It’s been hard – no, impossible – to “go back to normal”.

… Since the US elections a few weeks ago

… Since my dear friend lost her son in a plane crash 2 weeks ago

… Since my cousins kidney transplant last week

Sometimes there is an (unrealistic) expectation that after a life altering event we get to grieve for a while and then things will “go back to normal”.

They don’t.

Here’s what does happen: Life moves forward.

The sun keeps rising and setting. People get up and go to work and have babies and fall in love and move homes and graduate from college and get sick and die suddenly and, and, and….life moves forward, not backwards.

We can never go back.

For us, there is a new normal. And that’s just the point.

A life altering event is just that. An event meant to alter/change the way you approach life. Mostly it’s an opportunity to change your awareness / consciousness about yourself, others and life itself.

By ‘getting back to normal’ we miss the opportunity that was the gift being presented by the experience in the first place.

Here’s the fascinating thing: we can benefit from the life altering experiences of people around us. There is a ripple effect that creates opportunities far beyond the people immediately involved.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

I’ve been rebelliously unwilling to change my diet recently and inconsistent in exercising, despite knowing the value in doing both for my health and well-being. My clothes were getting tighter and some didn’t fit anymore. My feet hurt from the excess weight (and my stubborn resistance (fear) of moving forward and stepping into what my soul is urging me to do next.)

Then, I had the privilege of being present as part of my cousins support team when she had a kidney transplant last week – a truly life altering experience.

Our journey began over 18 months ago when she was really sick. She came to an event I was sponsoring at and we shared a hotel room. I hadn’t seen her in person for a while and was shocked by her appearance.

She had just started dialysis after a sudden decline in her kidney function. She had lost weight. Her eyes were yellow and she smelled like ammonia. Her mouth was dry as she had to limit her water intake – severely.

She spent 4 hours, three days a week, hooked up to a machine that cleaned her blood and kept her alive. Over the course of the next year, I watched as with consistent dialysis and learning self love/self care, her health, her appearance, and her energy levels all improved dramatically.

An adventurer who loves to travel, she adapted to her “new normal”, finding dialysis centers the world over. Eventually though, she tired of the restrictions of diet and lifestyle and longed for the freedom that a kidney transplant could give her.

There was the process of finding a transplant program, (and being accepted into it), finding the money to cover the surgery (US$200,000.00) and a finding a donor that was a match. It was a year long journey with many emotional highs and lows – and many miracles.

Here are a few of the immediate gifts that witnessing my cousins life altering experience have given me:

1. A new level of appreciation for my own health and inspiration to give up my indiscipline and excuses in not changing my diet. I started a 3 day detox yesterday and in the moments when I felt hungry, smelled the delicious dinner my husband and son were eating, and would have previously given up, I had the strength (level of personal commitment) to stay the course I had chosen.

2. A renewed commitment to letting my purpose be bigger than my fears in stepping away from ways of operating that are not in alignment with my Souls Path. I deepened my commitment to showing up (consistently), connecting with source and channeling the wisdom that has been coming through me.

3. Seeing that, even though there have been amazing advancements in the field of medicine and they are able to prolong life by assisting the body to function through dialysis, there is nothing like having a functioning kidney (yours or someone else’s) to do the job!

My life is not the same as it was before this (and all the other) life altering events I’ve experienced and witnessed. And I am actually thankful for that.

What about you? How is yours different? Are you using the opportunities that they present? I’d love to hear about your experiences and how they have and are shaping you. Just hit the leave a comment button and share.

Are you ready to Unleash your most Authentic Self?