Wow, what a week last week was and was it really only a week ago?  I feel like it's been at least a month, maybe more, all squished into a week.

As I sit down to write this week's newsletter, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on all that has, and is, going on. What has really struck me is how much the world really has changed.  The world as I knew it has gone and although I hear lots of people say "when things go back to normal......" I think the 'normal' as we knew it has gone for good and we will all have to welcome in a new and very different world.

I know that many of us are going through such challenging times and times may well get harder still, but something at the very heart of us all has fundamentally shifted. I'm sure that you have noticed this too, have felt that shift. Yes, this virus will and has affected us all in very different ways, but one thing we can be sure of - no one is exempt and it will affect each and every one of us.  This I feel is why there has been such a dramatic shift within us all.

It's been a time, and will continue to be, where we have had to keep apart from each other, stay away from the people that we love and care about, stay in our own homes and if we do go out for supplies or to do essential work, then we've had to shield ourselves even more..........

BUT, in this time of separateness, have you noticed how we have in fact all come together? We have united together to help each other.  I'm not just talking about all the amazing hard work that the NHS and everyone that is keeping the country going is doing, nor am I talking about the financial help that is coming forward, or even about the people in Italy playing music and singing to each other on an evening.  It's even bigger than that.

It's that we are really noticing each other, recognising that we are all just the same, connecting with each other in many different ways, using technology to help us connect, waving and talking to our neighbours, maybe even for the first time, helping those that can't go out with their shopping, we are caring about others and showing it in ways that we didn't before.   

Families are spending more precious time together, we are finding different ways to do things.  So many of us are working from home and finding it not as difficult as we thought.   We have more TIME, more time for our relationships, more time for ourselves, more time to cook meals from scratch, more time to invest in our health and well being, less time spent travelling, less time getting stuck in traffic, less time shopping and spending money to make us feel happy, more time outside even if that's in our own gardens. More time to appreciate the people all around us, more time to appreciate nature in all its wonder.

You can almost feel our planet sigh with relief as pollution has plummeted, as we finally start to appreciate more, as we realise what we once thought was so important is no more. As our planet takes a deep calming breath, we do too.  The world as we knew it is gone and as the weeks and months go by, we can and must take with us all the positive changes, the togetherness, the sense of belonging, the kindness, the oneness, the way we all opened our hearts and we can take all of that with us as we welcome in our new world.

So, if life is feeling tough, overwhelming and unfair, take a moment to breathe, a moment of calm and know that nothing lasts for ever, these times will pass and out of the darkness will shine a light so bright - know that we are ready and willing to change as we move into and welcome in our bright new world.