Did you sign up for a life of spiritual growth, conscious awareness, and all the unlimited joy that the path of divine evolution has to offer – only to find that there are times you feel like you’ve run smack into a brick wall?
You know, those days, weeks, or even months when living the life of spiritual enlightenment feels like trudging through swamp water, leaving you to wonder “What am I doing wrong?”
Truth is: even though unlimited joy IS available to us right here, right now, some bumps on the path of spirituality make you spill your proverbial coffee all over the pristine white slacks of your life - sometimes it’s just plain messy!
As a person who started on a self-actualizing journey at a very young age, I have been through more major transitions than many people go through in one lifetime. I don’t say that as a mark of distinction, it’s just what I happened to sign up for. As a result I’ve had to learn A LOT about how to navigate the sometimes murky waters of transition on the way to greater joy.
The process of releasing old limiting mindsets in favor of new empowering mindsets (fundamental to spiritual growth) is a lot like a snake shedding an old skin. Even when change is wanted, there is a grieving process of sorts to go through amidst the joy of the good experience. But some transition periods are just downright painful, or can leave you feeling like a fish out of water with no way back in.
Despite what some spiritual traditions teach, the journey of true enlightenment is not all rainbows and pink clouds of bliss floating over Never-Never Land. Sometimes in order to grow the only way out is through. And that means experiencing temporary pain. But it’s what we do with that pain that affects how miserable or happy we are long-term.
I’ll share with you the insights I’ve learned in order to navigate the unsettling weirdness that takes over during those times (and I saved the best for last).
Most of the insights amount to these 2 things:
Listen to your own still small voice, and…
Become your own loving parent.
Here they are:
Be gentle with yourself – especially in regard to negative self-talk:
Try to be patient with yourself. You may be in a heightened state of vulnerability and negative self-talk is likely to bubble up to the surface during this time, sometimes to the point of crippling any ability to believe in your self at all. If negative thoughts and feelings appear, try to breathe through them and remind yourself they are not real. Believe it or not this brings one of the most powerful opportunities to release and heal painful self-limiting beliefs stored within us. (My song “I AM Enough – Celtic Chant Version” is designed to help with this)
Avoid toxic people as much as possible
Transition time is a time of vulnerability. Crazy-makers, critical people and people who frequently speak lack, doubt and limitation will only drag you down and help make your growth process a long slow crawl through unnecessary pain and reinforce false doubts. Do whatever you must to avoid them as much as possible. Make excuses if that helps. Screen calls. Your sanity is worth it!
Honor the need to rest
In her book This Time I Dance – Creating the Work You Love Tama Kieves wrote an entire chapter called “The Year of Sleeping Dangerously”. Why? Because times of transition and change often involves a great expenditure of energy, whether we feel it or not. If you find yourself needing more rest than usual, honor that – your body’s wisdom will tell you what you need in anticipation of the next step in your journey. Without enough rest we cannot be emotionally or mentally balanced, and this is especially important in times of transition.
In addition to honoring the need to rest, getting some exercise will also make a world of difference both in terms of the intensity of the experience, and its duration. The exercise doesn’t have to be extreme: gentle walks through the park or your neighborhood may be enough. Just set the intention that this period of exercise, whatever form it takes, is to be used to move energy through you and support you in healing. You can even state a specific purpose such as: “I want this walk/jog/treadmill time to help me in releasing the belief that _______” – fill in the blank. Also, listening to music with positive, affirmative messages while exercising helps you incorporate new empowering beliefs about yourself faster and at deeper levels.
Delay major decisions (if possible)
Times of transition can leave us feeling confused. That’s natural because we’re shifting energies on many levels. We just don’t always make the best decisions when it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under us. I realize some major decisions cannot be postponed, such as taking a new job after the old one disappears, but if a major decision can be postponed, postpone it!.
Eat nourishing food
There’s a definite connection between the physical, emotional, and mental parts of our being. Eating foods that nurtures our physical body makes a huge difference in the intensity of our emotional and mental states. IMPORTANT: Don’t beat yourself up for eating the bag of potato chips or chocolate chips because this will only make things worse, but do try to listen to the small still voice of wisdom planted in your body and let it tell you what it really wants in order to feel whole and healthy. (Hint: if you’re used to giving your body whatever junk it wants, it may take some practice to hear past the requests for more junk that vie for your attention, but eventually the truth will override these impulses)
Organize and clear out clutter (as best you can)
Trying to do this during a transition time can be daunting, I know, especially if you’re in head-fog. But if you can spend at least a little time and effort in creating order in your physical space, you will net AT LEAST 3 major benefits: 1. Gets you out of the realm of emotion and into a left-brain activity; 2. Creates a distraction from the intensity of emotions and strengthens focus and clarity; 3. Helps move out old energy and creates space for new energy which translates to new experiences, new ideas, new ways of being.
Breathe. 3 times. Deeply.
This one tool may be the single most powerful you can use when in emotional intensity. Slowly, breathe in and out, deeply, 3 times and just notice how dramatically different you feel! Repeat as often as necessary ;-)
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Nationally acclaimed Singer, Songwriter, Motivational Speaker Shannon Modrell changes lives and mindsets by performing transformational healing music at international conferences, holistic events, plus at Unity churches and United Centers for Spiritual Living .
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