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.
This article does relate to my survival & how the COVID-19 pandemic affected my abilities. I wasn’t myself during the lockdown and I lost intrest in what I wanted to do in life. I was lazy and know i regret it. I wish I can tell me past self to push forward and not slack off. There is still hope & sunlight that we’ll get through this.
this pandemic has hit everyone a bit differently and my heart aches for everyone. for me, i have used the time the best i can with getting out into nature (with distancing for certain) spending quality time with my family and honing my craft musically and in VO. the webinars have been a constant source of comfort and training. i thank the universe daily for the Blumvox family and team.
I currently reside on the Navajo Nation. And this sickness is something very new for all of our elders to keep up with. Family have been torn apart because of it. In our culture, rain is a good sign, a sign that nature is healing and things are going to be better. I hope your doing well
This pandemic has been hard on so many, and something for us all to try to get through. As long as everyone takes precautions so that the virus does not spread, we can beat this as together.
Since the start of all of this, I made myself an Instagram account, and it has been wonderful. Being on it and being able to interact with new people, and watching live signings, going live with celebs, and so much more, has taken my mind off of things going on. Watching you for the first time do the IG live signing, was so cool. I felt like we were sitting in the same room chatting, because you just interact so well with everyone. Also, hearing you actually say my name live, and autographing a print, really excited me. 🙂
Steve, thank you for all that you do and have done. Your talents will always be legendary to me. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well through all of thus, and maybe one day I can get the honor of meeting you in person. Thank you.
Thanks for this Steve, continue to stay safe as I am sure we are far from done with this virus, I too have noticed the world getting better, connections are being remade and the love and support has been outstanding. Connection in general is crucial I think, checking on people is vital, some folks are suffering more and more into depression, the isolation can be too devastating for some, even those that smile are crying behind it and need some love. Thank you so much Steve for sharing your thoughts in such trying times. You and your family please stay safe.
Expanding is very difficult for me for I have a lot of stress due to the pandemic. Though, I’ll do my best to improve upon myself in some way in order to make use of my time.
This was a much needed read.
Thanks for this! Stay Safe!