What is Normal?

     As people are navigating the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic everyone is experiencing change.
     Although there is talk about “returning to normal” very few aspects of our society are able to regress to the form they held in January.  The phrase “New Normal” is bandied about as well, suggesting that equilibrium will be easily found, and a variation on Normal will slide comfortably into place. 
     A quote by Dave Hollis has appeared on my screen from various sources. It reads: “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”

     My own concept of Normal is perhaps best reflected in the cartoon where a parent tells a child that Normal is just a setting on the dryer. 
     Like many of my friends and clients and teachers I reject the idea that society was functioning well before the virus interrupted. 
     During the last decade I have been highlighting and celebrating the ways in which society is undergoing a Shift. My Tumblr feed has been an irregular record of news stories that highlight how small changes are shifting business models, and human interaction with the physical world, all around the globe.
     I have written often about the personal and individual changes that shift perspective and guide new behaviours that are more in keeping with a changed world. I have never stopped believing that the old so-called-normal was unsustainable and that a Shift was underway.
     In June  of 2015 I posted a blog called The Crate Story, which begins <To Shift is to move from one place to another: a crate can be shifted from the floor to a shelf. When that happens, there is a time when the crate is no longer on the floor, occupying the previous position, and it has not yet arrived at the destination point. In many ways, in relation to the societal Shift, we are currently living this ‘in-between’ time> In 2015 it was easy to ignore the Shift. In 2020 that is no longer possible.
     For years now, a slow, uncelebrated plod towards re-making the economy and the world has been underway, and COVID-19 has accelerated this. First, it has shut down a great many of the industries and systems that were least sustainable. It has highlighted the vital contributions of workers whose role was rarely acknowledged and never lauded. It has given us a break from the treadmill that ruled our schedule, and allowed for a rethink. As we pause we can choose to reevaluate what matters to us the most. 
     We see in clear cause-and-effect terms what it means to have a thriving local economy, from which we can access the food and goods we need every day, instead of exploiting desperate people in distant places.

     I had the inspired thought, recently, that while Normal is certainly a setting for the washing machine, it is only one of many settings. Anyone who regularly uses a laundry machine knows that there are choices. There can be a Normal, 30 minute wash with fast agitation, or a Normal 20 minute Gentle Cycle. There are many variables of which “normal” is only one, and it can be personalized and individualized and customized to suit the laundry load. 
     So it can be with how we choose to move into the changed ways of being in the world. We will revise how we socialize and how we work. We will because we are inventive and adaptable. We will find heretofore unimagined methods and routes to success and fulfillment and happiness.
     We will Shift. We will Shift and we will Thrive, and we will embrace the reality of life in the 2020s. Life is good, and the future is bright. 

Numerology and other tools can help you to find clarity in this time. Zoom sessions are private  and easily accessible for anyone who is online. Telephone and FaceTime are also available. 
Contact me to arrange a session.