I am thrilled to be here in Bali where I was the opening keynote at the 11th Annual Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference hosted by Tomorrow People Organization. I also had the honor of facilitating a post-conference retreat.
During my time here, I have watched the coronavirus escalate into a major world dilemma. In stark contrast to the balance and harmony that represents the spirit of the Balinese people, the severity of the threat has resulted in chaos, panic and to a certain degree, mass hysteria.
We are experiencing a steady breakdown of structure and life as we know it. There is a growing clamor and some irrational decisions in an attempt to take back control.
The fear being generated is a powerfully negative energy that makes a bad situation that much worse. Here in Bali where the far majority of people depend on tourism for their livelihood, they too are feeling the impact, although there are hardly any reported cases here.
Today, I was introduced to Nyepi, Balinese Hindus’ annual Day of Silence which occurs on March 25 this year. The main purpose of their observance is to fast, meditate and pray for the purification of humanity, earth, and the universe. Everything shuts down, and the human footprint on nature is minimized except for emergency services. The Balinese turn off their lights, businesses close and even the airport is shut down for 24 hours. They dedicate themselves to an entire day of rest, introspection and spiritual cleansing.
Complicated and dire circumstances are typically accompanied by strategies that attempt to force change. We have little choice but to be with whatever is decided along those lines.
As individuals, it’s clear that many are becoming more stressed and anxious as we watch the numbers rise, and activities shut down.
And I ponder what might help us all generate a better sense of power. I wonder how we can choose to respond as best we can, rather than react in ways that make a dire situation even worse. How can we use our internal resources to help reduce the highly toxic, fear-based environment that is spreading as fast as the virus itself?
Perhaps this is a time for us to pull back, reflect and have our own Day of Silence. Our emotional wellbeing could benefit from this type of intervention while we do what we can to follow protocols and exercise other common-sense precautions.
A little purification and introspection would help us too!