How are you feeling? Do you feel grounded? How’s your nervous system doing? How’s your spirit?
I don’t know about you but I feel we have gone from normal life (pre-pandemic) to hyper vigilance (start of the pandemic) to sustained, low level stress (during the lockdowns and constant change and uncertainty) to small doses of freedom and release (as the lockdowns are easing). We have been released into a whole new life and a whole new world, nearly 18 months later, people have moved, people have died, jobs have been lost, we are older, people have had babies, we are nervous of each other and isolation has become the norm. It’s different, but the differences are almost imperceptible, I think there is a funky feeling of stagnation and disquiet, but it is overpowered by trips to the pub and finally being able to socialise.
I guess what I’m saying is there may be an expectation to be overjoyed at life returning to some semblance of normality, but perhaps we’re still reeling from an intense, scary and utterly life changing period of time. Speaking for myself, I am struggling to find my groove, it feels like something is off, but I can’t get to the bottom of what it is. Some parts of my life have blossomed during the pandemic and others have been challenged in whole new ways. I feel like I need a month or two to sit looking at the sea and let it all wash over me, to process and get clarity.
What does my post pandemic life look like?
This is a tricky question. Perhaps because we haven’t been able to organically move through the last 18 months completing the expected rites of passage and evolutions. For example lots of people went into the pandemic with no children and are emerging with children, they have done most of it on their own so their lives have not adapted slowly over time, it has been a big shift that has taken place mostly behind closed doors.
My career focused self has been grafting during the lockdowns and has reaped the rewards, that sense of achievement is brilliant, but not enough. My party self wants to revert back to crazy, heady days of living life like its one big festival after such extreme lack of fun, variety and interaction. But after a global pandemic and the big 40 creeping steadily closer my health conscious self wants to drink green juices, do yoga non-stop and go to bed at 8.30pm. I feel like I want to let loose with total abandon in a way I haven’t felt for years, but I also feel such a strong responsibility for my health, business and life in general in a way I never have before. Pre-pandemic I managed to strike a balance between all the things – it feels like that balance has been upset, like the proverbial apple cart, and I can’t seem to find the balance since.
Add that internal battle of the various parts ourselves that have been so suppressed, to a profound sense of loss, even if you didn’t ‘lose’ that much on the surface, or you were lucky enough to be mostly ‘unaffected’ by the horrors of the pandemic. Lost time, lost experiences, lost rites of passage, lost plans, lost celebrations, loss of life as we knew it.
All the above leaves me feeling unsure of what my own ‘new normal’ is meant to be like and feel like. There is no going back, but what is the way forward?
Perhaps it’s an opportunity to take a ‘blank canvas’ approach and try some stuff out for size. Perhaps the balance that worked pre-pandemic is not meant to work now. Perhaps the increased intensity, which can feel out of control, is actually increased fire and passion. Perhaps that fire can help us create, transform and transmute with speed and extraordinary results.
In the mean time I am practicing accepting whatever and however I am feeling with as little judgement as possible. Sometimes I rock it, other times I suck at it.
Wanna hold hands and do it together?
Photo by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash
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