“I can’t wait for things to go back to normal!”
I hear this phrase a lot these days. In the news, in conversations with friends — it’s hard to not say and perhaps mourn the notion of ‘normal.’
But what is normal? And how do we know that normal is always better for us?
Often change and discomfort are intertwined. We are wired to respond to discomfort by avoiding it, reaching for the familiar. And when so much feels uncomfortable and raw — from not being able to spend time with our loved ones, to grappling with daily news surrounding the loss of life and livelihood.
As a relatively new business, it was such a shock to face this situation. Everything felt so blurry at first – it was only the first quarter of the year and I already had to pivot our business strategy for the next nine months ahead. There was a lot of ‘making peace’ with things not unfolding as I’d planned. Perhaps the hardest part was fighting a narrative in the back of my mind telling me that what we do is no longer relevant.
We hear the word ‘resilience’ all the time, whether we understand the meaning behind it or not. Although generally we need to be resilient in life, I can’t think of a more relevant time than now to practice resiliency. It looks different from everyone – for me, it means being comfortable with the discomfort, letting pain and grief pass through my body like the wind, without getting attached to it.
Normal is just what we knew. Perhaps this is a time we can devote to stepping back and learning to be comfortable with something new, however it may look. When we trust that we are a part of something bigger outside of ourselves, we can be at peace with whatever life brings us.
Below are a few recommended readings we put together centered around this idea — either that have been recently relevant or that we always return to.
- Rising Strong by Brene Brown
- When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
- Option B by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant
- Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
- Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo
- Daybook by Anne Truitt
- Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
- The poem “Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson
- Yellow Glove by Naomi Shihab Nye