Humans do not like change.
Most of us tend to resist discomfort at all costs. Many of us were not mentored with skills that keep us calm and grounded when we find ourselves in an atmosphere of change and discomfort. The default response has become "I don't like this feeling, I want out." So we reach out for comfort and soothing. Oftentimes we equate "comfort" with a variety of numbing out behaviors that provide immediate, quick relief in the short term. Let’s face it...it's relatively easy to flip channels, pop a can open, supersize it, and hit "buy now." Our society and culture encourages these behaviors and we have been indoctrinated to believe that if we feel bad, sad, less than perfect, we are somehow wrong and defective and unworthy. We are force fed the message that the answers lie outside ourselves. It is high time we take back our power and reconnect with the depth of our own internal truths.
Right now we are in a world of discomfort and a lot of grief is showing up for folks both on a personal and global level. It is uncanny how much the external and the internal are mirroring each other as of late. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to remain present and bear witness to the pain and struggle. And while it might seem that this cycle is just never going to end, we need to remember that change is imminent. Shift happens.
Currently, it seems that navigating through the grief, pain and discomfort is what's for dinner (as the old saying goes). When I used this analogy recently, a client/ friend replied that she felt she was in line at the all-you-can-eat buffet. I think I was in that same line.
What can we do when we feel like we can't go on much longer and the overwhelm is causing us stress and illness, spreading us thin and whacking us out of balance? How do we deal when we feel we are coming unglued?
Here are some suggestions that helped me break on through to the other side. As always, take what resonates and leave the rest.
1. Remember that everything has its ebbs and flows.
We can observe nature to connect with the truth of this.
Commune with the ocean.
Waves crash down on us sometimes and then they resede giving us a reprieve. Sometimes we float. At times we are surfers, filled with adrenaline and at one with it all. Other times we need a life boat. The tide will always change.
Look towards the heavens.
The sun graces us daily with it's beauty and light. We are awed by the majestic colors at dawn and dusk. The moon waxes, growing full and luminous and then wanes, growing smaller until it goes dark at the new moon.
Observe the Earth.
A seed grows in the darkness and emerges into the light. There are planting times and harvest times. And sometimes the crops have a bad year.
You get the picture...
As part of nature, we have our rhythms too. And with a bit of practice and willingness to be in the discomfort of our less-than-blissful-and-enlightened feelings, we can learn to honor both the light and the shadow.
And begin to have a better relationship with our wholeness.
2. Refocus and take a break.
Do something other than the thing that is stressing you or causing you worry, insomnia, and pain. It can be anything. You deserve a break. Even if you think you can't afford the time away from the project you're currently on or you simply must tow the line on some political cause you're involved in. I'm here to tell you that you can and you should and you should do it right now. Come up for air, my friend! We all need to fill your wellspring and resource our energy or depletion is around the corner. We don't need any more martyrs. Set a timer if it makes you feel more in control. Remind yourself the world does not spin on your shoulders. Your ability to respond to life circumstances and external events will increase.
Turn off the computer and go outside for a walk or play with your pet or your child. Decide that a solution will present itself at the perfect moment and let it go.
Astrologically we have entered the season of Leo.
What is being called forth is play, fun, beauty, childlike innocence, creativity and ease. Leo is ruled by the sun, and holds the energy of our inner light, our generosity and our full heartedness. I invite you to connect with our inner child. What did you like to do when you were young? Do that thing even if it's silly and especially if it's silly. We need to get out of our heads and get into our hearts. Leo rules the heart and the upper back. Hug someone. Do some Lion's breath to get the energy moving. Go to a play. Leos love drama.
3. Don't get stuck.
Don't fool yourself into thinking that what you're feeling right now in this very moment is how it's going to be forever and ever. It's not. Remember... ebbs and flows.
4. Get support .
Who are your allies? Talk it out with a trusted friend. Allow each other 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to complain, cry, get angry or scream without criticism, judgement or anyone trying to fix anything. Talk it out while on a brisk walk up a hill. It will get your heart pumping and offer a higher perspective.
This is very healing and it means that the feelings don't get lodged in your body. We all need to feel heard. We all need to express our feelings. All of us have valid things to say. Remember that feelings have a purpose: to be felt and moved through. We are the ones that label them as good or bad.
We need each other. Even if you are currently feeling great and nourished and full, it is healing and heart opening to be available for someone in need in whatever capacity feels right for you. We are all raw, vulnerable and scared at times. Have patience, compassion, forgiveness and grace. It begins with the self and radiates out.
The last few months have been challenging for me on a personal level. I see clients experiencing similar feelings in response to external circumstances. We are in this together and the collective and our communities will benefit from each of us acknowledging our inner shadows so that they can become sources of courage and strength and be part of the light that shines out in the world. Let's endeavor to live in reciprocity with one another and the planet.
5. Watch this video!
It will at least make you laugh which will break the cycle of doom and gloom and mental machinations. That's no small feat!
The system that is no longer working, be it personal or otherwise, has to breakdown in order for breakthrough to happen.
In the words of Leonard Cohen…
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That is how the light gets in.
With infinite love and blessings, Claudia
Claudia is a nature lover, alchemist and dreamer. She lives with her life partner, Ilan and her beloved dog, Osa.