Let’s bring some light to this theme of Return. Of course we aren’t ready, and we may get sent to our bedrooms or corners again.

First, let’s identify what we’re keeping. Share with others and brainstorm. Send me your list and I’ll share our collective wisdom in a couple weeks. Here’s mine, so far:

1. No more rushing around. Inhabit the slower pace with contentment.
2. Remain grateful for things I used to take for granted: meat in the grocery, people smiling, buds on trees, an open business, sitting beside someone, a hug, concerts….

Second, cultivate comfort with uncertainty. Keep saying I don’t know instead of feeling like we have to consume and excrete every piece of new news that will be obsolete tomorrow.

Cultivate comfort with contradiction and paradox. These reveal truth and a growing edge of consciousness.

With that, this Return will probably be an iterative looping. See it as a process ‘with you’ rather than change happening ‘to you.’ We’ll have to try some things to know they aren’t what we want. Many people already learn this way—I suspect it will become more common. There’s a useful technique simply called ‘cleaning up.’ This is where you realize an hour or day or whatever later what you wish you’d said or done. Under stress our brains aren’t always in the moment 100% clear. So clean it up later. Say, “Hey, I want to clarify X. Here’s what I actually meant/wanted/intended….” Begin learning this and teaching it to others.

You construct your reality and your response to the world within your capacities.

Everyone else is doing this too. License plate shaming might be someone watching too much news, out of work, or grieving. Their action doesn’t belong to me; I don’t have to be upset by it.

Notice any relief about cancelled routines, decisions, and obligations. Plan the rest of life accordingly.

Whatever you ‘can’t imagine doing’ that you will in fact do, imagine it. We use this re-entry technique at the end of retreats, so some of you know it. Simply take your mind through the steps of your return.

Next up, we’ll go through the Return according to the Hero’s Journey, which of course has more depth of wisdom.