A “New Normal”, sounds exciting huh? I mean “new” signifies fresh, something we haven’t done before or had before. A new experience. But today, new normal brings with it fear and uneasiness of the unknown. Instead of excited about a new adventure we are panicked by the uncertainty. We are paralyzed to move until this new normal has been created and communicated. What will this mean for us, what will we do? Close your eyes and sit still imagining you are in a room all by yourself. It’s quiet but you can hear a hum just beyond where you are. There are many doors around the perimeter. Open your eyes….which one will you choose? It’s not a question we’ve considered because when you feel powerless, you imagine yourself without choices. You’re simply responding to what is happening and waiting….oh the waiting for something, anything, to happen. What if, you could create your own new normal? Your desired outcome? Not suggesting going rouge and or dictating what the world does next - but don’t forget, even in what feels like a powerless situation, you have power!
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We’ve all heard that saying. It may seem like a justification for tragedies that we can’t foresee and that don’t seem fair. As if good people should have a cakewalk and bad people should be the only ones suffering. But life remains unpredictable and sometimes cruel and unjust. All you have to do is die and pay taxes - I’m sure you’ve heard that one too. So simple and stripped down to the bare minimum, but there is so much in between. You have a heart, a mind, and a gut and all of them are learning and responding in their own ways. When we shut down and sit in that room waiting for directions we give the power of our own intuition, away.
But...it is normal to react this way. We have to try and understand our normal reactions before we can take charge and reroute them in a positive way.
It’s important to understand and validate these feelings before you can pack them away and adopt new more empowering ones. So many times we are urged to move through emotions at a rapid rate - “Just get over it already”. “You can’t do anything about it so just move on”. And where there is some truth there, pushing someone through a series of emotions just because you don’t empathize or understand them is the wrong move. Just like the 7 stages of grief, it’s a process and whether it takes you 10 minutes or 10 months you must move through them.
What can help is to continually put things in perspective and trust yourself. You are a smart, sensitive, thoughtful, and rational person. You have the power to sort through information, gain a higher perspective, run it through your internal committee (heart, mind, and gut), and then make a decision that serves your the best.
Everyone is individually going through this at their own pace and in their own time so empathy, patience, and understanding are key. Your opinions are just that, your opinions. They may not be agreeable to all those you encounter. Your internal committee (heart, mind, & gut) may see things differently than even your own partner. We are all individuals and wired uniquely and that’s what makes us special. It’s important to remember, fear is real even with it seems irrational. It’s there, causing our mind and even our body to paralyze. Find compassion for those who see things differently. Muster patience for those who differ from your understanding. Give encouragement to those who need to feel they aren’t in this alone.
Even though we are in the midst of something unprecedented in our lifetime, coping, overcoming, and moving on are timeless. Tragedy hits hard, separates, confuses, and frustrates leaving its victims in a state of shock and despair but the hope is today. Not tomorrow but today. You have the power to heal and push forward.
So what does your new normal look like? If the restrictions were fully lifted today, what would you do differently? Take this time to collect your learnings and create your own new normal.
I have realized that during this time apart, it is apparent that my life revolves around and is nurtured by other people. I need people. People need people! Through technology, we’ve found a new way to stay connected that I might carry into my new world. I’ve worked remotely for years so video conferencing isn’t a new concept to me but I have never used it to connect my family members living in different parts of the country. What a treat to have everyone hear updates and see expressions across the family. Before it was the old telephone game, “hey did you hear from so and so, yeah I think that’s what she said….” I’m going to make family zoom calls an ongoing practice to stay connected when life prevents us from being together.
Since most of my outreach that required me to be in person was shut down, I found myself with a lot of extra time to focus on other enriching activities. Some of which I had always wanted to do but never tried. My new normal doesn’t have phrases like “I’ve always wanted to do that….but” Now I’m going to do “that”. Life is short and unpredictable and I don’t want to have such a rigid routine that I miss out on my heat’s desires. I’ve always said, maybe you can’t go to Bora Bora tomorrow but if you want to go - you can! Start making plans today. How much will it cost you, how much is that divided out monthly, how much can you afford to put away, Ok now, how long will it take you to get there?
Family time is important and easy to take for granted. For me, I’m empty nested so during isolation, my family time has been seriously compromised. Before the shutdown, I was busy running from job to job, appointment to appointment, and my family time was, seriously compromised. In my new normal, family time is cherished. I want to make standing family dinners a real thing. I long for enthusiasm, laughter, and over-talking each other. The feeling of home where everyone is comfortable, safe, and together.
What will be your takeaways? How will they impact how you prioritize moving forward?
Do you want proof that life is good and change is happening? Get outside and watch this beautiful Spring unfold into summer and enjoy the fact you are here witnessing it all. There is no rush to solve the world’s problems or even clearly define your “new normal” today. Instead, take a moment and appreciate where you are right now!
CHALLENGE: harness your power, forge your own path, and create your new normal. You are brilliant and resilient. Instead of leaving this tragedy scathed, you are empowered to take charge of what’s next.
I Know YOU Can Do It!