As part of my paper clearing mentioned last month, the above illustration also came to light. While it appealed to my sense of humour, remained on my notice-board for a considerable time, my challenge now was how to expand upon why it 'spoke' to me, and to consider it from another's viewing point. First, to look up the definition in my Funk & Wagnalls Canadian Edition dictionary ... yes, I still use a dictionary, heavily underlined throughout, since pre-Google days. "Normal: ... occurring naturally", was one explanation. That made sense ... to me! And therein lay the key, as my normal may not be yours. As, when purchasing new eye glasses recently, my optician asked for a second opinion on my colourful choice of purple-blue, adding, "and Dorothy doesn't do normal"!
As each one of us is uniquely gifted, it surely follows that we would each have our personal definitions of normal. Normalcy, for me, did not include riding a bicycle or swimming, second-nature ventures for most people. While very few of my varied career chapters were traditional nine-to-fives, the long work days were normal to me. Yet, there are times when new insight and adapting accordingly has dividends beyond measure, such as when I entered the personal growth training field.
Certainly I knew that not everyone looked at the world as I did, but discovered that by adapting my natural (normal) behavioural style, I would communicate much more effectively. This had immense value when conversing with my reserved and conscientious late husband, as I then first made my point and shortened my story so as to avoid losing him in too much detail, bewildered and having no idea if there even was a point. I should confess, this is a learned and not always 'normal' style, with often a memory lapse to this day!
When subsequently presenting training workshops, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer gave me permission to use his wise words: Love the seemingly opposites in your world, treasure their way of being as a gift to you, from his book: You'll See it When You Believe it. While the cliché, "opposites attract" can be true, when we try to change others to be just like us, perhaps we've forgotten what attracted us in the first place, and so lose out on the gift they bring.
I relate to the words of Robin Sharma, one of my favourite authors: "As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown becomes your new normal." In hindsight, can you think of a time or situation when you were forced, or chose to push through your comfort zone, and which now is so natural it is your new normal? A special friend with whom I correspond put it this way: Like life itself, we expand with knowledge and experience. Upon reflection, it seems that my expansion mostly comes about - often with great angst, by pushing through my comfort zone.
So let us each honour the unique gift that we are for, as Plato wrote: There is a place that you are to fill that no one else can fill, and something that you are to do that no one else can do. Until next time, may your days be filled with many occurring naturally moments.
Warm blessings ... Namasté!
Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada