Recently, the Premier of Queensland issued the directive ‘you need to shrink your world’. She was referring to how many people we can legally be in contact with both inside and outside of our home in response to COVID-19. For some reason, this particular phrase caught my attention and I found myself pondering about the notion of shrinking our world. I came to the realisation that in truth we have been shrinking our world for decades, if not hundreds of years, shrinking away from our connection with the planets and stars, the universe, the cycles of nature and our multidimensionality. At another level we have been shrinking away also from the connection with our inner world, our Soul, our essence which forms the foundation for true connection with others. Our world is often no larger than ‘me, myself and I’. It is easy to observe how this approach to life has reduced our sense of collective responsibility that comes naturally when we live from a knowing that we are all connected and that every movement we make affects everyone else.
Where once we used to live in reverence to and in communion with the grander cycles of the universe, understanding our place within them and the interconnectedness of all life, I suspect we rarely look up at the night sky and take in the grandness of space. In some places the night sky is obscured if not invisible as a result of the dense air pollution or the light pollution which dulls the sky above highly populated areas. In the past, before the advent of screens and mass media, the planets, stars and heavens were considered a key part of ‘our world’, guiding us in our travels, supporting our agriculture and our architecture. Now we seem to be on a quest to explore their potential as an escape from life on Earth.
Despite the ease with which we can now travel and cross borders near or far, for most, the world or at the very least our world view, has shrunk to the size of a phone screen, iPad, computer or at most a super- sized TV screen. We walk our streets and ride public transport with our headphones in, head down and eyes focused solely on the phone, withdrawn from both what is happening in the world around us and from connection with the people around us. We now live in communities, suburban neighbourhoods, and apartment blocks in cities large and small, but rarely do we know our neighbours. Social distancing and isolation are not new but symptomatic of our disconnection from our larger world and our inner world.
From my own experience of living in this way for much of my life, it became obvious that without a connection to our inner world (inner heart, our Soul, our essence, God) we have reduced the world to a very functional place, an existence where we work, raise a family, educate ourselves and enjoy the temporary relief provided by weekends and holidays. We seem to be on an incessant uphill treadmill running against time to earn enough, achieve enough, buy the perfect house and car, produce smart kids, and own the latest technology. In turn, we are plagued by exhaustion, stress, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, violence and many more health and social conditions which are only increasing as we ‘shrink our world’.
I have come to know that reconnecting to our inner world is key to experiencing an enriched and expanded world and deeper connections with others. It is our key to knowing that we come from the stars, are therefore naturally grand, divine and have access to a universal intelligence that holds all as equal. Through our inner connection we can come to know our innate and soulful qualities - love, joy, truth, harmony and stillness – and come to recognise these qualities in others which in turn offers the true understanding that we are all the same, all equal in our divinity and connection to God. With this understanding it is natural to feel a responsibility to live in a way that supports the expression of these qualities, a responsibility to deeply care for ourselves and each other.
During this time, when we are being asked to spend less time out in the world, and more time in our homes – in effect to ‘shrink’ our world - perhaps we could consider that this is an opportunity to reconnect to our inner world, to our inner-most being. And when we come to know that the key to this reconnection lies in our inner heart, we will then know so very clearly that no form of imposed isolation can distance us from ourselves, those around us, our world and our Universe.
By Michelle Sheldrake