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Armijo: The new normal

As our community and country prepare for the great disruption of COVID-19, we are beginning to understand that the world as we knew it may never be again. Our previous fears, worries, stressors, and anxieties will no longer matter. The little things we used to let bother us will be obsolete. Life as we know it has changed — literally, overnight.

As creatures of habit, these changes will be extremely difficult for many, many people. For others, this pandemic will be seen as a new opportunity. This will all depend on the mindset of the individual. During times of crisis, there will always be those who demonstrate incredible strength, to not only continue forward but to somehow thrive.

One of my favorite quotes by Eric Hoffer states, “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the Earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.”

It will be our ability to maintain a calm mind and think progressively to help our community and our most vulnerable to get through this catastrophe. It will also be about how we decide to perceive this pandemic. Those who choose to perceive this event as something akin to the end of days will have much difficulty getting through. Whereas those who see this event as a wake-up call to re-evaluate their lives and the future of our planet will have much more success.

We are beginning to create our new normal and it is up to us as to how that is defined. The time we get to spend at home with family or close friends should be a time of reflection. We have been so conditioned to relate work and movement with progress in our lives. However, those who have accomplished the most in this world have usually done so by calming their minds to accomplish their goals or create new inventions such as Siddartha, Beethoven, Aristotle, Thomas Edison, and more.

When we truly connect with ourselves we become more connected to the world around us. This is why many of us live here in the high country. We have this unspoken connection that draws us to the wonders of nature whether hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, or just sitting under a tree. We have all felt the indescribable energy after some quality time in nature. Our head feels clearer, our breath feels deeper, and everything around us seems to slow down just a little bit.

Each of us will be able to create our own new normal just as we do every day in our lives. Some may create a new normal of fear, worry, and distrust towards others … which is not an ideal place to be. The rest of their time on this planet will be spent in a state of distrust and misery, while others will reflect on their lives up until this point and come to a wholly different conclusion. They will wonder why they spent so many years of their life, the time they can never get back, working in a profession that leaves them joyless, uninspired, and tired.

This off-time that has been afforded to us should be used wisely, and relaxation is a big part of doing that. In addition, it is a good time to take inventory of your life. We do this in our professions on a regular basis by reviewing our annual performance. This, too, should also be done in our personal lives.

Did you accomplish the goals you had set out for the last year? Are you passionate about the work you are doing? Is your relationship satisfactory or is there something you would like to improve? Is your fitness or diet where you would like it to be? There is literally no excuse for those who once said, “I don’t have the time.”

Use this time wisely. It should be used to reconnect with family members. It should be used to rekindle the romance with your significant other. It should be used to learn how to think like a child again by stimulating your imagination and channeling that energy into art, music, or just make-believe with the kids. Thank goodness our children are not as susceptible to this illness as others in the population. It is our job to make them as comfortable as possible while encouraging creative and educational play.

We need to come to terms with the fact that we are just beginning down this new road. Things may not return to the normal that we all expect. It will take a certain amount of willpower and resolve as we move into our new roles. It will take a community united to solve the upcoming challenges. It will take a group of people working from positive intentions to lead others into the unknown that lies ahead.

Our new normal will be what we make of it. Our new normal can be based on trying to reclaim past norms of vying for money, physical possessions, and power over others. Or we can use this time as our time to wake up to our past mistakes. Our new normal may include being better stewards to our people, our animals, and our planet. We may begin to start again from scratch and create roles that we are truly passionate about while providing something positive to others and our planet. We can be more inclined to follow the golden rule and see our fellow people as more than just the jobs they work or how much money they make.

It will all depend on how we, as individuals, choose to adapt to this new normal. Maybe success will differ from those who have money, power, and prestige. Maybe success will go to those who help their neighbors, those who heal, those who teach future generations not to repeat past mistakes, and those who create new ways to not only survive on our planet … but to thrive in harmony on it.

For our community, I am providing a place to come together through Facebook and Instagram Live. It will be an open community forum (Digital Apres) that will be used for positive discussion about how we can overcome this challenge together. This is a ​free event​ and all are invited and encouraged to bring their questions. The format will be 1 to 1.5 hours. These will be held at 3 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday.

Follow me on Facebook by searching: ​@LifeCoachingVail (Smile at the World Page)​ or on Instagram ​@Carmijo12​ or email me at ​chadarmijocoaching@gmail.com


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