The world is forever changed since Covid erupted on the scene in 2020. The whole landscape of our lives is altered - the way we socialize, shop, work and attend school are all being re-imagined. We will be living with corona viruses from now on, managing risk and assessing the benefits of our activity. On a deeper level, the pandemic changed how we view ourselves, our goals and our lifestyle. Where does work fit into that equation? How do the demands of work affect our quality of life?
For some, Covid loosened the bonds of work structures in both time and space. They had the privilege of working from home, and enjoyed freedom from commutes and flexible schedules. For others, the demands of a traditional in-person job became untenable, unmanageable. We were all forced to slow down and ask, what work supports our needs - and desires? What creates meaning for us?
Maslov’s five "hierarchy of needs" is still relevant all these decades later. Us humans need food, shelter, adequate rest - and clean air and water! - to survive physically. We also need safety and security. Physical safety (sadly, not an automatic assumption these days) and economic security, which ensure the basic necessities of the first stage will be met. Safety and security means reliable healthcare too.
Next up is the need for love and belonging. Intimate relationships, family and friends, and a “tribe” with similar affinities are essential to our being! We are social creatures, and in the U.K. the National Institute of Health recognizes the epidemic of loneliness as a disease. During Covid we needed to prune our relationships, with fewer people in our circle (remember pods?) The connections that remained grew deeper.
Our emotional and psychological aspects are intertwined, each constantly affecting the other. Self-esteem comes from feeling pride in an accomplishment, that we are making a positive contribution, that we are needed. We hear of people who die soon after their spouse does, or when they “retire”. They have lost a love, or a sense of purpose, which gave their life significance.
At the pinnacle of our needs is actualization. This is the call to develop spiritually, to access and live up to our highest potential. The urge to make sense of the world, to wonder why we are here, and to explore the outer realms of our cosmos and consciousness is essential. It is baked into our nature. When we are engaged with that primal longing, we are truly satisfied.
What can work do for us? It can provide resources for physical health; the safety and security of a group; and the satisfaction of a job well done. We can feel valued for the people we support with our work. It can even express our highest purpose, in alignment with our unique talents! Ideally, work can meet all those needs, to some degree.
Long before Covid, people came to my classes looking for more meaning in their lives and work. After the basic necessities to sustain life are met, we want the freedom to pursue our interests, enjoy ourselves, and find fulfillment in our efforts. People are choosing work more carefully now, paying attention to the ways it can enhance rather than detract from their lives. The new work may not be perfect, but Covid pulled back the curtain - and we noticed that we all have the ability to go within, and create what we need!
Stay steady in the flux!
Peace, love and healing,
Last chance to watch my webinar before it goes away on Sunday! Whether you are interested in classes or not, there are some fun and fascinating energy exercises to do, to start playing with energy in your life. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER