Summer time. It's pool time, beach time, golf time, down time. And usually a time we look forward to...longer days, summer haze, vacation away or stay. Less on our minds, and often we are more carefree. So what's different about this summer? Maybe nothing for you. But it is very different for many, as we are preparing for re-entry and have started to jump in.
Jumping into the new next (I just can't say new normal). What I can say is that I have talked to many folks who are hesitant to jump. Hesitant to jump right back into their old normal. They are realizing a shift in their minds/bodies/souls and don't want to lose what they have learned and are becoming. And I think that is a good thing. To pause and consider what you may want to invent out of this change point. Just like when entered into the pandemic last year. We were all reminded not to waste the change, even if it was painful. The same is true for this change point, even if it is not painful for you. As life continues to open up, I hope you can look before you leap. And consider looking at few things:
First, look inside. And as we teach in our workshops, look at your emotions. Look at them and clear them. Even if they are "positive emotions," identify them and clear them. Or you can stuff them, like I did this past month. Unintentionally. And that contributed to my back going out twice! Truth is, there are a lot of folks living with stuffed emotions and pain. And many don't understand or acknowledge that living through a pandemic is living through a trauma, as well defined in a podcast I recently listened to on this topic (Trauma and the Body in Pandemic). In this podcast, they defined trauma as "a threat to your life, your body, to your identity, your relationships...and whether it is sudden trauma or long term trauma, it wears our system down." So it is extra critical that as we are jumping back in, we are also taking good care of ourselves.
Second, look back. Look at how far you have come. Look at the pain. Look at the joy. Look at the fact that you have survived. Look at the folks you have around you. Are they supporting you or holding you back? Look at the habits you created or failed to create. Look at it all. The good. The bad. The ugly. And stop calling them the good, bad or ugly. Just call them what they are. Be kind. Look at the people you do or don't want to be around. Habits you do or don't want to continue. A job you do or don't enjoy. And then decide what you want to take with you, what you want to create, what you can let go of, as you jump in.
Third, look around. Especially for those of us who haven't been as overwhelmed and have some margin to not only advocate for yourself, but also offer care for those in your midst who may need it. Those who are struggling. Those who need help. More than ever, this is a season where we need to support others. For me, that means helping, but also being more choiceful as to where I invest. And it also means making sure I get plenty of rest. What I am finding is that the rest/recovery that I used to need takes far longer now than before the pandemic. So I adjust and plan for that.
So as you are testing the waters and deciding if you are ready to jump, I hope you can find time to look inside, look back and look around.
And take good care of yourself.
Enjoy you summer and I'll be back in touch in the fall.