Soul Sessions by CreativeMind

Covid’s Impact on Society - Dealing with Collective Trauma

March 01, 2022 Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts Season 5 Episode 100
Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
Covid’s Impact on Society - Dealing with Collective Trauma
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In our final episode on trauma and resilience, we discuss what is happening collectively as we are removed from our social routines, dealing with division and isolation. We also have some solutions to make the world a better place through resilience after tragedy. In this episode, we will explore:

  • How anxiety and depression increased during Covid in the US affecting over 73 million people;
  • The power of disruption that can change our individual lives and collective humanity;
  • How to cultivate resilient communities and build a better world;
  • What we learned about ourselves, who we are and what is possible during the pandemic;
  • The three steps to take to begin to create change in your life and your communities.

Watch the next Soul Session in this series on our YouTube Channel.
Connect with us in our Private Facebook Group and join in on the discussion.
Discover our Jungian Life Coach Training Program.

Watch the next Soul Session in this series on our YouTube Channel.
Discover our Jungian Life Coach Training Program.

COVID’s Impact on Society - Dealing with Collective Trauma


Debra Maldonado, Robert Maldonado

Debra Maldonado  00:07

Hello, welcome back to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind. We are ending our series on trauma and PTSD and resilience with something we're all talking about, which is COVID, and how it affected us collectively. We're going to talk today about collective trauma and collective resilience.

Robert Maldonado  00:33

There are a couple of questions in the group on Facebook, regarding the collective impact of COVID, the impact it has on first responders, medical teams. Hopefully, we'll answer some of that throughout the talk.

Debra Maldonado  00:59

We hear about collective trauma in our past history, our grandparents have been through wars and depression. Depending on what country you're from, there could have been an upheaval or revolution, transfer of power, sicknesses. We all globally have experienced a pandemic, most of us for the first time in our whole lives. I think when it first started, it was just a weird feeling. You watch all those sci-fi movies, this plague coming out, zombies, end of the world Armageddon type of movies. I remember watching the news thinking, this is not real. We're watching Paris being empty, Time Square, no one on the streets, it just had that eerie feeling. I think we're all impacted, not only from just this thing that we had to experience together, but just how everyone coped with it differently.

Robert Maldonado  02:07

There's certainly been a lot of suffering to go around out there, people experiencing a lot of disruption. The educational system was disrupted, kids couldn't go to school and had to learn in a different way. Teachers had to find a new way to teach kids. The hospitals, the medical system was disrupted.

Debra Maldonado  02:34

It still is. A lot of the medical health workers have fatigue and anxiety, they're exhausted from this whole thing, traumatize themselves from just witnessing so much death.

Robert Maldonado  02:51

I used to work in a hospital, I can imagine. Just regular work in a hospital can be traumatizing.

Debra Maldonado  03:00

You're in ICU, all those life and death situations, but to see it repeated at such a high rate.

Robert Maldonado  03:08

Restaurants, service industries were severely impacted. A lot of people lost their jobs. A lot of businesses went under. Of course, transportation, hospitality, hotels, airlines, cruise ships, billions of people impacted very directly by a little tiny bug.

Debra Maldonado  03:38

Even therapists, we have friends that are therapists, and clients that have been therapists. They're so overwhelmed with patients. If you're working as a therapist in the medical model, where you're taking insurance, they just pack you in. A lot of them were disrupted, they had to do teletherapy and learning zoom, not having that same connection and learning how to bond with a client over video screen. A lot of disruption. I can imagine how the children feel not being able to be social. For my mom too, she's older, not being able to be around people when you're older and alone, you rely on those activities as a senior to feel connected to a community. To be alone and not be touched. Even some of my clients that are single, thinking “I’ve just been alone for months, not having another human contact.” A lot of disruption and upheaval. It really made me realize how fragile we are in the world. We think we're so advanced with technology and all our modern conveniences. This little tiny bug that we can't even see with the naked eye brought us humanity to its knees basically. It is humbling in a way.

Robert Maldonado  05:17

Then the loss of life, of course, where almost everyone knows at least somebody or personally lost loved ones in the pandemic. That helplessness in itself in the face of suffering and loss is a trauma.

Debra Maldonado  05:47

Now it seems like the cases are dropping, things are opening up again, people are having COVID fatigue they say, we want to move on with our life. But we have to also not forget what we lost, the people we lost and understand that maybe you didn't lose anyone but someone that you know has lost a parent or a grandparent or child. It was really a sad two years. But with every tragedy, there's always an opportunity. We don't want to be all doom and gloom but we do want to address the impact. You have some stats of what's the impact on mental health.

Robert Maldonado  06:30

This is just as an example of some of the challenges that people have been facing recently. We know that there was already really high levels of depression and anxiety in the country and in the world. But here's some of the stats. The depressive disorders went up about 27% after the virus kicked in. That translates into 53 million additional cases in the US, so that is incredibly high.

Debra Maldonado  07:18

You had said that it's especially prevalent in young women, 20 to 45.

Robert Maldonado  07:24

They were hit the hardest. The young in general, and women in general were hit harder.

Debra Maldonado  07:33

I can imagine just getting out of college, starting out, you might be one of the people they let go because you were the lowest on the totem pole. The corporations had to cut back, where do you go. The 20s is supposed to be this exciting social life. I can imagine how that would impact the women.

Robert Maldonado  07:57

Anxiety disorders went up by 25%, which translates into 76 million additional cases. The system was already overwhelmed. On top of that, these new additional cases brought on a bigger challenge. It was disruption to mental health service. Typically, people would go to a clinic or hospital or some center to get the therapy. But of course, that was impossible during the lockdowns.

Debra Maldonado  08:42

Maybe they hesitated to reach out because they didn't know if they can go anywhere, they didn’t know about telehealth. It's been really disruptive. But I also think that when we talk about opportunities, every time there's a tragedy, every time there's something that challenges us in our life, whether it's a small setback like losing a job or even facing an illness, that could be a doorway to something different in our life. We know from what they're talking about in the job market, people are rethinking “What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to work 60 hours a week in the corporate jungle, having to drive away from my family, commuting two hours a day, to have this terrible boss that just is on me, I'm working to death and don't even enjoy life?” They got a chance to work from home and it's “I can be with my kids, I could spend more time.” Some people weren't appreciative of spending time with their kids as much as others but it turned around our life a little bit. We started to examine, do we want to go back to how it was and how was I so blind to not see how disruptive or limiting this was. That's a great opportunity. When we think about this for the last two years, what opportunities opened up for you because of this? We don't want to discard the tragedies. But we also want to see how we can be resilient?

Robert Maldonado  10:25

Let's shift gears into the resilient model because that's really what we want to focus on, especially as coaches. We just wanted to acknowledge that we know the challenges and the loss people have experienced. It's definitely something to consider and to wake us up to what is the reality of what's been happening around the world really. There's a quote by Rumi I really love. It says "Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom." In our individual lives, when something challenges us or stops us in our tracks, we're forced to look inward and ask those big questions of “What am I doing? What is the meaning of my life? Who am I? Why do these things happen?” It gives us pause. It gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, to reinvent ourselves, to really make the big changes that we need to make. Just like at the individual level that's true, it is also true at the collective level. We've experienced this and are experiencing this collectively. The same principle applies at the collective level, it's giving us an opportunity to reimagine education, to rethink the medical system.

Debra Maldonado  12:26

Rethink business, how we want to operate and even what we want to do for money, how do we want to make money in our life? Do we want to be chasing that corner office constantly? What I've been reading, the research is showing that people were in that bubble in the corporate world, you're on that treadmill with everyone else. It's all about competition, who's gonna get the next promotion, how much money can I make, if I go to this level, I get this vacation and bonuses. You are chasing this thing, a lot of people are saying “I think I'm gonna stay in my lower position, not make as much money and have more time for myself versus keep chasing, keep going and going.” That's interesting, how people were less materialistic in this stage, which is a good thing. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be successful and wealthy. But if you're doing it just to be successful and wealthy, if you're building your own persona on that, then when that gets taken away, you're just Joe Smith, at home, you're not the big executive anymore. A lot of people have said they had to really discover who they were outside of their position, their title, their job when they got laid off. Who am I? I think it is a great opportunity.

Robert Maldonado  13:57

What I noticed when the whole world shut down for those couple of months, the news was that pollution went dramatically down. That indicated that we could literally change the course of what we're doing to the planet and how we're relating to very quickly. We saw wildlife started come back, there was fresh air and all these incredible changes just from our human change.

Debra Maldonado  14:35

In LA they said the smog just went away, the sky was so clear, the clearest it's ever been. Of course, that's not happening anymore, but it's amazing. There's so many benefits. We had to be forced to shut down. When I was in the corporate world, it was 20 years ago almost that I was laid off, 19 years ago this May. I remember it was so hard for me to leave and pursue something I loved. I had to have that disruption, I had to get laid off to wake myself up from this hypnotism, I was hypnotized by corporate, you get in that group of people, you think like everyone else, you just go with the flow. This was a time to really go back and be home with yourself, be alone, weigh yourself. Maybe you did the Netflix binge for a while, but then after that, you're just like “I can't just binge Netflix all day, I need to do something with my life.” Maybe you picked up your first personal development book, or maybe you started listening to something different on YouTube. I know a lot of people decided “I want to work for myself, I want to start a career from home.” A lot of newness came out of this as well.

Robert Maldonado  16:02

For you it was very personal as well, thinking about family and being close to family.

Debra Maldonado  16:09

We were in LA for eight years because I hate the winter. We just love the ocean, it was beautiful living there. But then, when COVID happened, I was so far from my mom, she's just turned 80, she was on the East Coast. When we finally got all the vaccinations, I was like “I can finally see her.” It had been a year since I've seen her. I said “I don't want to have to be so far away.” We moved back to the East Coast this summer to be close. My sisters are on the East Coast, my brother, we're all within driving distance of each other now versus having to take a five and a half hour plane ride. It just made me feel like “What am I doing? My mom's here, we should be able to go visit her.” We've seen her twice already. Now that it's opening up again, we'll go visit. It's nice to just get in the car and drive and be with her the same day, in a couple hours. It made me value family. Your family's here too.

Robert Maldonado  17:16

I have family in the East Coast as well. It gave everyone a chance to reevaluate their lifestyle, make those changes. Because just like at the individual level, these opportunities and challenges prompt us to rethink everything, to really ask the deeper questions. But then we have to follow through, we have to make the changes, we actually have to start thinking “What are the actual changes I need to make?”

Debra Maldonado  17:59

A lot of people make changes about their health too because people that were really suffering from COVID were people that had diabetes, overweight, high blood pressure. You think that's not going to affect me, I have a little diabetes, I can manage it, but it can be life threatening if you get something like this. I think people started also wanting to be healthier, wanting to do yoga, wanting to seek higher knowledge. That can't be a bad thing. One of the greatest parts in the beginning, I remember the moment where they were showing on the news, all the empty streets, but then especially in Italy where they would hit their pots and pans or shake for the healthcare workers every night. It was just a solidarity that that culture had of “We're all here together”. Guys were singing from the balconies. I just feel like we all stopped and appreciated each other. Even here when they would do that in New York. New York got hit really bad initially, people were yelling out their windows. I just felt this sense of collective hope and collective compassion. This is what's going to make our world different. If we talk about collective trauma, let's talk about collective compassion. How do we love each other more? This also caused a lot of division, a lot of families and friendships because of what everyone believes about what this is. I think we just need to remember that time of wholeness we have, it is such a beautiful gift as humans that we can bring to the world. Why do we need a tragedy like this for us to remember we're all human, we're all the same, we all need each other.

Robert Maldonado  20:08

We go from Rumi to Einstein. He says "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Here's where we need a paradigm shift. We're not going to solve and face these new challenges, the climate, the social isolation, the lack of services, the increase in services that we need to create, for supporting our fellow human beings, with the same understanding of the same systems that got us into this mess in the first place. The paradigm shift comes by understanding that we're no longer living in a material universe where the old model of everything is based on economics, on material goods, on consumerism. Now we have to shift it. Now we have to access what we know from Eastern philosophy, what we know from psychology, what we know from Western philosophy, and just from our own wisdom as human beings, tap into those deeper resources, find new ways of relating to each other. That's the big challenge. But, again, it's an opportunity because people are in this questioning phase. If we simply go back to business as usual—

Debra Maldonado  22:02

Return to normal, we're gonna return to normal. I don't want to return to normal, normal wasn’t good. Normal got us here. 

Robert Maldonado  22:11

We'll miss that opportunity because it's a window that opens. I'd say in the next two or three years, that window is open because people will still be finding their footing, getting back into work, school, family.

Debra Maldonado  22:34

We're gonna have to reintegrate into being social again. We're seeing ourselves without masks again, feeling okay to touch each other again. I just wonder how people are going to be, if they're going to keep six feet away for a while, or if they're going to just go back as if nothing ever happened? I don't know. But I think the main thing is the inner world. How do we look at the world less of a separate, people are separate from us, matters separate from us, that external world is separate. How do we live as conscious beings, as we're connected to everything? Instead of getting in a fight with someone over politics, or what you believe about vaccines, you say “What do we have in common? What's our humanity? What's our soul?” Soul doesn’t have any disagreement, our soul is pure love and compassion. Our egos are just getting in the way of us connecting on a deeper level. Do we want to keep perpetuating division and destruction of our environment? It's like the ego world is taking over with fear. How do we bring more love and compassion to our neighbors and let go of our anger, deal with our own conflicts within ourselves so we can see less conflict in the world?

Robert Maldonado  24:00

You hit the nail on the head with the ego. At the individual level, it's the ego that creates that limitation in our mind, it's all about us, we're out for ourselves. Every action is directed towards self improvement, self development, survival, but it's all about the self. The Dalai Lama said something like this “Too much self centered attitude results in isolation, loneliness, anger.” The extreme self centered attitude is the source of suffering. This is well known. This ancient Buddhist tradition goes back millennia. It's the wisdom that we need to tap into now, this ego is what creates the situations that we face in the world. At the individual level, you can think of society as a collection of individuals. Think of individuals that are ego-centered. That is, they are out for themselves. They're thinking from that limited perspective.

Debra Maldonado  25:35

Un-individuated people, they're living out in there. It's not they do it on purpose. But that's how we're conditioned to be ego-centered, the beginning part of life.

Robert Maldonado  25:46

It's our human condition, it helps us survive. There's nothing wrong with it, except that when we over identify as persona ego, we remain in that limitation. We can only act then in that limited sphere of understanding. Higher knowledge, which comes from the Upanishads, the Dhammapada, which is the Buddhist text, the Bhagavad Gita, these ancient wisdom traditions teach us how to transcend the ego.

Debra Maldonado  26:28

But we have to do it individually. You can't get everyone at ego level collectively, at once. It has to happen one person at a time, each person has to take responsibility.

Robert Maldonado  26:40

The change has to hit the individual at the individual level. They have to absorb it and enact it. But we can certainly think in terms of educating children very early on on what is this eastern wisdom tradition about, what is it talking about?

Debra Maldonado  27:04

Teaching children about projection, what they see in another as a reflection of them, that non dual way of being, that their persona isn't the “be all, end all”, that they are who they are, as they have that perfection within them. That's soulful, who they really are, remembering that, so they're not out trying to compete, becoming the bully or needing to be the cheerleader to feel important.

Robert Maldonado  27:32

This idea, that scientific materialistic perspective, although we love science and respect it, we know it's simply a tool, it was never meant to supplant the whole idea of our conscious living universe. Because the materialistic perspective simply says “Material is dead. Only human beings have this awareness, this consciousness that makes us special.” That's a very limiting perspective. It's outdated essentially. Even now, current neuroscience and even physics is acknowledging that they're talking about moving into a post-materialistic universe, meaning we can no longer sustain that idea that it's a materialistic universe, or a material universe, because there is no evidence for that.

Debra Maldonado  28:39

Could you explain that for people that don't understand? When I heard this before, took me a while to get. The science has discovered that they can't really find matter. There's no solid matter under a microscope. It's energy. It's not anything solid. But it appears solid because we're seeing it through our senses. It's vibrating at a fast speed, but it looks solid to us. But actually everything's moving and in flux. They're realizing the observer has an impact on what the object becomes. Nothing is set, you are a participant in your own reality, creating your own reality. If we're collectively doing that, we can collectively shift this world. Even though it's illusory, still we have to dance in and play in. We can actually be a participant in a new destiny for humanity.

Robert Maldonado  29:45

Wisdom traditions don’t say “This is just an illusion, don't worry about it.” That's a misunderstanding. What they say is that you have to understand the nature of what you're experiencing in the world, the way it appears to you isn’t the way it really exists. The appearance to you as an individual is essentially a very subjective interpretation that you're making about the world. If you base your life and your actions on that interpretation, you're missing the whole point, you're missing the mark of what is this experience of being in the world. They’re simply saying “Try to understand the true nature of experience so that you can make the right choices in your actions and the way you respond to the world.”

Debra Maldonado  30:39

Respond to others and be kinder to people and kinder to yourself. Understand why people can project onto you, where they're coming from. What pulls from you. All the shadow work that we teach in Jungian coaching is very valuable for you to reclaim that. For me, it was always the first step. For our clients, it's that first step to awakening, it shakes up what you think is reality. Because you can hear these things “Everything's consciousness, and you're one with everything.” But when you do shadow work, you actually get a direct experience of the false reality that you've been buying into, how your mind is creating these stories and these realities that aren't even real, or these circumstances in our life that we think are so real and solid. It makes us question everything, just like when we went through the past two years, it's starting to make us question things. That's the opportunities, wherever we stop assuming things are the way they are, one way, we're absolutely sure. It's better to be a little uncertain and start questioning and being curious about it.

Robert Maldonado  31:55

At the heart of it is that oneness, meaning that what we are experiencing in this world, in this life, in this universe, is essentially a consciousness experience. Everything we are perceiving is existing and arising within one consciousness. This one consciousness, we all share it. It's simply when we fall into the sleep, the delusion of individuality, that we're separate from things, that we're locked into our individual body. That's how we exist. That's a misperception. This is verified even by current neuroscience, this is not mysticism. That's why we need to move past that false idea that we are in a material universe and consuming these natural resources for our economies in our benefit.

Debra Maldonado  33:07

It's based on this idea that there's a fixed level of assets and we have to rob from each other or cheat and steal to get these things because there's not enough for everyone.

Robert Maldonado  33:24

The implications of a conscious universe are very different than when we approach it from a materialistic perspective. We decide what reality is going to be. If we never question, if we never really do that self inquiry as to what is the meaning of my experience in life, then we just go to default mode, which is what our senses tell us. Our senses only tell us the subjective experience. What is good for me? What do I do for myself? Which is, again, that ego perspective, limited perspective. But if we do self inquiry, we ask the question “Is this really true? Are my senses really telling me what's real and what's out there in the universe?” then we find our senses are very limited. They're only giving us a very small fraction of what's really there. Then we start to experience or have a direct experience of reality.

Debra Maldonado  34:40

What comes to mind is that movie, The Room. It was basically not a pleasant movie, the woman was kidnapped with the little boy. The little boy only grew up in that room, he thought that was the world, he didn't know there was another world out there. It was like a culture shock to him. It's like that idea, we live in this tiny room and think we learned how to work around it, "rearrange the furniture," my favorite quote. But then he opened the door, there's this whole other world and other expansive way of being that our senses just won't let us see. But if we start questioning it, that's when we start to see the world. I think our dream life, participating fully in your dreams, imagination, looking out for synchronicities, this little internal external matching up and that mystery of life. It's like you're piercing the veil of the illusion, of separateness. You start to really see the magic that you are, you're a part of everything, you're connected to everything. If you're connected to everything and everyone, why would you take pieces for yourself? You would share because it's you you're sharing with. If you love someone else, that's you you're loving, if you hate someone else, that's you you're hating. You start to see that I'm connected to it all, so I could have more love, more expansiveness, more control over our lives. There's so much to it.

Robert Maldonado  36:32

That's the challenge. Let's talk about a practical approach. Just like in individual transformation, just because an individual hears this, it doesn't transform their lives. They have to find a practical way of implementing it. For the individual, the practical way comes from understanding that my actions are essentially conditioned. I'm acting out of past conditioning, not out of freewill. Society, we can say, is also acting out of past conditioning. You see it in traditions, in institutions, people carry on in a certain way. They never question, they assume that's the way it's always been done. The Church, the school.

Debra Maldonado  37:30

This is how I communicate. if I want something, I have to get angry and fight for it. Don't be too nice because people take advantage of you. You just learn this guarded way of being. Or hiding and not standing up for yourself because you don't want people to get angry. You just get into these patterns. Everyone's dancing on eggshells around each other, no one's really talking to each other.

Robert Maldonado  37:54

But then something painful happens. The individual is forced to question that model. Here is where a lot of people take that opportunity. If they use it as an opportunity to change, the change begins, the transformation begins. The first step is intention. As a society, as a group, we have to intend now to change the world.

Debra Maldonado  38:27

Many people forget that, I sometimes forget what I want to intend in this situation. Instead of reacting all the time to what's happening, you can set an intention, start moving toward what you want to create.

Robert Maldonado  38:42

The collective intention now is to improve society. To improve business, like you were saying, to create businesses that help the planet instead of destroying.

Debra Maldonado  38:55

And are bundant. People don't feel lack, they can use their resources, have more resources to learn and grow and not work so hard, pounding the pavement, to have flow happen in their life.

Robert Maldonado  39:11

Exactly because if you think about what technology has done, technology is neutral. It's neither good nor bad. It simply amplifies our mind. As we intend in a conscious way, we should intend that technology serves a higher purpose, that it communicates connectedness, higher knowledge to people, instead of division and frustration or isolation. That technology amplifies our willingness to learn, to teach each other, to connect with other people from across the world, which we can literally do now.

Debra Maldonado  39:55

We reach people all over the world, the podcasts and our work because of wonderful technology. But what's the intention? Is the attention to spread hate and division? Or is the intention to lift humanity up and participate in that? For every one negative message that goes out there, every positive or uplifting message counteracts that. It's such a powerful force of compassion and love and sharing that all of us can contribute. Are you posting something on your social media that's complaining and attacking someone? Are you posting something that's going to help everyone who reads it feel better? What can you contribute to society even in a small way? Even if 10 people are following you and you'd have a small circle of friends? How can you intend to create the world a better place?

Robert Maldonado  40:57

It starts with the individual. But again, we have to start thinking now in larger scales because the challenges are upon us.

Debra Maldonado  41:07

We can no longer hurdle people to shift.

Robert Maldonado  41:12

We're going to use the technologies because these technologies that amplify our minds are very useful.

Debra Maldonado  41:21

Which is what we love about training our coaches, because they're going out, they're creating their businesses, they're spreading this higher knowledge to all new people that have not heard it before, creating this ripple effect, which is so rewarding for us to be a part of, to be a catalyst for that, being a catalyst for others. It keeps happening, keep uplifting others and then they uplift others. 

Robert Maldonado  41:52

It doesn't stop at intention. Of course, the intention is the first step. This is just an example. But then comes this self inquiry, just like we were saying, it's an opportunity to ask, why are we doing things this way? What is the meaning of these things? That self inquiry, if we do it collectively, as groups, will lead us then to making the right changes, the right choices.

Debra Maldonado  42:21

Asking why are we doing this, whether it's in your company, or in your community. Questioning why are we doing it this way. Government should be doing this. Why are we doing this this way? Why are we in school boards? Let's not just assume that it's been done that way and we should always do it that way. Let's question it. Is that what you're saying? Is that self inquiry? I think that's what COVID did. A lot of people said “Why am I getting in my car and commuting to work every day?” You're starting to work at home. I want to set the intention to work from home. That self inquiry helps us break us out of that sleep walking stage where we just assume things are the way they are and we can’t change.

Robert Maldonado  43:08

It operates at that level because when we question something, it forces the question back to us. Why am I allowing this or why am I buying into this? It disrupts that pattern of conditioning that we're not just acting out of our past conditioning, out of “everybody's doing it this way, therefore, I'm going to do it this way as well.” It disrupts that, that's where people come up with new ideas. This way they call it the disruptive economies or businesses disruptors that people come up with. That is very useful for making big changes, innovation. You have setting the intention, then self inquiry, then that leads to making the mind subtle, meaning new opportunities can emerge from the deeper wisdom within our minds.

Debra Maldonado  44:23

It's like that room you were in, you're opening the door, opening the windows, new information, new insights, new ideas can come in a new way, perspective can come in.

Robert Maldonado  44:34

It's just like Einstein says, you cannot solve the problem by using the same tools you used to create it. You have to find new sources of wisdom, of information, of knowledge. Those sources are in the mind. They're not out there again, because it's a consciousness universe, meaning we're creating it from the inside out. Not the other way around.

Debra Maldonado  45:01

We're seeing ourselves in many forms and faces of many faceless forms reflected back to us. We have to remember that we're seeing ourselves as maybe not our ego self, but we're seeing an aspect of our deeper self in everything that we touch. I think the most beautiful thing we can all do is get in the nature and appreciate because it's like the mother, the Divine Mother coming and keeping us safe. It's this beautiful world that we live in, it's so full of beauty and love and creativity. I worked in New York City for five years, just commuting, you didn't see a lot of nature in New Jersey. I moved to Colorado, I was like “Wow!” I went hiking for the first time. I'm not a nature, outdoorsy kind of girl. But it really made me realize how much we have to appreciate nature because we can get so locked into our computer screens and our technology. We need that balance. We need that earthly sense of there's something beautiful about the oneness we can feel when we're connected to nature, we're looking at animals, or if you can't get out there in nature, if you're not near nature, watch some nature on YouTube, or watch the Discovery Channel or something to appreciate this beautiful world we live in. You'll be invested in wanting to keep it healthy, keep it alive, and keep it the way it is. We don't destroy it because we only have one planet to live on. We have to make sure it's safe.

Robert Maldonado  46:45

One last quote from another scientist, Carl Sagan. "For small creatures, such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love." In other words, we are in this infinite vast universe, that sense of being isolated, we can't sustain it, we can't thrive and live if we are separate from the world, separate from each other, we have to find that connection through love. Real love, not just because religion tells us but find it from within, that understanding that we are connected to nature, to each other, to the whole universe. That sense saves us, we're no longer little creatures lost in a vast space. We belong here, this is our home. This earth, the way we experience it, is our own creation, it's our home, it's our opportunity to exist. We hope you take this to heart and simply if you start to question, just take it as a question, “What does this really mean for me?” That's the beginning of wisdom right there.

Debra Maldonado  48:22

I also think if you can't love someone, you have to ask yourself “What's the conflict within me that's stopping me from offering love?" Because it's not what that person is doing but it's something in you that's not able to love them. That examination will bring you closer to that person than you realize, especially the people that drive you crazy, that trigger you, they will show you love more than any person who's overtly loving to you. It's those people that challenge us that actually helped us realize who we are. It's a beautiful thing. What a great conversation today. It was more than I thought it would be, better than I thought it would be. I don't know what I expected but we always bring the deep stuff. I really love this message of setting an intention as humanity. I hope you take that to heart, bring it to your communities. What's the intention we want to share? How can we instead of getting back to normal, get back to maybe a new normal, which is a new, better normal, a new, more loving normal, another level of transcendence in our human evolution is definitely an opportunity. This is the end of our trauma series. We're going to turn it around a little bit and make it a little brighter for the next couple of weeks. We are going to be talking about my new book, which is back here, Like a Spark From Fire, just came out this month, available on ebook, audio book, and paperback on Amazon and other booksellers across Barnes and Noble. We also have this on independent bookstores, it’s an indie book. It's all about shadow work. It's designed for women but if you're a guy, I'm sure you'll get a lot out of it. It really talks about this idea, that spark within you as who you are. You’re connected to the Divine and nothing you've ever done, nothing in your past could ever take that away, remember and reclaim it and really talk about the ego and the shadow and how we work with emotions and create something new in our life? If you haven't checked it out yet, listen to the free preview they give you and hopefully you'll take advantage and we're going to introduce some concepts of the book in the next couple of weeks.

Robert Maldonado  50:46

Maybe I'll interview you.

Debra Maldonado  50:50

That sounds fun. Scary, but fun. Thank you, everyone, for joining us, we'll see you next week on Soul Sessions. 

Robert Maldonado  50:56 

Stay well. 

Debra Maldonado  50:58 

Take care.