I can’t count on two hands how many people I’ve spoken to recently that are going through a personal transformation, reinvention of self or deep change. There is the colleague leaving her career of 20 years to launch her own business in a new field, the client who is experiencing profound shifts in her health that haven’t budged for years and several friends who are in the depths of intimate relationship transformations of all types.
So what gives? Why you and why now? Who knows. But, as Bob Dylan says “The Times They Are A-Changin.’
In my experience, when the season of change arrives, it affects us all, but often in different ways depending on where we are in our personal journey. So as would be expected, everywhere I look there are endings and beginnings of the most sacred form and I’m no exception.
Now, my friends can confirm, I’m no stranger to reinvention.
I see my life as divided up into several “seasons” and each of them came before and after a deep, personal loss and/or transformation. I’ve remade or reinvented myself in my career, relationships, health and finances at least 5 times (depending on who’s counting) and I’ve learned a few things along the way that can soften the blow and allow you to learn from the experience.
If you’re in a transformation of the painful sort, you may be frustrated, angry or just exhausted. Let this post be a reminder that you are not alone.
Here’s a few tips to help you through the process:
Practice Pranayama (Yoga Breathing) regularly.
This doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to be a yoga practitioner to breathe correctly. Practice deep belly breathing by slowly breathing using your lower belly (the diaphragm) instead of breathing from your upper chest. It can be as simple as breathing in for a count of 5 and out for a count of 5 for several rounds and with intention (see, you can do yoga!). Another breathing technique I love is the 4-7-8 breath and I teach you this technique in this video. Remember to do some type of deep breathing at least 3x per day when you are really “in it” in your life.
Process (and release) your emotions consistently.
There are a lot of ways to do this. Journaling. Working with a supportive and skilled therapist. Opening up and being vulnerable with a close friend or family member. Practicing meditation. Exercising (but not in the “I’m going to deny my reality kind of way). The key is the consistency and I suggest daily.
When you’re in transformation a lot of “stuff” will be coming up for you and I highly suggest you feel it, process it and release it. If you don’t, it may get stuck in your physical or energetic body to be dealt with later on, which really is no fun (trust me on this one). This all being said, not every feeling or thought needs to be processed, but it all has to be released.
Treat your season of transformation as an experiment and approach it from a curious place. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” and when you get an answer, drop the judgement, just be with it. Allow yourself to connect from an emotional and energetic state instead of just from your head space or mental state.
And if you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety and panic, check out this video where I teach you how to calm your body when you wake up afraid.
Connect to a higher purpose or vision for your life (whatever that means for you).
In times of challenge or change, I find it helpful to remind myself of my purpose. As we speak I am looking around my office to see affirmations, goals and even my life mission statement carefully placed so that I see them every day. Maybe you aren’t as dense as I am, but I need a lot of reminders. I want my mind focused on the good so I can keep my vibration high.
If you’ve lost your purpose or vision, take heart that it’s still there, you just have to reconnect to it. Pray for courage (to your higher self, inner divine, God, Universe, whatever aligns with your beliefs). Check out inspirational podcasts, books and speakers. Chances are you’ll learn from their “dark night of the soul” and it’ll give you solace and comfort. Surround yourself with messages, affirmations and reminders that keep you focused on what you love about yourself and why you are excited about your future.
This part is super important and it doesn’t have to mean seeing a psychologist or therapist (but I do love me some therapy, darling!). In this day and age, support can come from a lot of places: books, podcasts, online courses, Facebook groups or other social media communities. All this being said, don’t neglect good, old-fashioned connecting one-on-one. You gotta have it.
Attend a spiritual retreat, church or support group that resonates with you. And get your bootie there as often as you can. Over the years, my toolbox for tough times consists of all of this and I go through phases regarding what I need at the time.
Here are a few of my favorite books for times of personal transformation and change:
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford (because we all have “shadow work” to do)
Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver (because offering your situation to the Divine can help)
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (because creative expression can get you out of a rut)
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson (because love heals all)
Fierce Medicine by Ana T. Forrest (because she’s been through a ton of sh** and it’s inspiring)
A side note: Most of what I’ve outlined here is for the “wounded warrior” sort of experience, however, many transformations come from positive and enjoyable experiences as well (weddings, a new baby, new job). I’ve learned that even in the good times, emotions gotta flow and the above tips serve as a useful guide.
To Your Ever-Evolving Self,
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Disclaimer: My blog provides general information and discussion about supplements, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other health care worker.