I’ve had an odd month. Trying to write a book about the human experience of Coronavirus, lockdown and the pandemic, while simultaneously educating myself on the history, formation, hopefully, future abolishment, of systemic racism. The continuation of my furlough has left me feeling slightly adrift. I have tasks and projects that I feel passionate about, and I am grateful because I am getting paid to write my book. I am getting paid to knit my blankets and blog. I am getting paid to campaign for equal rights for all. But I find it challenging to adhere to my deadlines – they seem invisible and unreal to me. Has anyone else experienced this? I would love to hear about your experiences.
The book is coming along swimmingly – I have seven personal interest stories so far about people’s experiences on the run-up to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The idea of the book is to be an ark of stories and experiences. I want to explore the nature of how we develop a sense of hope and an inner resilient core so that we can thrive no matter what the external world is doing. I have included the learning that I have been through during my spiritual journey to self-love, confidence and authenticity. Some chapters include techniques, habits and exercises to help the reader to find their true selves and their real dreams and values. And also to rediscover a sense of hope. I am still looking for more stories, so if you would like to get involved, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you the interview questions, and you will have the option to remain anonymous. The deadline for all entries is 31st July 2020.
During the process of writing the book, I have learned a great deal more about these habits and techniques and my writing style. I have begun each new section by writing the heading and then dedicated a few hours to reading about the topic and looking through the research papers.
Did you know that the widespread belief that it takes 21 days to form a new habit is not true? It came from a plastic surgeon called Maxwell Maltz in 1960 who found that it took at least 21 days for his patients to become accustomed to their new image. (Think It Takes 21 Days to Make a Resolution a Habit? Triple That, 2020).
The newest scientific research suggests that it takes eighteen to two hundred and fifty-four days to form a new habit (Lally, P 2020). I was surprised at this as I had been touting the Maltz formula for months!
I’ve also been experimenting with the way I try and raise awareness about Black Lives Matter. Even though the public discussion and the media have quietened down somewhat, they still do matter. I have switched from frequently posting on social media to drawing within and studying myself for unconscious biases. I have been listening to resources written by black people to educate myself about being an ally. I am doing this so that I can speak up in a clear, informed and competent way when I need to. I have realised that living in a state of anger, righteous as it may be, is not what I stand for. I want to be a channel for peace and love – that is where my strength lies. So I am acknowledging my anger, and then continuing with my meditation and learning. I am being patient with people who don’t understand what we mean by saying things like “Black Lives Matter”, “Systemic Racism” and “White Privilege”. Please have a look at my previous blog post, Let’s Learn Together, Let’s Care Together for a definition for each off these statements.
I am continuing to write to MP’s and sign petitions to try and create a world of equality and freedom for all.
I’ve been trying to educate myself on the history of systemic racism in the UK. I’ve been doing this by listening to Reni Edo-Lodge’s book, WHY I’M NO LONGER TALKING TO WHITE PEOPLE ABOUT RACE (Eddo-Lodge, n.d.) on Audible. It’s very descriptive – I thoroughly recommend it if you want to arm yourself with real examples of historical and recent systemic racism. It’s one that I will have to listen to again so that the dates and stories sink in. It’s uncomfortable to hear but necessary. I have started a private Facebook group for campaigners for Black Lives Matter so that we can provide emotional support and share educational resources. If this is something that you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will add you to the group. We do have some rules.
1 – Be kind or be quiet.
2 – Everything is confidential – do not discuss group sharing outside of the group. It is a safe space in which to explore and learn.
Wishing you peace, love and blessings,
Clear, J., 2020. 5 Common Mistakes That Cause New Year’s Resolutions To Fail. [online] James Clear. Available at: <https://jamesclear.com/habits-fail> [Accessed 1 July 2020].
Lally, P., 2020. How Are Habits Formed: Modelling Habit Formation In The Real World. [online] online library.wiley.com. Available at: <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejsp.674> [Accessed 25 June 2020].
Eddo-Lodge, R., n.d. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.