At the beginning of every new year, my sisters and I have a ritual of choosing a word that can be our new mantra. This year, I chose CONSCIOUS.
If the last two years have provided me with anything, it is that I’ve had a hell of a consciousness raising in many areas of my life, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Starting with the realization of the joys of simpler living in early Covid, to #BLM, to sadly watching the bitter polarization of our country, and our collective fragility, I’ve become more sensitive, and sometimes it feels too sensitive. I am not the same person that I was in 2019, and this is not the same world. At least, I don’t see it in the same way.
Is there something good about seeing the world through conscious eyes (even if you have to squint sometimes?) At least if the world is going through a mental breakdown, we’re seeing it more clearly now. But what do we DO with that new clarity?
Pre-pandemic, I would often complain that I felt like a hamster on a wheel, between motherhood and running a growing business. Coincidentally, now that both of my sons have left for college, I can only blame that “non-stop” feeling now on work (so now I’m consciously a workaholic).
Fortunately, I love what I do. Consciousness also applies to our work at LookLook. With our platform, we have such a periscope into peoples’ lives that we call it the virtual confessional. Especially when we’re restricted from traveling, it feels like a way of magically crossing borders and entering into people’s homes to have interesting and unpredictable dialogue. We literally have no idea where these conversations will take us. The initial task can be anything from learning why people shop on eBay, to what it feels like to receive a new luxury beauty product, to how they feel in a certain restaurant chain. But to understand those things, we first focus on the larger context of their lives, who they are, what is important to them. Connecting these cultural cues with observations about usage of a service or a product generates the kind of insight that can drive transformative decision-making for our clients.
My work has kept me sane throughout this pandemic, and it definitely has kept me from feeling alone when we are talking to so many people in various life circumstances all across the world. It shows a very different picture of humanity than what the news media portrays. Most of us are just doing the best we can, facing challenges, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, and looking for ways to feel good.
I’m lucky that my work makes me feel good. Maybe feeling good is the work, also? (That is a thought attributed to Abraham Hicks; yes, I’m a manifestation junkie.) I’m not talking about hedonistic feeling good; I’m talking about the deep internal feeling good when you are in touch with your best self, whatever that is.
This year, I want to look at how and where consciousness can be powerful, not just in seeing all the pain and conflict in the world, but where real people are rising to their challenges every day. The media will continue to do its self-appointed job of alerting me to the crises of the world. To balance that, I want to take stock of examples of small acts of kindness and bravery. Our work is rich with such examples. That’s where I’m directing my consciousness in 2022.