This Time of Metamorphosis

Submitted by Linda Hill.

Here we are in this time of staying home. For me, I feel as if this is a time of retreating into our nests to prepare for a metamorphosis.

When I think about what the future holds, I imagine that our descendants are perhaps going to be curious about the Spring of 2020 when Mother Nature sent humanity to our rooms.

Where were you and what were you doing when it happened?

What did you do while you were stuck at home?

This is the beginning of the story I will tell:

For us here at the Inclusive Leadership Co-op, we had just held a fantastic youth-with-youth challenge day for students from a local high-school on March 4th. Forty-five youth and 8 mentors from 5 non-profit organizations and 1 school had spent such a collaborative month planning, developing and participating in this inspirational and successful project as described in this Youth With Youth Leadership Day Brief Report

Lindsay Beal and I were so excited about how this next generation of Inclusive Leaders were growing their capacity to facilitate mini-Inclusive Leadership Adventures in schools. We couldn’t wait for everyone to come back from Spring Break scheduled for March 7 to 22 so that we could begin working with more and more schools.

Although 12 cases of Covid19 had been reported by the news media, they were all in one city quite far away from where I live and in one seniors residence. Even though my own Mom lived in another seniors residence only 5 minutes down the road from where the outbreak was happening, I wasn’t overly concerned about anything spreading. I remember spending more time feeling sorry for a few groups of students in a few school districts who were bitterly disappointed that their class trips to Italy and Greece had been cancelled. Otherwise, I don’t remember me or anyone else being very aware of the looming crisis at all. In BC, almost 1/4 of students, teachers and their families headed off in cars and on airplanes to spend spring break in USA, Mexico, and other international locations.

But the exponential doubling had begun. Four days later there were 24 cases, 8 days later there were 50, 12 days later the total cases had jumped to 100. By the middle of spring break, we had over 200 cases of the virus in BC and the numbers were continuing to double every 4 days. Our province, our country and the entire world entered this state of emergency that we are all in now – an exponentially increasing pandemic. No immunity. No vaccine in sight. Go home. Stay home. For the foreseeable future.

In BC, families and snowbirds scrambled to get home where they were required to spend two weeks being quarantined. All elective surgeries were cancelled as hospitals began to gear up for exponentially increasing numbers of very sick people. Seniors’ residences of all kinds were firmly locked down with no visitors allowed. The borders closed. Our public health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry became everyone’s local hero as she calmly appeared on television day in and day out, reporting what is going on and teaching us about social distancing, hand-washing, staying home and connecting with each other virtually instead of physically.

Two more weeks have gone by. Instead of having 2000 cases of Covid19 in BC, we have 1200 cases. Dr. Bonnie Henry tells us we are managing to flatten the exponential curve of this contagious virus sweeping the world.

Many say the world will never be the same again. Many hope the anti-dote is an equally contagious kindness virus that will cause civilization to rapidly undergo a complete metamorphosis or change of form, structure, or substance.

What is happening to the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative?

Like all non-profit societies the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative is changing quickly. Our annual Inclusive Leadership Adventure weekend has been postponed till who knows when. We are at the end of one funded project (our federally funded Strengthening Bridges project) and have had no news about the outcomes of any other grant applications. Everything is on hold because of the Covid19 Pandemic. Lindsay, our co-ordinator, has scaled back to part-time, cultivating what is essential about the ILC including  our amazing online Inclusive Leadership Facilitation Practice Group, and our amazing volunteers.

Another change is that most of our Inclusive Leadership members  – including me – are finding ourselves balancing our Inclusive Leadership passions with the needs of our families. Lindsay is making lots of adjustments to balance the needs of her house-hold of four generations with working from home. And for me, the 40 to 60 hours or more per week that I had been happily giving to the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative for seven years are now gone. Instead, I am spending almost all my time and energy in my nest being a family care-giver.

This has been a huge decision for me to step back so much. I am so glad I am going to be able to tell my descendants that I chose to focus on cocooning with my family. Our Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential online course is one of the things making this transition possible. This course has became a tool for transformation for me and so many Inclusive Leaders around the world while we are cocooned at home in the midst of humanity’s pregnant pause.

To be continued ……