Humanity entered a quasi-dark night of the soul in early 2020. Shuttered indoors, distancing ourselves from one another while masking our fears, our feelings, and our faces, we have become even more closed off from one another; hermits are in awe of our reclusive behavior.

We look to government, medical professionals, and media outlets to show us the way and tell us what to do as we stave off the ever-evolving risk of COVID. But should we really be looking within to find the answers on how to find Normal? Maybe we had the solution inside of us the whole time but just weren’t looking.

How often do we get the time to really rewind and reflect on our behaviors, choices, habits, and lessons in this fast-paced world.? I’ll pause for a collective reflection…yeah, that’s what I thought. Nature has a way of stopping us in our tracks to retrace our steps and course correct. She’s often blunt and direct about her demands.

I can only speak for myself and to the experiences of those in my closest circles. Change is upon us all, for good or not. Deep soul searching, healing, and lifestyle revisions are happening at lightening speed. Career shifts, quitting and gearing down, or in some cases, confidence building up-shifting,

Society is calling this shift “The New Normal.” I would argue that we are entering our Normal for the first time. It’s not normal to work 70+ hours per week. It’s not normal to be in loveless relationships where one or both people are unhappy and unfulfilled. It’s definitely not normal to be in jobs that are not aligned with our best interests or our highest calling for the long haul, nor is it normal to be in any other partnership, relationship, or situationship where the normal is an illusive web of unanswerable questions or shady behavior.

Reestablishing equilibrium is no easy feat. Many have been unbalanced and overwhelmed for months, years, or even decades. It’s hard to find center and rebalance yourself in a world that says do more, go faster, be better. How about just be normal?

Why don’t we just honest with ourselves and with each other? Why don’t we drop the masks and agree to be candid about our needs and wants? Why don’t we just deal with our childhood wounding and our relationship betrayals instead of dragging that wheelbarrow of crapola into our next job or marriage or dumping it onto our children? Why?  Because it’s hard. It’s like staring into the mirror and seeing the monster under our beds reflected back at us. Damn, it’s downright scary. But there are benefits (IMHO and experience).

Peaceful sleep: blissful shuteye will eventually return once the beasts of burden are eventually slayed.

Resilient health: fewer ailments. Aches, pains and lingering unhealed body traumas may begin to heal (the mind is connected to both the body and the spirit; healing one can lead to healing all).

Reduced anxiety and stress: which leads to less monkey mind, knee-jerk reactions, flying off the handle, and losing your poop on some poor unsuspecting soul.

Inner (moral) compass and B.S. detector work again: it’s hard to head in the right direction with the right people if you can’t tell right from wrong or good from bad. Something magical happens when you find normal. For me, I am far more quickly able to assess a “frog” situation. If a guy can’t comfortably be himself when introductions are made (and he’s trying too hard or becomes passive aggressively jealous quickly) I pick up on it immediately now. Hard left — no room for that doom. That doesn’t make someone a bad person; it just may mean that there may be inner work needed.

Internal “buzzing” stops: OK, this one hit home for me and truly is my aha moment. For years, my body had a dull “buzz”  that just would not go away. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears and tinnitus rang through my head like bad FM reception. My sciatic nerve hummed with a resounding pain that never stopped in my left side, even during sleep. Once I defined and executed my normal earlier this year, the buzzing subsided and the noise level quelled. I’m now training for a 5k.

Routines become enjoyable: rather than dull, repeatable droll, the routines established in normal are a welcome experience that signal shifts in your day (end of workday), anticipatory activities (rolling in the hay with bae), and restful respite from the world (TITANS or GOT anyone?). Routines should bring pleasure and comfort, things that motivate you to look forward with pleasure rather than dread. They are our security blankets on days when normal gets out of whack.

Establishing normal means feeling good in your own skin and being comfortable with who you are while becoming who you are meant to be. Maybe finding the new normal is really only about finding out what normal really means and what it feels like to be normal.


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