As the World Opens

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”
Margaret Drabble

This change of season comes in the midst of growing change in our collective life. The world is starting to open up again. This is a welcome relief but also offers fresh challenges.

Who are we as we step out of our homes and into community again?

Who do we want to be?

I have been a part of so many conversations lately about the stress of this return. The situation is made even more difficult because we are faced with feelings we didn’t expect to have! We thought we’d be enthusiastically running towards hugs, coffee dates and freedom. It turns out we’re also feeling unsure, overwhelmed and sometimes unsafe. Many of us are also recognizing that we are being pulled back into a life that we’re not sure we want to return to.

We are tender beings emerging from a long time away.

As we re-enter the world, we won’t just be finding a new normal, we’ll be creating it. Now is the time to move forward with intention, to make fresh and meaningful decisions before things settle into place.

Imagine for a moment that you had moved completely out of your house for a time and then, along with all of your stuff, you moved back in. Your impulse might be to quickly get everything back in place and get on with life. After a disruption, our default is often to return to ‘normal’ as soon as possible. But what is normal? Often it simply describes circumstances we have gotten used to.

What if instead of resetting back to the way it was, you took a breath and asked, “What do I want now?

Don’t simply slide back into familiar dreams and desires. In this moment, what are you longing for? Who are you now? It’s like intentionally bringing that furniture back in, one piece at a time, and deciding what to do with it. Will you put it back where it was, find it a new home or let it go? You don’t have to know all the answers. Simply start with what you do know. Take what’s important to you and place it at the centre.

In the current context, this may feel hard to do. We are all experiencing a collective undertow pulling us back to the way it was. There will always be things outside of our control but don’t let that convince you that everything is outside of your control.

You have a say in establishing the new normal.

The more we give ourselves permission to set our own pace, to say our own yeses and no’s, to trust our inner compass and to brave moving towards what is meaningful to us, the more we create a world where that is the norm. I witness this all the time in studio classes, how one person’s brave choice inspires someone else to be braver, how telling our truth inspires someone else to share theirs.

Let’s take that even further. Let’s be compassionate, encouraging and respectful as everyone establishes their own new normal. Let us honour one another’s path and pace. Let’s be a part of the world opening instead of adding to the undertow.

As you brave the return, what kind of life do you want to create? What kind of world?

We continue to live through a disruptive time. Let’s make choices that will nourish the ground we want to walk on in the future.

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