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Go to Ground & Look for the Lesson

It is my overall nature to be optimistic, so I thought I should start this writing with the phrase, “2020 has been an unbelievably challenging year”.

But I am also a realist and prone to immense amounts of sarcasm and dark humor, so the other side of me wanted to begin with, “2020 has been a raging dumpster fire”.

Duality, right?

Regardless of what side you come down on, 2020 has been…let’s say ‘unusual and interesting’, for sure. So what do we do with that? Do we just let it swirl around us and sweep us up in the insanity? Do we hide out and close our ears and pretend it’s not happening?

No, we Go to Ground and we Look for the Lessons.

I was on a very interesting small business networking call this morning. It began with an eye-opening review conducted by UNH of how the novel coronavirus has changed the landscape of small business in my state (though I suspect the findings could be easily applied across the country). I expected much of what I saw – concerns about health and safety, striking financial loss, distress over customer reach, and fear about what the future may hold.

But there was another dynamic charted out that surprised me in the very best way – the changes many small businesses had implemented and planned to keep after COVID-19 is no longer a danger. Expanded marketing, a more extensive web presence, and most beautifully…collaboration with other businesses.

This virus has not only changed the way we’re working right now, it is literally changing the future landscape of business in this country and around the world. What an amazing, humbling lesson for us.

It’s human nature, when we are working at full capacity and seeing results, to think we are doing things the ‘right way’, so to speak. Don’t fix what’s not broken, and all that.

It takes something like this to rock us back on our heels and make us truly reevaluate what we’re doing – whether it is truly the most compassionate, heart-centered way of doing it – and dive into some heady introspection.

The meeting then took a beautiful, shocking turn into the importance of “leading from the heart” as a business owner, and approaching all your interactions with employees and customers from this perspective. I had tears in my eyes when I heard those words. Can you imagine? A world where every single business owner – from me and my sweet, tiny shop to the Jeff Bezos’s of the globe – led from the heart?

Inevitably, the question of how one can begin to do that surfaced. The advice given was to “undo your own knots” first, meaning to work on yourself and your own tangled emotions and outdated paradigms so you can better open your heart to others. What absolutely perfect advice.

I spent many years in Corporate America in my early adult phase, and I can assure you, this was a subject that was never broached (or even considered) in the 90’s. Judging from my wife’s experience in her corporate position, it wasn’t even really thought about last year. But now even her CEO is appearing on camera, tearful over the pain reverberating through the collective in this moment.

THAT is where our personal magick is. That is where we find our heart-center, and our ability to step out of the fear of “but what’s going to happen to me” and into the love of “how can I serve you in this madness”.

We must engage in the vulnerability of authenticity. Discovering and acknowledging and processing our own fears and worries so we can more productively address those of other people. We must know ourselves and accept ourselves fully – warts and all – before we can extend that grace to someone else.

For this, we Go to Ground.

This can mean whatever you need it to mean. It could be literally sitting in the grass or surrounded by nature, releasing your fear into Mother Earth (don’t worry – she can take it)…having a phone conversation with a loved one who helps you remember who you really are…watching your favorite movie that always makes you laugh…spending time with your children or spouse…or even just a lovely bubble bath with no interruptions.

Anything that helps you return to center, and remember you are a gorgeous, eternal spirit having an interesting human experience – this is Going to Ground, spiritually.

Once you are secure in your center, you can begin the physical phase of this process, where you share that peace with others. Social justice activism and education…community involvement…collaboration…emotional support – this is where the rubber hits the road when you Go to Ground. This is where your magick begins to shine in how you interact with others and make your way through the world.

Whether you found the words ‘dumpster fire’ appropriate or inflammatory, they’re not far off from the visible state of our country right now. A virus is ravaging our population, widely unchecked. Leadership has failed us at the highest levels. Civil unrest is reaching an deafening peak. Families are being pulled out of cars and held at gunpoint on the ground because of the level of melanin in their skin. Unidentified, uniformed officers are descending on cities and detaining innocent citizens without cause or recourse. This reads more like a dystopian teen novel than a realistic account, but here we are.

However.

As I tell my clients every time The Tower card appears in a tarot reading, there can be no creation without destruction. Entropy is the language of the Universe, and we can either get on board or be run over by it.

As an example, I would never have just thrown a tarot table in the back storage room with all the boxes and display stuff still surrounding me and called it a Reading Room for my clients. I had to do the hard, hot work of moving all those things out, scrubbing everything down, repainting, cleansing, and decorating before there was the peaceful energy I was going for in the space.

The same is true of life in general. You can build on what came before, but you must clear the way of debris first. Fear. Anger. Inequality. Greed. These things have hindered our ability to live as a society that is heart-centered and compassion-focused. And we’re being offered the opportunity – the destruction – necessary to change that.

The only question is what we will do with it. I choose to Go to Ground. And I invite you to join me.

All love, fellow travelers.

JA

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