Normal let us down. Here’s how to move forwardIMAGE: ALINA DANIKER | UNSPLASHThe old ‘normal’ is struggling to maintain its hold on our lives – the only difference is that it is from behind a screen rather than in the world ‘outside’.by Bronwen SciortinoNormal. Was there ever such a thing?Pre-COVID-19 seems like a dream. It’s been months, but no one really knows where the time has gone. We’ve been ‘locked’ away, and time has flown anyway.

For some, it’s been a great pause on life. For many, it’s been chaotic, traumatic and frightening.

When we look back, we can see that life BC – ‘before coronavirus’ – was crazy.

We needed to stop, take a breath and experience life, but instead we just pushed through.

Millions of resources were readily available to us – some of them free – but we ignored our health and wellbeing, and soldiered on. We were so disconnected from even the basics in life. In short, we were out of control.

In reality, we actually lived on the edge of all the things happening in our life. Because, let’s face it, who had time to actually deep dive and really experience anything in life?

We forced ourselves to keep going. And the struggle to feel that our lives were relevant kept pushing us forwards.

That was our normal … and it seriously wasn’t working

Change can be hard enough when you choose to step into it. But when it is forced on you out of nowhere, and with maximum impact, it can be overwhelming, invasive, and sheer terror.

Even locked away in our own homes, with limited contact with others, we’re not immune to the opinions and instructions on the way that we’re supposed to be living.
Whether it’s the “do’s and don’ts” of how to behave, dress, act, react and participate in online meetings, or the food we’re supposed to be eating, or the schedule we’re supposed to be keeping, or the exercise we’re supposed to be doing – and the list goes on – we’re being herded into motivation like it’s going to save our lives.
Time to look for a simpler way
It’s time to turn ‘normal’ on its head. It’s time to start asking the question: “What if there’s a better way to live?”

Normal saw us living in a disconnected way that was impacting the health and wellbeing of ourselves – and our planet.

It saw us land firmly on our backsides and forced us into lockdown in our homes for an extended period of time. Stress, burnout and exhaustion ruled our days, and we became more and more anxious about our way forwards.
But life can be so simple, when we get out of the way.

If we want life to look different, then now is when we need to be asking ourselves a few simple questions that can help us to easily – but completely – re-shape our lives.

What is most important to you, for your life?

We’ve become so disconnected from our life that we have lost sight of what is most important to us. Now’s a great time to remember the things that mean the most – the ones you hold most dearly – and see whether you have them in your life.

What do you need to be OK?

There are a lot of people getting very busy telling us what to do with our lives, but are they right? Is what they’re telling us right for us? Every single one of us is a unique individual. We’re all experiencing this time in our own way. That means that each of us needs something as unique as we are to help us be OK. What is that for you?

How can you make sure that you give those things to yourself on a daily basis?

It’s one thing to know what’s important to you and to work out what you need, but if you don’t take action and give them to yourself then you will be stuck where you are. What are you prepared to do to make sure you give yourself what you need? How can you hold yourself accountable to making sure this gets done?

Start with asking yourself these questions. Then find ways to give yourself the things that help you to be consciously connected to your life. You’ll be giving yourself the things that provide you with energy and that will make it easier to move forwards every day. here, right now, you have an opportunity to create your new normal. The slate is blank, the way is clear. Adding a few questions into the way you make decisions about the things you do – and don’t do – makes it so much simpler to move your life in a different way.

And every time you make a decision that matches the truth of what is important to you, and what you need to be OK, you make it simpler to live the life that was always meant to be yours.
Bronwen Sciortino is a simplicity expert, professional speaker and an internationally renowned author.
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