It’s pretty unsettling and disorienting in the floundering times that hold such big, heavy questions. I think it’s pretty natural. My counselor says it’s ok, so that reassures me. There will be times of feeling blah, needing to turn inward, to shut out the world, to give more to myself than to others. It’s called nourishment, nurturing, true self care, and it’s vital to our sustainability as humans.
The world is a lot right now. Whatever might be going on personally, we each need to add multipliers to it that are weighing on us, consciously or not. The pandemic goes on, the debate about the pandemic goes on, injustice, violence, discrimination, threats to life and liberty are everywhere. Maybe the world is always a lot. I’m feeling the accumulation of it pretty heavily right now, along with the collective weight of years of personal stuff.
So, there’s been a bit of blah lately. Not a lot of energy or motivation. A strong desire to pull in, to slow down, to quiet down, to say “no” and to not be too available to others. The clarity is strong, and the good news is I’m listening despite the inner struggle that wonders if that’s really ok or if I’m at risk of becoming a hermit.
I teeter between telling myself it’s ok and wondering if that’s really true. Mostly, I’m leaning into only doing what I want, what feels doable and reasonable given my current bandwidth, letting go of, or rescheduling non-essentials, releasing things that feel like more hassle than they’re worth. As I write this it feels like a pretty healthy approach. It just seems that I need this more and more these days, years, months. Didn’t I just give myself a little sabbatical last year? I did. And this year.
And now I need one again in the form I am able to create it – I will gladly see my clients, I will co-facilitate my group, I will continue to write… and I will put off things that do not call to me or do not need to happen. I will cancel memberships to groups I don’t participate in – I feel the low-level pressure when I’m not being honest with myself.
I showed up for yoga class on Sunday and thankfully the theme was tuning into and trusting our inner guidance. Love when that happens! So, as I practiced, I took a few notes.
Here’s what I took away – what I was reminded of:
- We all have inner wisdom, inner guidance, inner authority.
- When we are depleted, overwhelmed, stressed, or in crisis or survival mode, we lose touch with it.
- To connect with it we need to be willing to feel. This may be why we over-busy ourselves or find other ways to numb or distract ourselves. It can be uncomfortable to feel what our inner wisdom is telling us.
- Escaping, distracting, and numbing take us away from our natural connection with our inner knowing. Work, alcohol, substances, food, activities, social media, our devices, and over-giving to others serve this purpose. This purpose of protecting us from the discomfort.
- Integrity comes from living in alignment with our inner knowing and guidance.
- Slowing down, coming into breath and body helps. Quieting down. Connecting to something larger than ourselves through prayer, meditation, or getting out in nature helps. Opening up space, breathing room allows us to hear and see more clearly.
- There are going to be these moments when we feel unsure. When we feel like we are flailing, lost, and confused. Times when we release the last version of ourselves and our lives to step into what’s next. In between steps there is often a pause – a time to cocoon in order to transform. It’s not always pretty or comfortable. It’s worth going there anyway.
- To fully experience the richness of this human life, we need to be willing to feel it all and to be with ourselves in these moments of not knowing, of discomfort, of questioning. When we can be with ourselves in these times, come home to our heart and soul for guidance, we allow ourselves to grow and become. It isn’t flashy or pretty until it is. Think caterpillar to goo to beautiful butterfly. We too are like this. We just need to give ourselves permission to go into the darkness, to huddle up, to rest, to integrate, to release any need to perform or prove as we become.
Whenever you find yourself doubting that, I invite and encourage you to listen to Brandi Carlile and Alicia Keys sing “A Beautiful Noise.” Something in this song wakes me, shakes me, and reminds me to hold on even when I’m not sure where I’m going. It pulls me back to trust that the way will become clear (or at least clearer). It reminds me that I have a voice. I have unique stories to tell, perspectives to share, lessons to teach, invitations to offer, and gifts to give. So do you. Each one of us does.
How are you doing these days? Where is your inner guidance leading you? Talking with a wise woman the other day she aptly noted, “I think people are fried.” I think she’s right. If you’re feeling fried right now, how do you recharge? How do you reconnect with your inner wisdom and guidance? What works for you? Please share with us so that we can add to our own ideas. In the moments of darkness, it can be hard to see a path forward. We forget this current state will, at some point, come to an end. It will.