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A ‘New’ Normal
‘I don’t want to get to the end of my life & find I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well’ – Diane Acherman
As I write this, in Ireland we are entering Phase 3 of coming out of isolation. The majority of businesses are re-opening this week and I am sure many are breathing a sigh of relief – all for their different reasons. Many itch for the ‘normal’ and others are not yet ready (or even desiring) to rush back out into life once again.
We’re at the end of June 2020 and I’m pretty sure this year has not gone the way you planned! Yet, maybe it has been an opportunity for you to see more clearly what is really and truly important to you.
I have been sitting with many questions and the answers have yet to arrive fully. For me, it’s a time to be in the questions, the liminal space. The World and each of us are changing, our identities are being informed & reimagined and this work takes time.
It’s ok to desire a return to normal even though a part of you knows ‘normal’ never existed!
What does ‘normal’ even mean?
Normal: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern or according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle.
Are you desiring things to ‘return to normal?’
Are you anxious to get on with ‘doing your life?’
Are you craving more stillness or quiet time in your cocoon?
Have you ever challenged what is accepted as ‘normal’ or your definition of normal?
I posed a question to a group I have been holding space for since March 17th ‘Who is excited to go back out into the world?’… I wasn’t surprised when so many of them said they were apprehensive… not because of the virus but because of what they felt they gained during this time.
When I asked ‘who felt like they weren’t ready to re-enter the world?’ so many of them said they didn’t feel ready or were afraid that what they cultivated and gained during this time would be lost.
It didn’t shock me to hear their responses – as I had been wondering what were our lives like before, if we actually prefered ‘lockdown’ to returning to the world! How were we living (and maybe not even living) that we don’t want normal. Where we living a life of our choosing or did we get caught in the treadmill of producing, consuming, profiting and doing more… was the ‘normal’ the very thing that was eating at us and we didn’t know it.
It’s the choices we make now that will shape and define the path ahead. It’s no longer about ‘self focus’ – it’s about how we live individually and truly understanding the impact this has on how we live with the earth and every being that inhabits her.
What If There Was Another Way?
Emerging from ‘lockdown’ there are many things we don’t want to loose or drop as we begin to move towards the future.
What are those things for you?
Priorities have shifted as people have found pleasure in the simple things, they have reassessed their values in life, they have gained insight around how busy they were and maybe questioned ‘what for & why?’. People examined what they considered essential. People are maybe seeing that life doesn’t have to be about completing endless to-do lists, wearing busy as a badge of honor, that their worth isn’t based on what they produce. People had time to reset, to pause and actually think.
What if amongst all of that which is happening in the world there is a new opportunity knocking. What if we have the opportunity to start building from a new space – this time consciously and considerately.
As we step out into the world can we ensure we are growing and taking with us all that we’ve learned in the last 4 months? Can we take those things we learned were precious during lockdown and weave them into our lives? Can we Remember when we step out rather than rush out the door and return to ‘normal’.
Maybe at this time you are being called to reimagine yourself – your way of being – your way of interacting with the world. Maybe you are rethinking how you do ‘business as usual’. Maybe you are considering what does a sustainable structure in your life look like? Maybe you are questioning the legacy you wish to leave behind. Maybe you are wondering how you can make a difference – you’re just one person. Maybe you’re still finding your feet like a newborn deer and need time to adjust. Maybe you are resting as you healing generational trauma in your body. Maybe you are out there challenging & tearing the old system down.
We are here to transform ourselves, to dismantle the structures and systems that no longer work, to reconstruct our ways of being – we all have a part to play. Be kind to the parts of you that are unsure, tired, worried, angry as you feel into what life can feel like for you now.
We are stepping into maturity. We are showing what we’ve learned & integrated and that we are committed to growth and evolution.
Discomfort is a part of healing – at some point the only way things can change is when we start doing, expressing and being it… it’s going to feel awkard, it’s going to feel like wearing new shoes (it might pinch initially!)… it may even feel like you are doing it wrong – keep practicing, keep showing up, keep doing the work.
It’s so much easier to fall back into the familiar rather than ride the waves of uncertainity. We are in transition which requires us to be with uncertainty, make friends with it and tap into the potential and possibilities that are being offered at this time. Keep your heart open to the guidance on what your part is as we all step forward.
Self Inquiry – Truly Listening to Yourself
What if you decided to not use this time to be productive but to sit with all that is arising, to take the time to listen and get to know your inner landscape. Here’s some prompts to guide you through this process depending on what you wish to explore.
ON RETURNING TO NORMAL
What have I learned about myself during this period?
What have I learned about the world in the last 4 months?
If life is handing me my personal curriculim what is the lessons it’s providing me?
What would it take for me to integrate these teachings?
THE WAY FORWARD
What is budding, beginning or yearning to bloom within me / my life or aspects of my life?
What would initiating a new aligned path look like?
What resources do I need internal and external to allow the process to unfold?
What is the dream that I hold sacred in myself and life?
STAYING THE DISTANCE
What rituals keep me grounded and connected?
Am I taking time to commune with the voice of my intuition?
Am I in integrity with my values?
Am I working towards a vision that is authentic & soul aligned?
Do I need to adjust my direction and vision as I am informed by my values?
BEING FULLY ALIVE
Who was I stepping into lockdown (March 17th in Ireland)?
Who am I choosing to become?
How alive can I feel?
How can I live a life fully alive?
What are all the ways I can make this world a better place?
What’s the first step I need to take to become and embody these things?
What parts of me do I feel apprehensive to step into?
What am I committed to unlearning and unpacking about myself?
FULL MOON 5TH JULY
What do I need to shed at this full moon to make room for growth?
What ancestral patterns am I carrying within me and living through my life that no longer resource me?
My past is informing my present…… (we can be informed by our past but we do not need to be bound by it)
What would empowered action look like for me and what do I need to allow it?
Asking Yourself the Hard Questions
For me, this is an opportunity to ask myself the hard questions in many areas – those which are happening internally and the situations that are reflecting to me externally.
Am I doing what I am meant to be doing?
Am I living the life I actually truly want?
Am I happy (reflect on all areas of life)?
Am I living a full life or just a life that is full of_____?
Am I fully alive in all aspects of my life?
Are my desires for my highest good & self focused or do they also include – the world, my community, my family?
If not, what is informing these choices in my life? – some may be within my control and others may not. I can still explore them from a space of non judgement.