Yesterday I finally saw a dear friend after a long time. We caught up on all things and the topic of our children’s well-being after the pandemic emerged. At one point she said, “We are all schizophrenic, we don’t know whether to hug, shake hands, kiss, or what.”
Imagine the kids.
It caused me to reflect on a moment in March 2020. We had just left our lives in NYC to quarantine in a fishing village called Montauk. I was sick, so a friend dropped off food for me. When I looked through that glass door an eerie feeling came over me. I was so struck by the gravity of the loss of human touch globally.
I couldn’t imagine what would be lost, but I could feel it. That feeling inspired a short film, so who is to say that feelings should be squashed. Maybe emotions need to be channeled in a direction, but history has taught us over and over again that mental “illness” is something imposed by the group, not a defect of the individual.
So here we are now, over a year after the height of the pandemic and we are hugging, sitting in restaurants, and even sharing drinks. The thought!
So I want to make this entry one of gratitude for a few people who are using their global reach to heal some of what we and our children lost by not having physical touch.
I have to honor the queen of mental wellness right now - Oprah. The way she partnered with Prince Harry to reveal evidence-based psychotherapy that can reprogram the brain, in my opinion, will have one of the greatest impacts on human resilience right now and beyond.
In their docuseries, they address the taboo topic of our feelings. It’s ironic to me that feelings have become a symptom of an illness when they are the solutions to our pain. Up until 2020, the Feeling Majority hasn’t been writing or funding the scripts, but now feeling is even being seen as a superpower in films like Dark Phoenix.
More funding for the feeling majority!
I have yet to see their series The Me You Can’t See but look forward to it. If influential people within their families, communities, and organizations can show the courage of queens and princes, perhaps we can normalize the invisible impact of stress and loss.
We have the data to be more human. It’s just a matter of how we will use it.
Our human potential is limitless. Intelligence isn’t defined by being logical or able to read a book. Goodness isn’t defined by following the rules of the past in place of leveraging it for a better future. Intelligence is being able to be logical, opinionated, feeling, responsive, reflective, and action-driven as a reflex.
Intelligence is being able to hold two contradictory thoughts and beliefs at the same time and reconcile that they are both truths. For example, I am feeling strong. That is a new idea, that perhaps those raised in generations before us didn’t have the luxury or ability to challenge as they survived their own worlds.
Intelligence isn’t just one way of being, it’s the ability to be all ways. I believe that we all wear a certain set of glasses through which we see the world. As a result, I believe that intelligence is the ability to tap into human potential by not limiting our minds to thoughts that don’t incorporate all lenses.
The way people think about the potential of the mind is going through a cultural shift because people with influence are providing learning opportunities for people who prefer to learn through media sources - from thinking of it as protecting mental wellness instead.
Kelli McCloud prescribes Storytelling & Storylistening as a way forward to crossing cultures. Whether it is a prince crossing cultures with his family or a parent re-writing the scripts from the past for a better future
Regardless of a person’s beliefs, the brain has the power to change. We as individuals have the power to influence how it changes and how to unlock doors to our highest potential, but it’s not going to be easy.
Thank you Prince Harry for being an example of what Sharyl Sandberg talked about in her book Lean In. Thank you for choosing and supporting your wife. I honor you for breaking through boundaries that others may not have been able to. I honor both your chosen and given families for providing the infrastructure and influence to have such a great impact.
Every one of us has queens and princes inside of us. Whatever those terms mean to each of us, 2021 is teaching me that words aren’t up for the task for what lies ahead. As a result, Prince Harry showing people his doing neuro-programming via EMDR was culturally revolutionary.
I grew up with men who dismissed any discussion of mental health or emotions as psycho-babble and weak. I honor those men because they were fighting wars and I can only imagine they didn’t have those luxuries, but right now we do. We have the luxury of being connected, learning that there is strength in numbers, and hearing what others are experiencing too.
We have the ability to share stories and listen to each other.
Now the challenge is to find the queens in princes inside of each of us for lasting change that brings us together. If not for our own sakes, then for the children.