Many times in my career people have looked at me when sharing something about themselves and asked “Is this normal?”
I generally reply either “What is normal?” or “Who wants to be normal?”
In my last blog I wrote about living in a box. Well, trying to be normal is one of the greatest boxes of all.
What is normal really? Who or what defines normal? Is it fitting into the beliefs of our family and friends? Is it the average within a community or a country? We only need to fly or drive a short distance to experience another community where their normal is very different to ours.
In some countries it is normal to eat insects or for cows to be sacred and roam in the streets. In others it can be normal to have an arranged marriage.
If there are so many different types of normal, does normal actually exist and why do we try so hard to be normal?
How about rather than trying to be normal we allow ourselves to be exceptional, or perhaps, fully expressed in every area of our life? How about owning all the unusual parts of us and the things we like, and loving ourselves for the things we do that might be weird for someone else.
Would life not be boring if we were all the same? It’s the unlimited range of expressions and creativity in the world that makes life vibrant and colourful. What would it be like to give up holding back in any way to try and fit in?
Next week I fly to Los Angeles to begin my journey to Burning Man, one of the most dynamic cities in the world for self expression. Every year 70,000 people come together to create a temporary city in the Nevada salt lakes. It’s wild creativity and beyond anything I have witnessed before. Self expression is welcomed. In fact radical self expression is one of their ten principles for participating. It has been great fun stretching the boundaries in what is comfortable ‘or normal’ for me to wear in the outfits I have designed this year.
Where in your life are you trying to fit in and be normal? Where do you crave doing something new, getting a tattoo, speaking out in your community, starting a dance class, but hold yourself back to avoid people thinking you are weird or talking about you?
Aliveness is experienced in moments where we test our own boundaries of normal. Where we speak live on stage, where we completely let go into the music in the middle of a huge dance event or where we speak out our truth of the way we are to a family member that we have never shared this side of ourselves with before.
I encourage you to make a list of the areas of your life where you are not fully self expressed and the areas where you are trying to fit into what is normal or what is expected of you.
Pick one of these areas from your list.
Take on in the next week letting go of trying to fit in. Spend time listening to your inner self and then express newly to one person in the area of life you chose.
I would love to hear from you the outcome of giving up having to be normal and of choosing to express yourself newly.