If you’re reading this in the spring of 2020, you’re also currently experiencing one of the most unique and trying times in our history. If you’re reading this in the future, a) I’m glad you survived and b) I sincerely hope you’re better for it and that you used this time to expand rather than to contract. As I write this, it’s about 5pm pst, Friday, March 27. We’ve officially been on lockdown in California for a couple of weeks now and are inundated hourly with horror stories of sickness, fear and loss from around the globe.
Some people are contracting
We’re watching shocking failure in our leadership, finger pointing and incomprehensibly incompetent flexing by those in power as this pandemic ravages every nation on the planet. Grifters taking advantage of the situation – and the most vulnerable, as grifters tend to do… and hoarding and anger and anxiety at the highest levels, fueled by absolute exhaustion and frustration and madness.
Nature is expanding
There’s something else going on here as well. As I walk my dog through our neighborhood each day, I notice how astonishingly clear the sky is. How good the air smells as the recent rains have inspired an explosion of life and an abundance of beauty. It almost feels like the Earth is receiving a long overdue hard reset. Nature is expanding.
I also notice my neighbors. People I’ve lived in very close proximity to for years, yet never had a conversation with. We maintain safe distance, but the sense of community and care for each other is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my almost six decades on this planet. Online, social media that’s been mostly a detrimental succubus is suddenly a lifeline to global community if time is taken to explore and to reach out. It’s an unprecedented support system and means for so many of us to keep in touch with friends and family and even barter for much needed goods and services. WE are expanding too.
This is also an opportunity to feel closer to those who have slipped away as life progressed and we became elsewhere focused, and a lens to focus on the incredible tenacity, generosity and heroism of our medical and scientific communities and tireless efforts of our first responders.
What else is possible amidst all this chaos?
Personal creativity is expanding exponentially, in every area. People taking up new hobbies and sharing skills to help each other. I see people taking risks and taking their talents for a test drive, in many cases for the first time ever. In our little bubble of voiceover, I’m connecting with people I haven’t seen in years, through webinars and classes and Q&As and chats and virtual lovefests. The voiceover community has always been quietly wonderful, but right now, every day, I’m experiencing expansion and mass examples of wonderfulness.
I’m inspired every day by the incredible generosity of spirit from as Mr. Rogers called them “the helpers,” in every field, in every area, from everywhere.
Sharing is Caring
Studio engineers, themselves out of work, are freely sharing their knowledge to help us VO dummies to record ourselves from home and keep working. My dear friend Dee Bradley Baker has just added some fantastic free content to his website that you may find very helpful during this time and beyond. Click all the links as you read through. Here are links to two great pages chock full of information:
Everyone’s skill set, work ethic and knowledge base is challenged daily, and we must meet that challenge if we are to evolve and survive – and so many are stepping up in the process.
Our own personal expansion
The industry has been rapidly changing anyway, and I’ve been scrambling to find ways to try and do all of the creative things I’ve dreamed about for several years now, but for me, this event has underscored the fact that we all have the same amount of time in a day. Now that we’re mandated to stay in our homes, we are forced to be with our “free” minutes, hours and days.
Even in our industry, we’re presented with choices. To rage, or breathe, or sleep or binge… or to work on our visions. To expand our personal universes.
We all also have a unique opportunity to be of service in a much grander, more profound way. Even if it’s only to reach out to someone and ask if they’re ok. Weeks ago, I was intending to write this piece simply about the idea of expansion. That was to say that we must all continue to expand on the good in our lives. When this virus hit, it occurred to me that in spite of the horrors – I needed to focus on the possibility that when it’s all over, we have the chance to do better. To be better as individuals – and as a global community.
Be there for those who need you, be kind to yourselves, and be open to the possibility that while expansion can be excruciatingly painful, it can also be a necessary step in our evolution. Be well my friends and be kind to yourselves and others. Every day. We’re all in this together.