering.

And yet, if there is anything that the time of Covid lockdowns and restrictions has taught me, it is that I have a choice. No matter what. No matter what the outer circumstances; whether that be mandates or a spasming back-my mind and the state of my nervous system is my own to decide. It is literally the one thing in my humanity that no one else can have. Or dictate.

I read something recently where an Indian sage is quoted as saying, “The will of God is not for weak people.” No kidding. This plays out for me as I see all of the ways that my mind can make up a threat in the world of restrictions, or in an unwelcome pain. But I will tell you something that I know deep inside my bones. When I can see that there is Something Greater at play in all of this, I know that to a person, we are all being given an opportunity to make a choice. Different than we have ever made before. And it is not for the weak, or the faint of heart.

I see it as being the chance to break with all of the hells we have created in our own minds, whatever that is for each of us, in order to open to what we all most yearn for. A kind of literal Heaven on Earth. For me, that looks and feels like a world where Life is honored. In all of its forms and expressions. And where violations against Life itself, are the things in lockdown.

If this feels resonant to you, then by extension, we must be willing to ask some very deep and penetrating questions of ourselves like, “Where in my daily routines have I made it “normal” to violate Life? Mine or another’s?”