Positive Possibilities Living: Why Be Normal, by Parvati Devi
One of the pivotal quotes that shaped my life growing up was from one of my favorite musical icons, David Bowie. He said something like the worst trick God could play is to make you mediocre. Internalizing my version of his message, my motto became through high school and university that I would rather be an A or an F student than a C student.
Living by that belief, I developed two distinct personality traits: a tendency to edit myself to people please with niceties, or to plow through things with a fiery feistiness. Both extremes were fueled by a drive for what I understood to be “perfection”. The tension that lay between these and the fervour I put into trying to be “perfectly A” or “perfectly F” eventually consumed my health and wellbeing.
Though it took me completing university and facing the rest of my life to figure it out, I eventually realized that I had allowed other people’s voices, wishes and dreams to unconsciously run my life. My drive for “perfection” was based on the fear that if I were myself, I would not be loved.
I share this because I believe the fear that to be oneself would lead to a lack of love is not unique to me, but is surprisingly very common, even rampant in the human psyche.
Midway through university, I started to wear a pin on my coat that asked the question: “Why be normal?” I meant it as a provocative and sincere question as to what normality really meant to the world at large and to anyone who noticed me wearing it.
What I came to realize is that there is nothing wrong with being an A, B, C, D or F student, if that is who you truly are. We each are unique expressions of a divine force and it is our job to discover what that is and express it in our life. The problem is, most of us go through life on autopilot, as though we are asleep, wondering why life feels like a bad dream, tending to react to our unconscious thoughts and desires rather than learning to live fully and authentically.
When we begin to wake up, we learn to see the depth of our reactivity, the ways we give our power away to people and things and how we place happiness in some elusive place or person outside ourselves. Deeper still, we learn to touch and be present for the silent voices that rage through our actions, like feeling fundamentally “I can’t” or “I am not loved”.
When we come upon these old, hidden places within us, we must learn to pause and befriend them, rather than run from them pretending they do not hurt. When we welcome our full self into our self, we access our fullest power. We learn to see that our dreams are completely feasible, and that we have all we need to realize them. We begin to see that our main obstacle has been our self (no one else) and the antagonistic way we have seen the world.
As I began to find my own answers as to “why be normal?”, I started to follow an impulse, a powerful yet quiet force that lay waiting behind my conscious thoughts. It was within me and made no logical sense. But did it matter? I felt alive. I felt open. I felt connected. And in so doing, I was a better, fuller, more inspired, helpful and loving person.
An acquaintance of mine from New York, Kelly Cutrone, has a recent book called Normal Gets You Nowhere that shares her own brand of self-love. She believes normalcy inhibits the unique gifts everyone can offer the world and doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. I agree with Kelly that when we are true to who we are, it’s easier to be honest, it’s easier to be compassionate, and the world is a much better place.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New-Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub” and accompanying show “YIN”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her critically acclaimed self-help debut book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is currently in its third edition.