Life After Lockdown - 3 Greek Words To Help Us Move Forward

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 14 May 2020
Life After Lockdown - 3 Greek Words To Help Us Move Forward
During the COVID-19 lockdown, our friend and XpatAthens content contributor Eleni Meraki went into absolute solitude for a couple of days with no internet, no books, and no human connection—not even with herself through the mirror. Absolute solitude. Pure silence.

She chronicled some of her experience in an article written for the Elephant Journal where she describes her three major insights through the Greek words Kairos, Philotimo, and Gnosis.

Eleni's journey will surely resonate with many and we've captured some of it here for you:
"Exactly four years ago, I did the same in a silent meditation retreat in Mexico. I craved to connect with myself, touch the mystery of the universe, feel that safe place within, find answers, and gain the required inner strength for my journey ahead. I had just quit my job and was about to emigrate to Greece with no solid plan in place, following a “calling” that didn’t make much sense to my rational mind. Spending my days in self-contemplation, meditation, and listening to teachings, I connected with the timeless teachings of the Greek philosophers, poets, writers, messiahs, the various monotheistic religious teachings, Eastern and Western philosophy, and, most importantly, with the inherent wisdom of myself. It was one of the most life-altering experiences of my life.
On May 1st, I embarked on the same journey, this time from my apartment under the Parthenon in downtown, and locked down Athens. I went back to that place of silence, but this time not with the aim to touch the mystery of the universe, but rather to honor my last four years of searching for truth and freedom. My intentions were celebration, honor, and gratitude for my life’s path and being alive. With all that is happening in the world, I also felt the need to connect even deeper, to hear clearer, and listen carefully to what it is we are all here to do, and how to do it.
I had my initial thoughts, but I just wanted to “know” for sure. We are living unprecedented times, and people like me, and many more in this world, feel like we’re at the forefront of this big change. Not from an ego-centric point of view, but just because we—therapists, coaches, healers, visionaries, artists, writers—are somehow already walking the talk, and have answered the call to support others on their journey toward happiness, health, joy, and freedom."

So, in this article, I’d like to share three major insights I received during this time in silence, about the post-COVID age.

1. Kairos - the rightness of time and space that creates the best conditions for action. Time is becoming relative.

In Greek, we have two words for time, chronos and kairos. You and I have been brought up with the time reference of chronos, a.k.a. chronological time. Now, though it has served a practical purpose in these timelines, it has also taken a lot away from us.

Chronos is linear, made for and from the mind. To make sense of it all. Think about it—our age, our working hours, our careers, all our systems, are built on chronos and, quite frankly, giving us all quite a bit of stress and anxiety, which, by the way, is the number one cause of illness. What we are called to do is not let go of chronos all together, that would be a utopia, but instead learn to integrate kairos into our lives. It’s hard for the mind to grasp this, but this is what’s needed right now. 

Kairos is the new time measurement by which we have to live. In fact, with everything we’re going through, we have no other choice than to live by kairos, the right moment, the opportune moment, the surrendering to time to some extent. Nature does that. We just have to look at what nature does, and we’ll understand. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make goals and plans and try to achieve them—we have to stay flexible with time, that’s all I’m saying. We have to untie ourselves from operating only in chronological time and allow for kairos to take over when needed. We control what happens to us through self-sovereignty, but there are things we simply have to allow for kairos to bring into our lives.

Kairos is not linear; it’s the timing of the heart and soul. Chronos is mind; kairos is heart. When the time is right, with your right intention and actions, the time will come. And when the time is there, it’s your conscious decisions that will make things happen in your life. And that might be even quicker than you initially would have thought with your chronological mind.

2. Philotimo - taking responsibility for yourself as a human being and acting in accordance with righteousness and honor, regardless of the consequences. Life and work are changing for the better.

Let’s face it—we lived in a world that didn’t make much sense. And it went from not making much sense to being quite mad. And we haven’t seen nothing yet! With old systems collapsing in front of our eyes, the only way to handle what’s coming is by personal (and professional) metamorphosis.

We welcome you to continue reading this article in full on the Elephant Journal.

Artwork imagery by Myrto Makri

Eleni Meraki (MA, BSc)

Eleni Meraki is a life & business coach, multiple online entrepreneur, and writer, and has devoted her life to assisting people on their journeys to living a more authentic and happy life. She has coached and interviewed hundreds of people on their journeys of transformation towards a more meaningful life and conscious business making. Walking her talk, Eleni has undergone multiple life-metamorphoses herself, built a coaching & lifestyle platform for conscious women, a storytelling platform, is partner of a conscious business agency and created several roadmap life and metamorphosis coaching programs.