Lock Down, Lift Up 17/08/2020

17/08/2020

Dear Lyric Deep Readers,

This year has been particularly tumultuous for everyone. It has been rife with uncertainty, fear and suppression and I think it’ll be an experience all who have been through it will never forget. As lockdown started I was in India. I had travelled to the country by myself and was spending time in South Goa and Kerala, feeling quite separate from the craziness erupting all over the world. My dear friend kept calling to tell me to escape the country while I still could, before I was stuck in India with this illness spreading so quickly. I didn’t quite grasp the seriousness of what was happening so I held out a few days before finally bringing my flight home forward by two weeks and travelling back to England. 

It was all face masks and hand sanitiser on the trip home and only once I got back did I realise the true gravity of what the world was facing. Luckily I missed the fourteen day quarantine mandate and arrived home with little to no trouble. It was a daunting thought to be stuck at home after six weeks of complete freedom but little did I know that I would utilise my lockdown time so effectively. 

I am no stranger to spending time at home. I was homeschooled for most of my secondary pedagogy and it taught me that education can be found in all experiences in life. I decided to use the lockdown as an opportunity to learn and better myself. 

I love exercising but I am also a sufferer of a severe case of being a lazy bastard so I made a dedicated decision to work out as much as I could. I started doing yoga everyday and my life transformed. I have practiced asana since I was around fourteen but I let my routine slip a little bit due to my interest in other things in recent years. Getting involved in yoga practice again has made me feel strong, calm and peaceful opposed to the hectic, stressed out person I was becoming. There are plenty of free resources for yoga classes online ranging in time duration. My personal favourite instructor is Travis Eliot; he has a YouTube channel with a lot of great yoga classes.

Moving out of London last year, I went from concrete jungle to countryside and leaving the city meant learning a new skill set for living. My garden was tangled in brambles and it made it impossible to be in. Due to being busy, the garden sat in its knotty greenness all year before lockdown. All weeds were torn out and a field of wild garden flowers now bloom along the patch that a few months ago you couldn’t even see through the matted mess. It was a challenge that paid off so beautifully that it is my proudest achievement of 2020 and now I may even add “Bramble Destroyer” to my CV. Having the privilege to spend this time outside instead of being cooped up indoors is one I truly cherish. 

I have played the keyboard for around fourteen years and have achieved an associate diploma with The Victoria College of Music with the instrument. I learnt to read the treble clef and play chords with my left hand however I always felt at a loss due to my miserable lack of knowledge on the bass clef and my limp attempts at playing melodies with my left hand. I decided to dedicate my daily practice to learning how to read bass clef and finally learn to play the piano after years of only saying I wanted to, rather than trying to. I had to lock my ego out of the room and embrace mistakes as if I was six years old again, learning the keys from scratch. By persevering and putting in the necessary effort, I achieved my goals and played Waltz No.4 by Chopin with both hands; a dream I have had since I was sixteen. I now practice with both hands daily and I am excited by my instrument in new ways every time I work with it. Sometimes all you have to do is look or touch something in a different way and it’ll feel brand new. 

I love reading. My imagination is truly stimulated through the pages and I am my most peaceful with a book in my hand. Unfortunately, I join the club I think a lot of book lovers sadly fall into – sometimes I just can’t put down my fucking phone. You watch one video and all of a sudden it’s one in the morning, all you’ve filled your brain with is who was shagging who on Geordie Shore in 2011 and your bookmark has had the laziest day of its little life. I kept repeating this habit and beating myself up for not reading as much as I wanted to. After reading a great book called Atomic Habits by James Clear I decided to rework my bedtime routine and make reading before bed a set rule. When I get into bed I don’t look at my phone; I pick up my book and promise to read at least ten pages before doing anything else. This often turns into three or four times the vowed amount and suddenly I’m going through books like there’s no tomorrow, just by this simple change in habit.

After working this into my routine, I was still running into the trap of looking at my phone and going to sleep too late as the stimulation of the buffet of random shit to watch and read online would keep my brain buzzing rather than slowing it down and tiring it out. A new trick I’ve formulated is after I put my book down, I will watch a film. As a movie has a definite start and finish, I feel like when the end credits roll, that’s the ‘full-stop’ to my evening and I set my morning alarm and sleep. These are some tips that really help me, as sometimes I can struggle to switch off (literally and figuratively) at the end of a day.

I have written a lot of poetry in this time. A lot of different emotions, memories and feelings have emerged that have provided me inspiration to write. What I love about poetry is that it doesn’t matter how I am feeling; it is always a space to express myself in. It is my greatest love, my greatest passion. My goal for this year was to finally start sharing my poetry. I have been writing the stuff for years; I have a few poems from when I was seven or eight years old! I have found my platform with this website and I am so excited to keep building my portfolio and sharing my heart and soul with the world. I thank you for reading; it means more to me than I can say. Well, perhaps I’ll write a poem about it then.

Corona Virus has turned the world upside down, bringing a lot of tragedy with it. Community and love for thy neighbour is more vital now than ever and hopefully we can take this time to reflect on how distant we have been with all of our fellow people. Although we are social distancing, we seem to be connected in heart by going through such a harrowing time all together. Taking time to progress within yourself will spill over to anyone around you; I spent my time in lockdown working on myself and those close to me have admired this and taken on new challenges themselves. We cannot be defeated if we aren’t vulnerable to being attacked. Travis Eliot, the yoga instructor I mentioned earlier, has a quote that I often refer to – “you have to be a little selfish to be selfless”. Taking time out of your day, week, month, year for yourself means those in your life get the best you. It is time to be the best us, and the best us together.

WIAEA (What I Am Excited About):

Song: We Live Here by Bob Vylan – a fantastic song with powerful lyrics. Everyone should listen to this; it challenges racial prejudice in such an honest and frank way.

Book: Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis – creative and non-creative people alike should read this. It is very inspiring; it was the big push for me to finally get this site together and Chase Jarvis has a very inspiring story of how to succeed while doing what you want to do. 

Take care,

Lyric Deep.

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