Hello, friend. I have to tell you that ever since I went on that vision quest last October, I have been on a transformational journey that doesn’t seem like it is slowing down anytime soon. October is coming up and I will be headed off for another vision quest, this time in Peru.
I keep thinking I will tell you more about the process just as soon as it slows down, but that is just not happening. So I am just going to invite you on the ride in real time. It’s probably way more valuable this way. I know it’s more authentic and raw, that’s for sure.
Here’s the thing I am finding out about transformational growth, it’s uncomfortable and it’s also not always pretty. In fact, it can be quite messy. You have to basically undo who you have been in order to step into who you are becoming and that is not easy. You are already in the habit of your old self, it’s what you know, it’s comfortable.
If you want to expand and grow though, you have to be willing to let go of your old patterns of thinking and feeling. According to one of my favorite teachers right now, Joe Dispenza, the alternative is repeating the past over and over and over and over. That is exactly what happens when you keep thinking and feeling in the same way. Your thoughts and feelings lead you to the same behaviors that give you the same outcome over and over again.
For me, I want my life to be expanding and growing. I want to let go of what doesn’t work for me so I can embrace something that does. I’m committed to making that happen so I have been stepping outside my comfort zone a lot because that is what is required. The comfort zone is the familiar, it’s based on what you know which is rooted in the past. Your ability to transform your life depends on how willing you are to be uncomfortable. And let’s face it, a lot of people don’t want to be uncomfortable so they are willing to stay stuck in something that doesn’t feel good (but that sounds uncomfortable to me). Most people are willing to settle for a KNOWN discomfort than to risk an UNKNOWN discomfort.
Whether it’s your health, your work, a particular relationship, becoming tired of the same old pattern, or maybe you really just want to act on an inspired idea you are having, to create something new; you will need to face the inevitable discomfort of stepping out beyond the bounds of what you know and into the new and exciting territory of the unknown.
Doing anything new or making a change takes a risk that many are not willing to take because it feels terrifying. In order to change and grow, you will have to be willing to let go of who you have been in order to step into who you are becoming.
And it’s true, letting go feels like a real risk. That is why many fall short of making the change and going back to what they know.
One of the keys to finding comfort in discomfort of the unknown is having faith that there is something so much bigger than you that it is in it with you. Of course, that is something you have to find out for yourself. No amount of me telling you that you are being held by an omnipotent force that is going to carry you will convince you.
Letting go and having faith is something only you get to decide to do or not do. It’s totally your choice, but I choose it every time I can come to my senses and remember that it’s an option, because it sure does make everything a whole lot easier. Even though I know this is the way, I forget and take the reins back all the time. I literally have to stop multiple times a day and consciously ask the Divine to step in and show me the way because without realizing it, I will take it all on myself again. How I know I have done that is because it will start to feel really hard again.
The other necessary ingredient for navigating growth and change is being able to have love and compassion for yourself. Last time, I suggested you look in the mirror everyday and tell yourself you love yourself. This is essential, but there is more. If you are not paying close attention, you will turn on yourself in a dime. Being hard on yourself is not loving. It’s the opposite of self-love and that will simply not do! When you are going through big growth, all of your stuff is going to come up and you need to be able to hold loving space for that stuff so you can actually make it to the other side of it.
Otherwise, it will just keep coming up. It will continue to be an obstacle for you. So whatever comes up, is coming up to be healed. That’s right. Your job is to offer yourself your loving attention, so whatever it is can be healed.
I am going to share a practice that will help you navigate through difficult emotions that might otherwise derail you. Anytime you are experiencing a fear-based emotion like worry, anxiety, depression, shame, lack, guilt, resentment, etc; look deeper, underneath the feeling, and you will discover there is an underlying need that is crying out to be met. By need, I am talking about a basic human need. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (need for love, safety, acknowledgement/feeling valued). Look deep enough and you will find it’s likely one of those (or you could just be hungry).
It’s your job to provide that need for yourself. When you can love yourself that much, you are solid, complete, unstoppable. Say you tend to experience fear. That's one that comes up for me. Try looking underneath the fear to see if you can discover what need is not being met. What is it that you are needing? For me, the need underneath the fear is security. I want to feel safe so to provide that need, all I have to do is to assure myself that everything is okay, that I am safe. In fact, I will wrap my arms around myself like I am wrapping up a baby, and say, “I got you, Cathy. You are okay.” Fear comes up a lot when you are growing and expanding. Stepping out into unknown territory feels scary, so self-soothing is key. That is self-love. It’s what a parent would do for a child. As an adult, it becomes your job to parent the parts of yourself that still need parenting. It’s actually not fair to give someone else that job if you are not even giving it to yourself. When you can do that for yourself, it becomes easier to find others who will provide that for you also. That’s how it works. When you love yourself really well, you teach others how to love you. That, my friend, is a powerful way to love yourself through your life. Life is about growth. You are not meant to grow to a certain point and then just stop. You are meant to keep growing and expanding, so be gentle on yourself through it.
That is what is exactly what has been going on in my world, a lot of growing and a lot of self-soothing. I hope it serves you as much as it has served me.