Holy Moses, What a Week!

Covid19, Oil Price Shocks and a general stock market meltdown. The NBA and NHL are shutting down for the foreseeable future, no air travel from Europe, schools are closing across Ontario for 2 weeks. And the shelves at Costco are eerily devoid of toilet paper.

The world is in facing a crisis like nothing we’ve seen in my lifetime.

Here is my rif on how stay sane and not become too isolated while the world figures out how to deal with a virus no one understands.


As Continents Burn

A Semi-Poetic Reflection on the Nature of Reality

Half a world away,
A crisis is unfolding.


Some say the crisis has been here a long time,
we are just now noticing.
Some say it is not really a crisis at all.
Others say that how we respond will define humanity for generations.
Still others say it is already too late,
The choices before us are about adaptation and a new normal.


Some blame our governments.
Some blame the corporations.
Some blame each other.
Some just wish we would all shut up about and go hang out at the mall.


What is this crisis?


Some say it is climate change.
Some say it is the economy.
Some say our way of life is under attack.
Some say we must impose our values on others for the sake of “love” and “order”.


We all say a lot of things,
But is anybody listening?
Is anybody doing?


Australia is burning.
But it could just as easily be the Amazon,
Or the Serengeti,
Or cousin Ed’s house down the road.


An entire continent could be lost.
We can’t even agree on what’s happening,
Or how,
Or why.


Will reducing waste solve it?
Travelling less, taking public transit more?
Eating less meat, carrying reusable water bottles?
Will recycling and buying local solve it?


“Conflict arises at the point of perception vs reality.”
I read that in a book once.
Or at least I got the idea from a book, it is not an exact quote.
The author was talking about personal turmoil.
I think it applies here too.
How we perceive impacts how we interact.
What we value impacts the pieces we choose to ignore.
If we perceive incorrectly and reality disagrees, conflict.


Reality always wins in the end.
We can ignore it,
We can try to fight against it,
Objective, scientific, physical reality cannot be willed into non-existence.


To be anti-science, is to be anti-reality.
You can question science.
You can continue to collect data and test theories,
but at some point, you are going to have to accept what the results tell you.


The crisis we current face is multifaceted.
It is not just about climate change,
or economics,
or values.
It is all these things and none of them at the same time.
It is truly a crisis of perception vs reality.


Until we agree on the parameters that define reality,
We will continue to argue about perception.


As continents burn.

The Other Side of Fear

“There is incredible growth on the other side of fear” – Jeff Walker

Jeff Walker is a blogger, entrepreneur and founder of The Product Launch Formula. 

Last Sunday, in his weekly video blog he talked about getting past our fears about producing content.  This struck a cord with me as I am a firm believer that fear is largely self imposed, self limiting and counter productive.

When we talk about submitting to the will of God there is no room for fear.

The apostle Paul wrote to his friend Timothy to encourage him with these words:

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and a sound mind. [2 Timothy 1:7]

I often use that verse to encourage myself and my clients and reiterate to them that if we just slow down long enough to think, the spirit of God will make us braver and smarter than we actually are in the moment.

According to entrepreneur Frank O’Dea, founder of The Second Cup Coffee Co. and author of the book “Do the Next Right Thing”, there are three steps to managing a crisis.

1 – Step Back from the Key-Hole.

When you are in a crisis it’s as if you are looking at the world through a key-hole, you can only see a small portion of what is right in front of you.  It’s not until you step back and open the door that you can see the whole room.

2 – Find peace with your higher power.

O’Dea is a survivor of extreme mental and physical abuse.  As a result, he spent several years as a homeless drug and alcohol addict on the streets of Toronto.  It wasn’t until he made the decision to change through Alcoholics Anonymous and their famed twelve step program that he was able to pull himself out of that self-destructive life style.   In the book he explains the concept of a higher power using the language of AA, that it can be anything greater than yourself, but it is also clear that O’Dea, himself a devout Catholic is referring to God in the traditional sense.

Stepping back and finding peace with God then leads to the final step.

3 – Do the next right thing.

If you’ve done the first two steps adequately you will always know what that is.  It might not be easy, and you might need help, (which  would mean that the next right thing is actually to ask for help), but you will always have an idea of what the next right thing is.

As God would have it, when I first sat down to wright this post I was confronted with my own crisis.  I won’t go in to detail about what that was here, but I had the opportunity, while thinking about writing about them to follow the steps myself.

First, I stepped back from the key-hole and tried to gain a broader understanding of what exactly was going on.  I then meditated and prayed about the situation off and on for the next 12 hours.  Finally, I did the next right thing which in this case was to pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone.

It worked.  After the initial shock, I was able to calmly assess what was happening, gain some perspective and after enough time had elapsed I was able to have a calm and rational conversation and get things resolved.

That’s how the will of God works in a crisis. Tell me in the comments below about a time when you had to work through a potentially difficult situation and knew the next right thing to do, even if you didn’t really want to do it.

L C Sheil writes regularly about, spirituality, life and business coaching.  He is the founder and director of The Matthew 5:5 Society (formerly The Meekonomics Project) where he coaches ministry and business leaders to Live Life to the Fullest in Complete Submission to the Will of God. 

Mr. Sheil has authored two books and is available for public speaking and one on one coaching in the areas of work life balance,  finding and living your core values  and financial literacy.  Write to The Matthew 5:5 Society here for more information or follow L C Sheil on twitter and instagram.