Life after The Great Pause


What do you wish to see in the world and in your life now? What do you value? What are you grateful for? These are the questions that come to mind after a year of restrictions and quarantine, a year I refer to as The Great Pause. The pausing is mostly over now and things are beginning to open up. But many of us feel different. We are different. So what’s next?


I had a dream about a vintage van last night. Dreams of vehicles are usually about our journey in life, and whether or not we are moving forward, or backward, or perhaps we are parked and stuck in neutral. We’ve all been parked on the side of the road this past year. And as things begin to open in fits and starts, everything seems a bit foggy. We are entering an unpredictable phase, and our desire for a comfortable feeling and sense of security has increased. Some say they wish to ‘return to normal,’ but what is that new normal?


As I write this, a deer has walked up and pressed her nose to the window where my desk faces the woods. Hello, Beautiful! The pandemic pushed me north out of New York City to the highlands of the Hudson Valley. I left my comfort zone, a place I found familiar where I had multiple jobs performing in the city that never sleeps. I have learned to shift gears and adapt in my new setting where I now interact with wild life on a daily basis. This is my new comfort zone.


So maybe this deer is answering the question I just posed to the Universe. When we encounter a deer spirit animal, her message is about combining gentleness with strength and determination. Deer spirit reminds us we have the ability to move through life and its obstacles with grace. Be in touch with your inner child, she whispers. Be sensitive and use your intuition. In reference to your life’s journey, utilize your new ability to change directions quickly. Like many others during the pandemic, I changed my direction but the future is uncertain. I still feel parked on the side of the road in a vintage van on a foggy day with emotional baggage strapped to the roof.


Let’s return to those initial questions. Think of your own answers as you read them.


What am I grateful for? Having magical encounters like this with deer and other animals that have taught me a great deal about patience and stillness.


What do I value? The support and guidance of family and friends during this challenging time.


What do I wish to see in the world and in my life now? I’m really hoping folks don’t ‘go back to normal.’ I’d like us to move forward on our life journeys but release the baggage we all tend to carry on the top of our camper vans. Let go of negativity. Release what does not bring us joy. Embrace change gracefully. Be open to experiencing new things. Maybe grab that bicycle on the back of the van and use our own energy to get around town. Simplicity is what I crave now.


Speak with love. Act with love. Be love. I hope this is the new normal.