Q&A with spiritual leader Alessandra Bogner (Read on to find out)
Corona! Corona! Corona!
What else can anyone say that hasn’t already been said. It’s changed all of our lives, gave us new perspectives, raised lots of questions about healthcare, safety, government, school protocol and vaccines. And hopefully made us appreciate life and kindness a little more.
We will all be reading about Covid 19 and the 2020 year in history, but I didn’t want to write an article about how challenging the year was, we all got that. Parents became teachers (and therapists and nurses and much more), many lost their jobs, people moved to other place, and most importantly, many lost loved ones.
I wanted to write something that focuses on the positive. We all know that out of many disasters, enlightenment comes, a new way of doing things, a new way of learning. Yes, parents became teachers, but we learned to appreciate them a lot more and spent precious time with our kids. Yes, many people lost their jobs, but lots of people also re-invented themselves and found new and better ways of earning a living. And while many people lost loved ones, extraordinary acts of kindness were displayed because whether you lost someone or not, we all understood and grieved together.
I was reading something that my good friend Ali Bogner wrote about the “new normal”. We’ve heard this term before but what does it really mean? She wrote, “The Universe is showing us that going back to “normal” was not the point of this pandemic. That so-called “normal” we are wishing for is actually what got us into this situation, so we need to evolve and expand beyond what we were”.
I consider Ali a spiritual leader, she’s always bringing enlightenment to people. She is the author of “Lightworkers of Florence” on her Facebook Page, which talks about so many self-awareness topics. I am happy she agreed to participate in my blog.
Q: What do you think is the single most important thing we have learned from this pandemic?
A: I think that the most important thing we learned is how connected we all are. Humanity is at the beginning of understanding our oneness. The universal laws of cause and effect are becoming more obvious in the sense that we are realizing how the actions of each of us has a consequence on the whole. This was a global event unlike any other we’ve experienced in history. We are not able to physically be with each other and yet, globally, we all felt each other.
Some people would argue that the events of the pandemic brought out so much ugly and divided many people, but I ask you to look deeper. Those are just growing pains in the evolution of sensing each other. Sure, there were heated arguments about masks/no masks, lockdown/no lockdown and our old wounds of racism and intolerance popped up everywhere, but this time, it was a global conversation. As an example, the George Floyd incident sparked rage all over the world. Florence is an amazing place, but not really known for its involvement on American racism, but it was felt here like it was our own.
I believe that the important things in life are the invisible – that which we cannot perceive with our five senses. Things like love, respect, joy, grace, compassion – and these things have become more important to us. The veil is slowly being lifted and we are starting to see things in more of a collective way.
Q: When we talk about the “new normal” what do you think that means and how do we prepare for it?
A: Nothing irks me more than someone saying, “I can’t wait until we get back to ‘normal.’” Really? Do you want to go back to what got us into this mess? What the new normal will be is a hard question to answer since we are in the midst of collectively manifesting this right now. And that’s how we should look at it – WE are manifesting something new.
The Universe does not make mistakes; we were given this pandemic as a great re-set to observe what works and what doesn’t and we will be the co-creators of a new world. The world is going to re-start and we have this amazing opportunity to make it more humane, more balanced…but first, we have to be uncomfortable where we are and that’s part of the new normal.
So many people have these nagging feelings of uncertainty and fatigue trying to figure out where they see themselves in the future. This is good! We are entering unknown territory and these feelings of doubt should make us go within a bit more and get in touch with our deeper desires.
Q: Our generation never experienced a Global pandemic before, many older people have a different perspective because they have lived through so many other things like the Holocaust or the Great Depression, what kind of philosophical advice can you offer young people who have lots of anxiety and fear right now?
A: I work with and am very connected to many young people and I would say that the number one thing they all have in common is anxiety. It doesn’t matter how good/bad the family is, the socio-economic or ethnic background – these kids are anxious and that anxiety manifests itself in so many ways like depression, eating disorders, cutting, OCD, violence, substance abuse and a plethora of other things. I believe that our kids are being born into a world with an inner knowing that things need to change and they will be the ones to facilitate that change.
If I could somehow inject our youth with something to help them, it would simply be having a strong sense of faith. Faith that their presence right now in the world is incredibly meaningful and that their path, while difficult and unknown, will bring about a great awakening.
If you take a look at all the kids born during the last 25 years, you will notice so many of them have “problems” such as ADHD, being somewhere on the spectrum and a bunch of processing/cognitive/learning “disabilities.” But I feel certain that it’s “US” who have the disabilities in understanding them. They’ve come into this world “different” because they are ready for something we can’t quite comprehend yet.
Q: Some people believe that the pandemic had to happen for significant change to come, can you elaborate on this?
A: We have watched the world turn into this great, egoistic monster that finds its importance in material things and the desire to control. We have observed a lack compassion and respect for each other and our planet. In just a few short months of keeping people at home, there has been significant improvement in the environment from the air to our waters. I think this will bring about a change in how we relate to and treat each other and the planet.
Q: Because my blog is about parenting, what do you think as parents became most valuable lesson during the pandemic?
A: Parents dealt with so much, didn’t they? Throughout the pandemic, I kept saying “Thank God my kid is older!!” But I know that there were so many parents out there struggling on how to navigate being both parents and teachers during this time without losing their shit.
But it brought about an awareness on how each kid learns differently, the scope of education and what our kids need to be able to thrive in this world. I think our current school systems are extremely antiquated and do not serve this new generation. I was amazed at the resilience and growth that happened with the creation of different ways to teach our kids and the respect we now have for our teachers. The lessons are still being realized, but I believe that as parents, the greatest lesson is that we need to view education differently.
In the past, we have seen the most significant changes come about from passionate parents who want something better for their kids. In fact, my son completed his elementary education in the NYC public school system and I watched schools that transformed into evolved learning environments, not only because of teachers and administrators, but from parents getting involved and creating new structures. The old structures and belief systems surrounding education are now being questioned and this is an opportunity to bring about an evolution in education.
I would like to add that whether you are a parent or not, we collectively need to be there for all our kids. The lockdowns/isolation have affected our kids in ways we cannot imagine. This is not only a problem for the parents and professionals, but for our global village. How are you extending kindness and compassion to every child you meet?
Q: On the one hand, this pandemic seems like a great equalizer, on the other hand it seems like a lot of disparity came up, people who didn’t have resources mostly low-income folks and minorities hurt more, how do you think the “new normal” will change this?
A: I absolutely see this disparity, but again, I think that we have taken the first step toward something different as we sense our connection to each other more and more. I think that people are starting to realize what is really important and it has little to do with owning things. Ultimately, the cure for all our troubles is to unite. While we are certainly not there yet, I believe we have made it to the first level. Growth is not easy and often painful, which is where we are now.
Q: Not to get political but it became clear we need great leadership during extremely tough times, what do you expect from our leaders during a time of crisis, whether they are government leaders or spiritual leaders?
A: The thing that struck me the most during the pandemic was the absence of great leadership anywhere. What a huge disappointment!! We questioned the motives of all the leaders, because we felt that their decisions and intentions were not in alignment with a greater good for all. Everything felt slathered with secrecy, self-interest and corruption. Is it any wonder why the world of conspiracy theories took on a life of its own? The flip side of this is the lesson that our children are learning. I have a great amount of faith that the kids today will one day become great leaders.
Q: What acts of kindness did you see that really struck you during the pandemic?
A: I am pleased to say that I witnessed so many! My two favorites are:
People checking in on the elderly to see if they need anything and daily rituals to bring up people’s spirits – such as the 7pm celebration for essential workers in NY and the “balcony singing” of people in Italy.
Q: Can you finish this sentence “Corona Virus is probably here to stay but . . .
A: It is teaching us what is important and will lead to a great renaissance. Look at the black plague of the 1300’s that killed off more than half the population in many European and Asian cities, yet, it brought about the Renaissance that elevated how the world thought.
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