We have all likely heard the term 'go back to normal' used once, twice or a million times over the past couple of years. I certainly find myself saying this from time to time. I think it's a creature of habit, picking it up from others and a nice enough way to tie in the hopes of the end of the pandemic.
However, each time I considered what "back to normal" meant for me. After 2 years of constant upheaval, change, uncertainty, and living a very stripped back version of life, I realised that I should embed greater intention in what normal was going to proceed to be.
I will premise that this blog will not dig at the state of politics, medical decisions or add to the polarising conversations that are a strong current within our orbits. This is merely an opportunity for you to reflect on embedding aligned intentions of what your "new normal" will mean for you. Strip back from the noise and allow your truth to shine through.
Change is a constant
Firstly, it is essential to point out that change is one of the rare constants we experience within our lives. While we are experiencing change on various levels throughout our days, it is also one of the experiences that human beings don't like so much. The human experience was never made to be the same/same. We can see how major global events have profoundly influenced human attitudes and behaviour by widening the scope of our lens and looking at human history.
The famous roaring 20s, the 60s are all decades proceeding the most recent world wars. Up until that time, it was normal to have conflict and combat to resolve issues. However, after WWII, the United Nations was formed to find alternative solutions for working through some significant issues occurring globally. While there is war now, human values have changed, which has fostered greater stability and focus on how we can make this world better through campaigns like the Sustainable Development Goals.
I have noticed now, especially in Western countries like Australia, that we have become more aware of issues within our communities because of the pandemic. We had to experience significant pauses in our day to day lives. We started to see our place within the community in a new light. There has been a spotlight on many of the injustices experienced in other people's realities. All of a sudden we are in this together, and their concerns became our own concerns. While we won't have significant changes arise straight away, there will be more evident and subtle experiences on a personal level that has highlighted the things that are now important to you and then acting on that.
My counsellor I spoke to throughout the past couple of years, explained it nicely when I was reassessing changes in my own life. I am now basing decisions on the evidence and information I have right now. Not on past ideas, what society is telling me or unwarranted expectations. How I am choosing to progress my life, is based on moving with the change, and not opting in “back to normal” mentality. As you can see, going "back to normal" doesn't really exist in that form. Instead, you are moving into your new normal. That is okay.
The role of intention
Setting clear intentions for how you desire your new normal to be is the step that many of us never take. Did you know, by setting goals, intentions, aims, it really doesn't matter what form. It is preparing your brain to start aligning your actions towards them. For instance, if you want to move to a small coastal town, you would set the intention. Next, you might have some preferred places you would like to make that move. Then you would start to consider the conditions that you need to make it happen. Possibly work, support, timing. While this new process takes a lot of energy and is out of your comfort zone, you are making the space to start aligning your actions towards that new state.
Your intention for your life is so important. Your intention anchors you in your own personal aspirations. Which is more powerful than subscribing to another person's idea or resorting to a view from the past that wasn't fulfilling in the first place. So far, it has been nearly 2 years since the world changed, and that is a long time. Normal doesn't have to be the same as the beginning of 2020. You would expect that your intentions, goals, desires, aspirations would have remoulded and changed in that time. If you gave yourself permission to go there, what intention would feel right for you now?
The end of the year is a great time to reflect on your intentions as we move into 2022. While there may be a layer of uncertainty in your world, that is okay. You can still activate your imagination and dream. Gloria Steinem eloquently said that dreaming is a form of planning.
Do you want to go back to normal? I would offer you the invitation to reflect on that sentiment. What elements of normal do resonate with you? Is there anything you would like to reconsider as you change and move into the new year?
If you do not want to go back to normal, I will invite you to think about the top 5 things you value most for your life moving forward? Have there been things you have learned about yourself in the past 2 years that you realise are more of a priority moving forward? If you allowed yourself to dream, what would that look like?
I have been pondering those questions myself, as the pandemic shook up my world and sense of belonging as I hit a new decade and found my priorities shifting. I had really enjoyed my first 18 months in Melbourne, living the city life. But when it all stopped, I realised that I was missing something, and that was community. People are so much on the go in the city that I craved the present moments with others. To feel a part of something. To feel like I have a place and belong. I realised I could get all those crucial things that felt true to me, not in a city, but more coastal area. Long term, that's where I want to plant roots. Ground. Have a base. I do love adventure, but I don't want to be bound by busyness and let life pass me by.
Accepting that change is normal, I am on a mission to see people choose their new normal. Looking into 5 years in the future, I have claimed my desires, and now they are forming, moulding into existence. My choices, decisions, actions continue to align to something that feels deeper within my heart, my soul and is not constructed by the expectations of others. We are barely looking to tomorrow these days, and I would love to invite you to look into your future self. What would you like to see, your new normal to be?