Creating a new normal

Some wise words to our community from Beechtree’s General Manager Cath Thurlow.

After these first weeks of acclimatising and trying to build a new routine, I’d like to share some things that have helped me to create a new sense of normality.

In a web conference with other Waldorf Steiner Kindergarten teachers, the lead host Janni Nichols shared something that really inspired me. She talked about finding our own rhythm and routine in whatever form that may take – be it starting with a morning verse or meditation or having meals at regular times and making time for movement, and remembering to find time for yourself, and taking care of yourself. This may not always be possible, but as little as five minutes can make a world of difference – a part of my new routine is to sit outside for at least five minutes with a cup of tea and enjoy the sounds of the birds and the stillness around us.

Janni also spoke about working with gratitude, and I think with all of the negative influences around us (from social media and the news) this is more important than ever. I have started to make a mental list of three things I am grateful for every morning, and this could be as simple as being thankful for the new day, for being well and being grateful for all that I have.

A friend recently shared an article which also moved me; here is a snippet from it:

“There are distances that bring us close and solitudes that unite. We are learning that our life and well-being depend on the life and well-being of the other; that the fate of the people we love and the whole community also depends on my fate and actions; that personal interest must be overshadowed by the collective need. It is an important evolutionary step. We had to stop in order to hear … And understand. When we stop to listen we hear everything that happens, inside and outside ourselves. Anger, helplessness, frustration, anxiety, despair, fear … but also empathy, compassion, love, gratitude, kindness, silence. Everything. There is the whole life inside ourselves that just waited to be listened to and welcomed, to allow us to return to the natural rhythms of life and to cultivate those values so important to the survival of this planet and in this planet.”

The article made me think about our own rhythm, and the balance that we need between in-breaths (periods of business!) and out breaths (moments of pause and rest), and the gift that we have been given, of time to be with our families, to stop and listen, and to come together as communities, even if we are a few metres apart!

In all of the negativity around us, it is more important than ever to focus on the light – the silver lining in the clouds above!