Creating A New "Normal"
As we move more deeply into this new way of life, two types of groups are forming:
We find ourselves grasping at what used to be and holding on to the hope of returning to "normal" with a tightness that can be suffocating and is born of fear of discomfort and the unknown, or
We find ourselves longing for a new "normal" that can support us both individually and as a collective, with an optimistic trepidation for what's to come and what could be.
Everyone on the planet resides in one of these two scenarios. Everyone. In fact, most people are in both. It's the ratio of where you reside that will determine how you experience this transition.
This is a time in which things are heightened. Where "normal" has been replaced with words like "unprecedented" - "bizarre" - "weird" - "unsettling" - "challenging" and "frustrating." Normal doesn't exist. In fact, we're not going back to "normal" anytime soon. Many people have written about this transition away from the "normal" we used to know, from spiritual guru-types to University professors and researchers. What hasn't been said, I think, is that we are entering a time of grief. The loss of "normal" is a loss unlike any other we have known, and it places us in one of the two aforementioned groupings.
If you feel funky (sad, depressed, anxious, frustrated, angry, numb) during this time, that's completely normal. The funky you feel is both personal and global. Your job is to separate out the global from the personal, so that you can decide–on a daily basis–how your percentages should be. Do you want to be mostly in group #1, or mostly in group #2? You get to decide. It's not easy, of course, but it's also not as difficult as you might fear. Because the simple truth is this:
We will return to "normal" as soon as we create it.
This is a time that is asking all of us to double-down on our commitments to a new earth–a new way. This means that if you have any residual issues lying around preventing you from showing up in the new paradigm more fully, they’re going to come up repeatedly to help you move through them.
Moving through them requires one primary step: surrender. Surrendering means that you are no longer fighting. That's all. If you surrender to these underlying issues (such as resentment, fear, scarcity, lack, anger, etc) you will come out the other side freer, which is the goal. The new "normal" you are being invited to create is one in which you feel, and are, freer.
The question now is: What does surrendering look like?
The simplest approach involves four steps:
Name it. By naming what is going on, you release its hold on you. For example, if I am angry and actually say the words to myself, "I'm angry," it instantly takes up less space in me. It starts the process of freeing myself.
Question it. By questioning what is gong on, you allow yourself to understand and choose. Again, if I am angry and I name it, and then I ask, "Why am I angry?" I now have an opportunity to understand what is going on in my mind that is keeping me trapped. Usually it's a long-held belief system or thought pattern.
Ask yourself. By digging a tiny bit further and asking yourself, "What purpose does this anger serve?" you will create the opportunity you need to shift away from this issue. When something exists solely to serve your faulty pattern of behavior, it is no longer needed.
Redirect yourself. By focusing on the word "serve" from the last step, you now get to choose how you want to show up, and what belief systems or thought patterns you wish to align with. If the anger served a purpose of keeping you resentful of others for what they have (and what you don't), then it's not motivating, it's shackling. You literally become a slave to your anger and have to choose behaviors that keep you there. When you flip the script and ask: "HOW can this anger serve me in a healthier way?" you have freed yourself from its grip, because you can now choose your new normal from a proactive and empowered position.
Surrendering is not the same as lying down and allowing people or issues to walk all over you. I will reiterate: surrendering means to stop fighting. That is all. Fighting is an energy and action that directly goes against flow. Once you stop fighting, you open up a world of potential and possibility. If you keep fighting, you cut yourself off from change. Using the example of anger, you probably noted that we're not forcing the anger to leave. In step 4, we're aligning with it (acceptance) to use its energy (anger is powerful) to create a different way. It will leave on its own in right timing - usually after we've taken action and completed these 4 steps.
In order to create a new normal for our families, our communities, and the world, we have to start with ourselves. All true change begins within. When you find yourself reacting negatively to the times we are in, if you see it as an opportunity to dig just a little bit deeper, you will free yourself and find that living from a place of flow is much easier, and much more "normal."