We are living in a world that is in the late stage of a Caterpillar. It is very important to let go of the old and start to gravitate to the new because we are leaving behind a world that is no longer sustainable and moving into a world in which we can thrive. – Bruce H. Lipton
I’m scared of snakes, of being alone in the dark, of talking in front of crowds. I’m scared of roller-coasters, and of deep water. But I’m not scared of Coronavirus. Here’s why:
News of its spread, of its effects are everywhere. From social media, to the news, to the lips of each passerby. As a result, our global community is already facing some serious challenges. We now have a choice – we can either divide ourselves, bicker about the best practices and when to enter into public spaces, or we can unite in love and move forward into the next phase with compassion and kindness as our guides.
I am walking through the empty aisles, marvelling at the toilet paper crisis and inwardly cursing those who have preemptively stockpiled, when a snippet of conversation catches my attention. I turn towards the end of the aisle, where a boy and girl, no older than ten or eleven stand, each with a small pile of paper in their hands which they are handing out eagerly to shoppers.
As I approach, they hand one to me, I glance down curiously. “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help” The heading at the top of the page states before leading into a form, where options, ranging from assistance with shopping to posting mail and a friendly call, are listed.
The boy senses my interest and quickly begins explaining. “We want to help the old people and those who feel unsafe to go out,” he explains. “If you are healthy, will you consider volunteering to support those who need to self-isolate?”
The annoyance I had felt seconds before at not being able to buy toilet paper, melted softly into tenderness. I realised in that moment that through the panic, the fear, we have forgotten the most important element of being human; the thing that makes us so successful as a species, the thing that keeps us strong, that helps our immune systems more than perhaps anything else. We have forgotten how potent and powerful loving-kindness is.
Human beings are not meant to live alone. There is a fundamental biological imperative that propels you and every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with other organisms. – Bruce H. Lipton
Feel the Love … Let the Stress Dissipate
Cellular Biologist, Dr. Bruce Lipton took to social media and his personal blog last week to confront the issues around the current pandemic. He stated:
“Stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. When an individual is in stress, the release of stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) shuts down the immune system to conserve the body’s energy for running away from the perceived stressor, that proverbial “saber-toothed tiger.” Stress hormones are so effective at compromising the immune system, that physicians therapeutically provide recipients of organ transplants with stress hormones to prevent their immune system from rejecting the foreign implant.
The conclusion is clear: The fear of the Coronavirus is more deadly than the virus itself!”
Some may say that staying away from the current stress is easier said than done. It feels as though fear is all around us, it has taken a solid grip on our society. How do we move past this fear and into a healthy state of caution?
To fully thrive, we must not only eliminate the stressors but also actively seek joyful, loving, fulfilling lives that stimulate growth processes. – Bruce H. Lipton
Give and You Shall Receive
We’ve heard of love hormones and stress hormones, but kindness hormones are also a thing and they could be the key to us thriving in the current climate.
As Dr. David R Hamilton explains, “When we give, it is the feeling of warmth, connection, even love or affection, that generates the kindness hormones. Research even shows that oxytocin (a kindness hormone) helps protect muscles from damage, which may even contribute to the effect of kindness increasing endurance. At the same time, the emotional high (known as ‘Helper’s High’) can produce a psychological state of exhilaration.”
When conditions are tough, when we feel stressed and uneasy, our immunity can go down, but acts of kindness and compassion reverse these effects and make us healthier. It may seem as though most people are in a state of self-preservation and kindness is hard to come by, however, if we choose to look, we can always find the light at the end of any dark tunnel.
Already, we are seeing people in Italy joining forces (even if it is at a distance) to show their solidarity through impromptu balcony-choirs. And there are determined health professionals willing to risk their own health to assist others. There have been reports of free lunch programs in the US for kids who had relied on school lunches which are now no longer available and educational websites are also offering free programs for students who cannot attend school. These are just a few examples, there are plenty more throughout each community and the world.
The Mother Theresa Effect
In a Harvard University study, volunteers watched a video of Mother Theresa carrying out various acts of kindness and compassion. Saliva swabs were taken before the video was watched and then again afterwards to measure the levels of secretory immunoglobulin-A (s-IgA) – an important component of our immune systems. As explained by Dr. David R Hamilton, s-IgA is “the first point of defence when a virus, bacteria or other pathogen gets into your mouth.” The levels of s-IgA increased in participants after simply watching acts of kindness and stayed elevated for up to an hour afterwards.
A similar study by HeartMath Institute asked participants to spend five minutes cultivating feelings of care and compassion. The results reflected the Harvard study, with participants receiving an immune boost.
Kindness is beneficial for both the giver and receiver as both gain a substantial boost in positive hormones. But moreover, these studies show the far-reaching ripple effects of kindness and compassion: by helping one other person, you are assisting your own health and that of everyone around you.
Creating a New Norm
The current crisis is offering an unprecedented opportunity to show our humanity, to be there for one another. Coronavirus can be seen as a disaster, or it can be seen as a chance to create a stronger, more vibrant and caring global community. Let’s embrace a common purpose, create kindness and truly come together as One.
I will be making every conscious effort in choosing to meet this adversity with love and compassion. My prayer is that you will too.
Things could change so entirely, in a heartbeat; the world could be made entirely anew because someone was kind. – Jo Baker, Longbourn
How has kindness helped you through difficult times? What is the Coronavirus teaching you? Please share your inspiring, uplifting stories and help boost the health of our global community of Unity, Peace, and Love.
With love, kindness, and compassion,