FIVE KEYS TO NAVIGATING THE “NEW NORMAL”
And then some more ideas!
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
It feels like the worst of the pandemic is over and at long last, we are waking up to the fact that there may have been some major shifts in our primary support group or our primary community over the course of this year since we haven't been able to be together. Now we're trying to figure out how to navigate. How do we re-enter relationships that perhaps have gone dormant in this time?
Or maybe have been hurtful to us in this time? How do we navigate that as new invitations enter the picture? And finally, we're feeling very aware of the way in which we've been hyper-attached to technology. It's provided us with a wonderful crutch that we’ll be missing when we go back out into the world when we won't have access to it and that feels somewhat uncomfortable for many of us.
But there is hope! The following is a list of several ideas that may well provide you with ways of creating a purpose-filled life even in times of turmoil and post-pandemic chaos. You can become the master of your fate, acknowledging that we know that God is on our corner and everything will work out, no matter what! So, check these ideas out:
1. Identify activities that provide you with a sense of purpose. There is no objective reality when it comes to defining what we find personally meaningful – we’re all wired differently. Regardless of how you may have isolated yourself during the pandemic, you can take baby steps to move back out into the world. Some of us feel purposeful when we experience a sense of direction, others when we’re engaged in nurturing and still others when we are immersed in nature. The key is to know what works for you. My favorite process of gaining discernment is to keep notes in my daily planner over a month or more and record the activities I engage in that provide me with a sense of well being.
2. Create a brief statement that ties together the interests that provide you with a sense of well being. Synthesizing your list of meaningful activities down to one core phrase will be your guiding light, like a mantra or affirmation. Keep the phrase simple but comprehensive to answer the question: How do I want to invest my precious and limited life energy?
Here are a few examples:
“Do everything for the benefit of others.”
“Love and appreciate what I already am.”
“Make my life an offering to (spirit, God…)”
“Exercise no judgment, just unconditional love.”
“Envision my life as a ministry.”
They seem like variations on the theme of service: How to operate outside the confines of my ego and dedicate my life to something larger than “me?” What works for you?
3. Strengthen your inner landscape. Learning to live your purpose is essentially a spiritual exercise, and thus an “inside” job. For many of us, our work years require conforming to external guideposts and demands. But even during this time of responsibilities that are never ending, the best sense of well being requires that we spend some time in reflection so that we can stay true to our vision of our best selves. The slowing of the pandemic is a perfect time to renew the commitment to yourself to stay true to what was best about lockdown or isolation, and carry that sense of self forward into the “new normal.” You might try meditation, a dedicated prayer time, tai chi or even yoga.
4. Learn to be still. See what it’s like to have your sense of purpose find you rather than your continually searching for it! Sounds simple??? Not easy, since implicit is the notion involves a whole new way of embracing life from consciously choosing how you want to be. It may feel like you go from moving to standing still; from managing to accepting; from doing to being. And that’s just the beginning.
5. Explore what it means to create. The act of creating is the unfolding of who we are in the world, and thus a kissing cousin to living out our deeper purpose. It can take the form of art, music, writing, cooking, conversation, making love or even just sitting quietly. Explore how and what gives you that feeling of deep connection to yourself, and by extension, to everything else. Further, recognize that sense of internal fullness when it occurs and seek it out in all that you do. Finding meaning and purpose in our lives is both the most important and most difficult endeavor we pursue. Enjoy the journey, and have fun doing it!
Here are some additional suggestions you can try to help you discover your own spiritual path.
Set your intention….
Feed your mind….
Be still every day….
Approach your practice with playfulness….
Watch for signs….
Connect with your tribe….
Eight ways to improve your spiritual health:
1. Explore your spiritual core. By doing this, you are simply asking yourself questions about the person you are and your meaning….
2. Look for deeper meanings….
3. Get it out….
4. Try yoga….
6. Think positively….
7. Be grateful in ALL things….
8. Take time to meditate.
Many blessings as you navigate the “new normal!”
Dr. Bev, Counselor and Coach