Excerpt from: Lessons of Hope - Reflections around Covid 19
The word essential comes from essence, essence is the quality that makes a thing or person what it, he or she is. Synonyms for essence are, being, nature, soul, stuff and substance. Words related to essence are heart, spirit, alpha and omega, center, core, keynote, seat embodiment, epitome, incarnation, manifestation, personification and nub. Essence is known as the core attribute of something such as, the essence of democracy is the rule of the people. What is most beautiful about this word is the connection between spirit, soul and embodiment. It is the pouring of the spirit embodied. Essential workers are the alpha and omega not only during this crisis but also during the everyday of, so called normality!
The health care works, bus drivers, grocery store workers and all further essential workers such as teachers and more are the alpha and omega of our society. This is becoming very clear during this time of crisis. As I am writing there is an article in today’s Guardian how Hedge Fund speculators are earning billions during this time of the pandemic, whist essential workers are not only putting their lives and those of their families at risk but are also underpaid. This is shameful.
Human beings working in public service, in the broadest sense of the word, I am including all essential workers including the cleaning staff in hospitals and grocery stores, do so with a sense of purpose for others. This is more than taking pride in your work, it has something to do with embodied spiritedness and a sense of purpose for others. This is what is driving the essential workers especially, but not only, during this time of crisis.
Following this pandemic, we as a society will have reflect and act upon having millions of human beings doing the most important work but getting the least appreciated and paid. This inequity cannot continue. We need a more equal economy valuing and treasuring the work which upholds our everyday lives.
The service industry society is a far cry away from the valuing of work as is known from worker’s pride and identification during let us say the 50’s and 60’s. Billions of human beings maintain especially our urban daily lives with low paying jobs, a new kind of slave labor class has ensued and this can no longer be tolerated. It is unbelievable that the owner of amazon can amass hundreds of millions in personal wealth while amazon workers are under paid, poorly protected during this pandemic and asked to take sick-leave without pay. This is scandalous!
Essential workers, all work is essential, because we do not only live in a society with lock-down measures, at least we hope to return to the vibrancy of everyday life, even if a new, deserve a livelihood and humane and safe working conditions. This includes the ‘essential workers’ suffering in the cobalt mines of the Congo so that the auto industry can manufacture climate neutral automobiles for the developed countries.
May this crisis and the bravery of essential workers make us reflect upon the conditions and nature of work and practice a new kind of solidarity with workers world-wide.
Essential workers: embodied spirit,- don’t forget.
My Recovery Work-Journal / Recovering from a Mental Health Crisis / Introduction to the Book
Have you experienced mental health issues? Perhaps, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression or a burn-out? Are you looking to heal, recover and gain strength again after and from or despite a traumatic experience?
Mental health crises are a lot of things, above all they are also disruptive. Often, we lose our loved ones, family and friends. Sometimes we lose our work, even our homes. The time after is a time of healing and repairing.
This Work-Journal can help you get back on your feet and join life again in its breadth and beauty.
This book does not replace professional help. Please use this book as a friend and accompaniment in addition to therapy and good professional help. This is a time when you need a good support network. If you do not have one, then it is time to also work on getting the support network you need together.
This book is a friend, it is a conversation with yourself. It will help you to be more self-reflective and to mend broken aspects of your life, with your family, friends, work, with yourself and with the world.
Please join yourself on this journey, then that is what mental health crises are. They are beautiful and very painful journeys that can be a step on the way to more resilience, love and understanding of your life.
Recovering from a mental health crisis takes time and space, loving self-care. In addition to spending time with this Work-Journal, go out for walks, be in nature, take good care yourself. If you can, do some gardening. If you do not have a garden of your own find a public or urban garden to work on with other people. Tilling the soil is tilling the soul. Be with the people you can and want to be, above all be with yourself lovingly. Eat well, healthy and sleep well, take care of your mind, body, spirit and soul.
This Work-Journal is organized over a 31 day period. Each day illuminates an aspect of what happens to us when we have gone through mental health issues. Each day in this Work-Journal begins with a question for you to delve into. Meditations, drawings and suggestions for practices accompany this, your work book. Make it your own. Because you are beautiful. All you need is about an hour a day, look for a place where you can be at peace, indoors or outdoors. All you need is yourself, this Work-Journal, a pen, paper, some colors and perhaps some glue to collage or draw. It does not matter if you know how to draw or not. This is your Work-Journal. It is written and it is visual. Time for you to be with your thoughts and feelings.
Join me, join yourself on this journey of discovery, healing and repairing your life, for mental health crisis leave much of our lives out of joint and broken. This is the time for you to recover and heal. Heal what is broken within your inner self, with your family, loved ones and friends, at work and this is a time to reinvent yourself by striking up a conversation with yourself and the world around you again, no matter what the damage done is from your mental health crisis.
About 2 % of the population suffer from schizophrenia, 23 % from burn-out, depression about 3 %, anxiety disorder also about 3 %. About 10,7 % of the population suffer from some kind of Mental Health Crisis, that’s about 792 Million human beings. You are not alone. Please find a support group and or therapist. It is time to talk about your mental wellbeing. You are worth it because you are beautiful and unique. It is time for you to heal. This Work-Journal cannot do it alone. It is part of a larger circle of self-care. So, join in the conversation and begin being well again. Because life, despite any and all pain, is also beautiful and it is waiting for you. May you be well again.
The Book: My Recovery Work-Journal is available at bod.de, or please go to the Page About Us- Our Books and the Offers Page
Gabrielle von Bernstorff-Nahat
Gabrielle von Bernstorff-Nahat is an artist and author, she is a survivor of mental health crises and author of My Recovery Work-Journal Recovering from a Mental Health Crisis