John & Gaia here, your F**k It guides through good times and scary times.
We got a big response to the message we sent out last weekend offering some lighter words and reassurance around the coronavirus –
mainly from people feeling more relaxed and reassured by our message.
And a lot has happened during this last week, and is happening every day…
So, if you’re concerned about your own health, or that of relatives and friends, or about your job or business, or about your pension, or about travelling, or your holidays, or not being able to go to the cinema or the bingo or access to loo roll…
And that phrase will conjure images for some (many?) of you of Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army who (panicking) would go around saying “Don’t panic, don’t panic!”.
Here’s a clip –
Well, easier said than done (just as it was for Jonesy).
Is this message all about relaxing then, taking a chill pill, and not bothering about all the scary news?
Though being more relaxed can certainly help.
The issue is that we might jump to the other end of the scale –
Being laid back and blase about the whole thing.
You’ve probably seen this around you over these last few weeks –
Some people getting very anxious and panicky.
Others being very blase: “Ahhh, what’s all the fuss about… this is all being whipped up by the media… loads of people die from the flu every year…” and so on.
So what is a healthy and helpful response to this?
Osho used to talk about the word ‘Beware’, that is made up of ‘be’ and ‘aware’,
ie. the state of mindful presence to things.
It is the quality that many of us experience most vividly in meditation (and then take out into the ongoing meditation of life).
To be aware is to look at things but not to overly react to them (ie. panic).
To be aware is not to go to sleep or go unconscious (ie. be blase about a genuine threat).
To be aware is to – as calmly as possible – look at reality as it is and notice fully what is going on.
To be aware is to see what’s needed, in the present, based on what is observed.
To be aware is not to fix on a thought, or a line of action, and stick rigidly to that, no matter what, it is to remain awake to reality as it changes, and as the incoming information changes.
And I hope that you’re seeing how this state of ‘being aware’ can be applied to our response to the global spread of the coronavirus.
The picture will change, the information will vary, the advice will alter, the effects may be unpredictable, the experts might disagree, the virus may mutate, the statistics will be interpreted in different ways, the national responses will differ, some around us will panic, some will have their head in the sand, some will get sick, many will be worried sick…
But we have a choice about our response to it all.
And that is: to stay as calm as possible, and BE AWARE and remain aware.
Now, we’ve guided many of you through thick and thin over the years.
We are considering how best to guide our F**kiteers at the moment.
If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to do or talk about,
that would help support you through these challenging times
(and ‘challenging’ for many different reasons too),
then please let us know.
Just send us an email with your thoughts – firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll read everything.
And, given we probably won’t be able to reply to everyone personally, we thank you now, in advance of your thoughts, messages, and ideas.
Thank you for listening.
And please do wash your hands.
John & Gaia x