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  • Anna Toombs

How are you evolving?

I have always felt – for a long while unconsciously – that there is a higher being at work. Something out there that clearly knows better than us humans!

And when I work with clients, I am always telling them: “The answers are in Nature”. For example, if my client is having a problem with particular muscles relating to their sedentary job, I remind them that they are not designed to sit in a chair all day. Or sit in a chair, full stop. None of us came into this world wearing shoes, but the reliance on footwear and orthotics “because my feet are weak” is extremely common.

When I have these kinds of conversations with fellow health professionals, the subject of evolution often comes up. We have evolved to wear shoes, to eat processed foods, etc., so the argument goes. This is why we live longer and are making progress.

When Nature throws a curveball like Covid-19, it makes me stop and think. Why is this happening? There must be a reason, mustn’t there?

And then I wonder – do I need a reason for it? Or do I just concentrate on how to make the best out of a very challenging situation.

#Weareallinthistogether was a popular sentiment when the virus first attacked. It brought out the best in us. Friends contacted each other to check they were okay, people made sure their elderly or vulnerable neighbours had plenty of food. Our immediate thoughts were for our fellow citizens and we applauded the NHS for their incredible work.

We all ran out of toilet paper for a while too but thankfully that was short-lived. And we joked about it.

Then, sadly, it seemed we began to lose that desire to help one another. Instead, we became tribal. Mask-wearers against non mask-wearers, walkers against runners, runners against cyclists. People who planned fireworks for 8pm on a Thursday versus those who forgot to even clap.

We each fled to our tribe for safety and pointed our fingers at others. On Facebook, on television, in the media.

We all got sucked in. As a runner, I was angry! Dare I say outraged?! I saw the venom on local social media forums directed at me and fellow runners, about how we are always breathing too hard in people’s faces and spreading our germs. Well excuse me, I go out of my way to keep my distance, running much of my route in the road and going off my path so that others can be safe. Why do you people have to walk hand in hand next to each other while I risk my life against the traffic?

Wait a minute. Hold on.

The answers are in Nature, correct? They are not in the virtual world, they are in the real world.

I pulled myself together and freed myself from the tangle of the internet. On my next run, I didn’t go out ready to be angry and defensive. Instead, I watched what actually happened.

This is what I saw: Other runners went in the road so that I could remain on the pavement. People moved to single file or stood aside to let me pass. I did the same for them. And we thanked each other.

In other words, I changed my perspective and saw something different.

I think this virus is teaching us the importance of real life contact. Of real life! Of course, yes, it’s also taught us that we have evolved into a society that will always embrace the internet, and technology has clearly been a lifesaver – literally – for many.

But we must keep thinking for ourselves and experiencing what’s real. Can we make the best out of a bad situation? What is it teaching us? Never mind what other people might be doing or thinking, what are your thoughts, what is happening inside you? What does your soul tell you about this next phase of your own, personal evolution?

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