So much has changed in such a short amount of time. That’s kind of an understatement considering what’s happening around the world right now. But even though there’s been as much suffering as there has, a lot of people are re-thinking what they consider ‘normal’ in their lives. ‘Returning back to normal’, in my opinion, simply isn’t an option, nor should it be, because we can do better than the life we had before. That’s not to say that life was bad before this, but many people mention the ‘new normal’ as a way to comprehend how life will be different from now and into the future, even though we’re far from the end of this.
The consistent trends that thread all of these new ideas of normality together is intentionality.
When we can’t go out into the world and see it in the same way, whether or not face coverings are mandatory in your area, if we are required to practice social distancing, regularly wash hands and use hand sanitiser, we have collectively, and perhaps most ironically unintentionally, started practicing living intentionally.
From my understanding, it takes a few months for a new practice to become a regular habit. The reprioritisation of ones’ own health has created a plethora of individuals who are far more mindful about their own health and that of those around them than they were about six to twelve months ago. I believe this because I’m one of them. I’ve written in the past about my desire to focus more on my health, and the current situation has provided the perfect opportunity to not look back, and focus on creating and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The simple reason for this is that I want the quality of my life to get better, and so do many others.
Experts warned that obesity would become a problem in 2020, and I believe it probably has for many, but I equally believe that many more people are intentionally choosing to move their own health to the top of their list of priorities, particularly because the future is so uncertain.
Minimalism plays into this discourse easily. Less things allows for more movement, more freedom to choose a life direction or new goal, and by having less things you’re less likely to relapse into an undesirable habit. After recommending Sasaki Fumio’s “Goodbye, Things” book to many, each person that’s subsequently read this book and enacted on the message it gives has had a noticeable transformation. They seem calmer with less on their mind and hold close the things that they value most to them. This is the attitude we all need to have in times of uncertainty.
Keep near to you what keeps you authentic, and not only use the things you have intentionally but think about how an intentional life would look for you. Look around you right now and ask yourself if everything you see feels intentional, and if it doesn’t, perhaps it’s worth asking if the ‘new normal’ isn’t what you think it would be too. Now may be the perfect time for you to make the change too.