The arrival of fall shook me awake.  Fall is usually a time of switching gears. It is a return to work habits and productivity after the slower habits of summertime. The weather cools. The air shifts.  

This shift in seasons brings with it a time of resetting our intentions. Yet, the pandemic continues.

I realized that I had been holding my breath all summer. I was still treating the pandemic as a short term crisis. I was holding my breath.

By shutting off the fearful feelings, I was shutting off the positive energy too. I was numbing myself to all of the feelings associated with such a deep change. I stopped most of my regular, including blogging, meditation, attending Quaker worship, and pouring energy into my coaching practice.

I find that I am finally moving from resistance to surrender. I am ready to ask the universe, what does this crisis teach me? What can it teach all of us?

We are in the deep, dark middle part of coping with the pandemic. Brene’ Brown talks about this part of our collective journey as Day Two. The challenge is here, and the resolution is not in sight.  

We are wrestling with our souls and being forced to change our ways of being. We are grieving and struggling. Old patterns no longer fit our new reality.

We find ourselves in an expectant waiting. In this collective searching, we can move from resistance to surrender. We can ask, “What am I here to learn and how can I serve in this moment?”

Gifts are present in the darkness. The burning down of the old debris will allow new ways of being to grow. We can admit that we have no idea what’s coming. It’s not what we expected it would be.

When things are falling apart, we have a greater space to try on new ways of being. We shed old ways of knowing. Ways of being that no longer fit. Step away from relationships that drain us.  In times of great change, the gift is that we have no extra energy to pull inauthentic burdens along.

Ways of showing up in the world that at once felt too risky become necessary. We need to be brave enough to turn to a new path. To accept what we cannot change but also to open ourselves up to expansion of who we can become.

Grace is greater. The pathway forward is willingness to commit to creative solutions.

Through commitment to such brave work, we can discern matters to us. We must make up things as we go. Find playfulness and acceptance as we learn. We can find kindness towards ourselves and to others as we try on new shapes and roles.

I challenge you to dive into the possibility of who you are meant to be in this moment. To  take on what you have been avoiding. Knowing that “normal” is gone, what a beautiful moment to try on a new way of being.

Whether you know deep down in your soul what you are yearning for. Or you are stuck and ready to gain the tools to find that inspiration. Use the gift of this change in seasons to bravely step into your best version of yourself.

Ready to find your new normal? Let’s talk! Reach out to me at dana@danamitra.net.

Written by Dr. Dana Mitra

I am a life coach at Coaching By Dana and tenured academic professor at Penn State.

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