This upside-down, halted, shook up world in which we find ourselves these days has brought up all kinds of wild and interesting conversations, contemplative moments, and of course an inordinate amount of suffering.
People keep saying, “when things go back to normal we will xyz….”
But is “normal” what you really want? Was it working?
If you have had even a moment to yourself in the last six weeks, I wonder – have you had a chance to contemplate the future?
Have you thought about shaking up your normal, our normal?
And, what are the chances? Literally, as I was writing this, I came across a post from Sonya Renee Taylor for the first time who said,
“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.”
So many of you have shared that you would like to make this time sacred, and use it as a time to envision the world as it could be, not merely what it was.
Because normal was fast paced & addicted to overlapping commitments, all about exhaustion, it was hyper-individualistic, complete with oppression and hyper-consumerism causing undo harm to humanity and the earth.
So here’s a little writing exercise I’ve been using to help make the most of this time. It may help to engage your imagination and consider what you desire to bring about moving forward.
It’s called STOP, START, CONTINUE:
Sit somewhere in nature, or a pleasant spot in your home. Put on headphones with inspiring music if that helps. Light a candle. Pull out a pen and a notebook and start writing a page or more for each of these:
Write down all the things you want to stop doing right now and in the future when we are safe to leave our homes again. Examples of things to stop might be:
- Unnecessary spending (old subscriptions you’re not using or products you could do without)
- Going to bed late
- Excessive air travel
- Eating overly processed packaged foods
- Buying single-use plastic
- Eating animal products at so many meals
- Hiding from conflict
- Not telling the truth
- Excessive media consumption or tech use
- Complaining vs. being part of the solution
Write down all the things you want to start doing right now, and also when we are safe to leave our homes again in the future. Examples include:
- Spending more time outside in nature
- Growing vegetables and herbs
- Committing to support organic farming
- Donating to important causes if you can
- Following black women on social media, podcasts, and read their books!
- Creating meditation and practice plans
- Setting fitness, nutrition, and/or practice goals
- Reading more books to help increase focus
- Organizing closets, office, playroom
- Spending more time in your highest income activity
- Being of greater service, help others, give value
- Bringing people together toward a common purpose
Write down all the things that are working well for you right now that you want to keep doing when we are safe to leave our homes again in the future. Examples include:
- Daily walks
- Donating to meaningful causes
- Cooking nutritious meals
- Eliminating plastic from your home
- Practicing yoga
- Checking in on family frequently and consistently
- Having long talks with friends on the phone
- All that great hand and home hygiene!
- Sharing quality time with your kids
- Reaching out to neighbors and senior citizens to check if they need help
- Singing and howling a better world into existence nightly from your windows!
Once you’ve done this exercise for yourself, leave a comment below with some of your stops, starts, and continue to help inspire our whole community of readers! And if you have other ideas on how you get quiet and listen to find new purpose, drop a comment below too!
Here’s to a normal we can be proud of.
Amy Ippoliti, a gifted teacher’s teacher, has been leading yoga teacher trainings since 1999. Her students have gone on to become leaders, authors, conference presenters, and teacher trainers in the yoga world – both in the United States and all over the globe! She is revered for her innovative methods that bridge the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and modern-day life, helping yoga students “turn up their own volume.” After years of feeling powerless to help her teacher training graduates actually survive as yoga teachers, she started studying business, marketing, finances, and technology. In 2010, when she felt confident enough to share what she had learned, she created “90 Minutes to Change the World”. This professional development program inspired her and Taro Smith to found 90 Monkeys. Amy is a writer… Read More