As I (Paula) got into my car this morning, for the first time in 2 weeks, I glanced into the rearview mirror to back out of my driveway. The first thing that I saw was the ever-expanding row of white hair appearing where my hair is parted. . . as a result of my hair salon being closed. Six weeks ago, I would have slammed on the breaks and put the car in park. I would have jumped out of the car and run back into the house to ‘fix’ that awful sight! Using a color pen (they have amazing hair tools now!) I would have ‘colored’ that spreading expanse of white hair and went back to pretending it did not exist.
But today? I literally laughed out loud and kept driving.
As I drove, I found myself wondering about this shift. And what exactly has shifted? Is it an increased comfort level with ‘what you see is what you get’? Is it a new level of confidence? Or is it simpler than that? Have I perhaps connected to what really matters…I mean really matters??
I have been on a million (well, not quite, but certainly close) ZOOM calls with people I know and people I am just meeting for the first time. Women in sweatshirts - many with no make-up, men in jeans and ‘I’m working out next hair’, and women and men with a child nearby doing their homework. I have met more children, dogs, cats, spouses in the 6 weeks of ‘staying home’, then I have in 35 years of employment. Seeing and experiencing things that just a few weeks ago might have been considered unprofessional or disrupting. There is such a grace about this authenticity in every day. And it’s been a beautiful thing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do want to get back out of my house. I want the restaurants, the theatres…the world to open back up. But there is something beautiful about this slowing down and letting each other in.
I would choose that when our ‘new normal’ comes, that this graceful authenticity remains. I would choose to stay comfortable with my grey hair (ok, it’s white!) growing in. I am enjoying having each and every one of us showing up as we are…and I have loved meeting each of you where you are. I hope we can hang onto it all, because I think it matters.
This ‘new normal’ is grounding me in a new way. Brain science would tell me that I feel a stronger level of connection or relatedness – which I do. This strong connection can be a game-changer for our brain. When we feel more connected, we show up less threatened, more authentic, and more grounded. For me simply put…it makes me feel better, so I am better.
What would you choose to hang onto as a part of our ‘new normal’?