As we prep ourselves for another phase of moving back into the world, most of us having spent almost two months in a radical shift of relationship with how our societies have operated and how that has affected our personal lives, we have probably heard the phrase, “I am ready for things to get back to normal.” I understand. We want to open up and interact with our world more fully again, of course.
But here’s where things get interesting. Remember how we have also been talking about how good it is to slow down, how wonderful that polluted cities are showing clear air and creatures are returning to certain habitats, how we are doing projects we have meant to do for years, how we are taking longer walks and spending time with our families, how we are baking bread for the first time? Maybe we rejuvenated a yoga practice, or meditated for the first time in our lives. Or we just went out and felt the sun on our skin without the urgency to get to the next appointment.
So I pose the question: How do we establish and live by our very best “new normal?” What do we want our normal to be? How do we anchor the best of what has happened during this time in our lives, that which opened our hearts and minds, and connected us more deeply with the feeling that life is better with this in it? Is going back to normal really the best version of our lives, and what might it look like to live a life that is our best normal?
I keep coming back to those who have perished in this time due to this virus, those who never anticipated that this would be the year they would leave the Earth. I think of the medical responders and all workers who jump to action in order to help those in need, and put themselves at great risk to do so. And I keep feeling the great need to honor them and their lives best by letting this time work on me in a way that I come out of it with a deeper gratitude for life and the daily practices and attention that bring to the forefront all the things I cherish and contributing to the ways I believe this world can thrive. This is my bow to them, that they may not have died in vain.
Some speak of this time as a great awakening. I know I do. And beyond the statistics and the origins and the protocols for this current virus, there is right here in front of us the opportunity to take the best of what we were forced to slow down to, and keep it alive. Rumi wrote, "Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there." There has been an invitation embedded in this time and it is shown in sharp relief. Let us not turn away from what that invitation is to each of us, personally. And let us share that with our families and establish our new normal for a better life, one that incorporates all of the goodies that we have forgotten and love and have had a taste of during this time of slow-down at home.
Here’s to you building your Best Normal, Melanie