Over the past couple of years I’ve shared my outside self-improvement articles here under the category Level Up. I’ve just published a new one pegged on the coronavirus. It’s for the Nob Hill Gazette, the San Francisco luxury and society magazine. I hope it helps you all navigate the constantly shiftings sands of this situation, as well as your own inner reaction to it, which is likely meandering around from fear and anger to boredom and bouncing-off-the-walls-stir-craziness.
Perhaps because I wrote it around the fourth of this month (which is celebrated as “May The Fourth Be With You”), I worked in a reference to “Star Wars” via some ideas from the classic on mythology and male psychology “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover.”
Here’s a preview:
The coronavirus probably has you wishing you were somewhere else right now, perhaps in another galaxy far, far away. If those words sound familiar, it’s because the Star Wars film franchise, which was created right here in the Bay Area, provides valuable wisdom for how to manage ourselves through this grueling test we’ve been forced to face.
Bunkered down in our huts with our imagination running nonstop doomsday scenarios like some out-of-control supercomputer, it’s easy to succumb to our dark side, becoming evil taskmasters and our own worst enemy. Uncertainty leads to fear, and we struggle to remain productive, perhaps even to concentrate on much of anything. Then we beat ourselves up for it, despite knowing that everyone else is going through the same thing.
One could say it stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of how to view the challenges of life, of trying to be a hero — which is an immature aspiration — versus being a warrior, which is a seasoned one. It’s exemplified by the character arc of naive farm boy Luke Skywalker, who wins an early victory by saving the galaxy (at least temporarily), only to be subsequently humbled by a 2-foot-tall green guru, forced to confront the evil within himself, learn bitter truths, and get a hand sliced off. In order to become the man with Zen-like calm we meet at the beginning of Return of the Jedi, Luke had to outgrow his hero stage and become a humble warrior who’s in it for the long haul and knows he can’t do everything himself.
You’ll find the full story here. Stay healthy, stay free. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD