Crisis Coping Paper

SFE CEFEC Crisis Coping Handout                                                       May 2020

by Christiane Haerlin, Petru Vasile Gafiuc, Felicitas Kresimon & Alina Bîrsan

Corona is having its effects worldwide in all our countries. Depression, anger and confusion have hit us in many ways.  You might be nervous, whether your organization will survive? You might find it difficult to concentrate and you might be stressed to think, what are necessary actions?

For the last weeks CEFEC felt pressed how to help and we have decided to work on a handout to encourage our members in difficult times.

This handout is not purely economically based and not just nice words. We have been inspired by own experiences and by your feedback.

See if you find one or two bits of „gold“ here which appeal to you. Please give us – at the end of the paper – feedback and share with us your ideas and experience, so that we can all learn from the crisis.

These points are suggestions and examples of what might help – pick and choose:

  1. Get into a workable mood with Music  

Umberto Carrescia, from our executive board, has sent this music. Coming from Italy, where disaster is still present – a sense of humor might melt down nervous running round in circles.    

Umberto’s music is available here.
CEFEC can learn, that our members are managers and workers, but some are also artists!

  1. Try to arrive at your inner resources

 It is not easy but possible to look out for your inner strength and resources:

  • Try to take ten minutes for this „meditation“ which a friend and management consultant specially created for us. The link to Thomas Hafers meditation is available here.

• Discover for ten minutes a creative way to gain inner orientation by the „the wisdom of the three fields“ which Christiane Haerlin applies for herself.

See Annex 1 for „the wisdom of   the three fields“

CEFEC can learn from some manager seminars – to start with quietness, before facts, figures and communication take the lead.

3. We share the unique situation with the whole world     

We are all under the same dictum: The virus jumps over borders and barriers and seems to dictate our behavior.

However, our feeling of connectedness can jump even quicker and better:

  • We have our digital means and more
  • We have our spirit and love even for others on the far end of the world
  • We have our creativity to communicate and share best ideas and actions

 CEFEC learns quickly – our 34th CEFEC online Conference on 19th march 2020 even jumped as far as to Japan!

4. A chance to tidy up – has it not been waiting for some time?

Bill Gates sees the chance to tidy up and calls the virus the „great corrector“. 

From time to time, structures in organizations might gradually deteriorate and decay. There might be a need to sweep the rubbish away. Are there hidden creative impulses which want to see the light?

Mind you – adrenaline is very active these days and amazing things happen. CEFEC wants you to share clues and „start up ideas“.

See Annex 2 for Bill Gates ideas

5. Coming home

For a long time, the climate change has put the finger on the fact, that production and services need to be manufactured nearer home again. We see a lot of pollution from ships and airplanes and a lot of dependency on far away low paid workers.  The crisis has put the finger on this: We cannot get enough medical equipment, manufactured on the other side of the world.

CEFEC might see more clearly that social firms benefit from „producing near home“.

Can we reinforce this trend which would be a win- win situation for a sustainable future?

6. Rising Awareness of the model of social inclusion           

Many of us have started and run social firms and cooperatives, which have the chance to implement more solidarity and justice for disabled and non-disabled. The present crisis might rise our awareness that this is a sustainable model for now and the future – more caring, more communication and more participation.

CEFEC can take the chance to spread this experience by talking about it in everyday life, as well as advertising it on regional, national and European levels.

7. Please use this link to give us feedback and tell us your ideas and experiences!

We wish you all the strength and energy to cope with this crisis!

Annex 1

The wisdom of the three fields

(a minute of mediation, which Christiane has worked out for herself)

Have a look at the attached drawing of the „Three fields“

The wisdom of the three fields

This is 10 min. focusing on one’s inner self before starting the day in times of crisis and bewilderment or when you just feeling a bit muddled.

  • You get into a quiet room or into nature, where no one disturbs you!
  • You listen for a moment to find a question or a concern which occupies your mind

    (e.g. „how can I get through this day?“ or “what troubles me at present?“ )

  • You imagine a circle on the floor divided in three sections ( if you wish you can close your eyes)
  • Then you start to stand in the 3 sections one after the other for a moment or a minute:
  1. This is your conscious reasoning self which you confront with your question

               (e.g. „yes I have a PC and a diary and take one hour after the other to get through the day“)

  1. This is the mix of feelings, bodily sensations, joy and sadness etc.

  (e.g. „I feel that I cannot steer anything“) , feelings just happen, they are there and they all exist and have the right to be there. Often movements or shouting or other bodily acting out comes along with your question (e.g. „I just hate this uncertainty and no help and no team around, terrible, I could cry…“) you might stamp or jump up and down)

  1. The very last moment of No 2 , you prepare your inner mind to surprise yourself by suddenly opening your eyes or turning round and focusing on whatever comes next before your eyes . You look at it and the surprise is that it gets a subjective meaning, which after No 1 and 2 might be seen in a different light, because your inner self combines No 1 and 2 instead of separating the two or fighting No 2 ( e.g.“ come on pull yourself together“)

It could happen that you are suddenly aware of the clouds in the sky or a noise or bird singing or new aspect of a picture or feel better on your feet) and suddenly find a surprising „aha“ over your initial question.

The idea is, having focused the ambivalence and mix of human beings of rational and emotional, you might find a sense of wholeness with your intellectual as well as emotional parts integrated instead of separated.

You might find answers which seem „door openers“ for the day.

Good luck!

Annex 2

Bill Gates / 23rd March 2020

As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:

1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me,

 just ask Tom Hanks.

2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.

3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.

4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.

5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine)

 as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.

6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and

 to strengthen our family unit.

7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do.

Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.

8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.

9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.

10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.

11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.

12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick. 

13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.

14) Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a *great corrector*