Do you feel anxious? Unsettled? Frustrated? Stressed? Scared of the future? It seems like these have become core elements of modern life in most developed societies. It’s just accepted that life is stressful or frustrating and any mental health issues that we might be struggling with need to be suppressed or medicated so we can get on with our pursuit of a perceived ‘perfect life.’ There’s rarely any encouragement to think for ourselves and find an alternative way of thinking and living that might address the underlying causes of mental, emotional or spiritual discomfort. Not unless it contributes in some way to our nation’s economy and our own self-improvement — in other words, to the advancement of humanity.
“there’s a great sense of global unease at the present time”
It’s no surprise that there’s a great sense of global unease at the present time. We are still in the grip of an unprecedented pandemic and people’s lives have been turned upside down over the last year. Add to this the looming existential threat of climate change, increasing levels of social unrest and instability, plus the expectations that are put on every one of us in our highly individualised, ‘Me First' Culture, and it’s no wonder that levels of anxiety and mental health issues are on the rise. Particularly concerning is the deterioration of mental health amongst children and young people. This is an area of the population that could traditionally be relied on to maintain a healthy level of optimism and positive energy. So if the mental health of children and young people is suffering then there is clearly something very wrong.

I’ve explored this subject in my latest single, Inner State. My feeling is that the society that we are now living in is producing an internal ‘state of emergency’ in its citizens. The government itself and the establishment that surrounds and supports it (or vice versa) is now openly operating in its own short-term self-interest. This has always been the case to a certain extent but the administrations of Donald Trump in the US and Boris Johnson in the UK have brazenly exposed the reality of the system for all to see. Now national governments are all bickering over vaccines and are desperately trying to ‘get back to normal’ as quickly as possible to protect their economies rather than addressing the underlying problems in the system.

But people are starting to see through the system now. We are witnessing widespread social uprisings as people have had enough of racism, misogyny, social inequality, prejudice of all kinds and the pillaging and destruction of the planet and its natural resources. This is creating an incredible wave of positive change across the globe but it is also deeply destabilising for all of us as individuals, especially those directly involved in the activism itself. These are uncertain times. We can see that a better world is possible, and may be on the horizon, but it’s very unclear how we’re going to get there and whether we will be able to make the transition in a peaceful and orderly manner.

On top of this, we have all been brought up steeped in the old system — one that glorifies competition, individualism, productivity and personal achievement. These values are hardwired in all of us whether we like it or not. Even if we can see that the system needs to change, it is much more difficult and disconcerting to make the personal internal shift to a new way of thinking and being. Most of us can probably agree that a society based on balance, respect, cooperation and hope sounds like a good idea. However, when we start to unpick our current mindsets and examine our attachments to things like personal achievements, money, property and possessions, the transition to a society rooted in collaboration, inclusiveness and (dare I say it) love looks a lot more challenging. We would need to let go of a lot!
“embrace the change”
I believe that the change is underway. But it’s not going to happen overnight — it’s likely to take a number of generations for the paradigm to fully shift. So what can we do to help it on its way? I would say that the most positive single action we can all take is to embrace the change. Let’s try and embark on this journey together with positivity, trust and hope. Let’s open our minds, open our hearts, think for ourselves and find our own way to a new way of being. That will mean slowing down, grounding, reconnecting with the natural world and looking inside ourselves for guidance and direction. It won’t be easy, and we mustn’t expect too much too quickly, but if enough of us begin to think and behave differently, then the new bigger picture that we have just started to glimpse will finally emerge in all its glory.


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