Last month, I shared how:
- having a positive support system,
- doing a healthy ‘clearing,’ and
- seeking wise counsel
will support you in moving through a breakdown. Getting to the other side of breakdown is a breakthrough to deeper understanding of yourself or the situation. Even in that awareness and understanding, it may be difficult to determine what’s next. Or, you may know what’s next but resist actually doing it!
That’s my story-I’ve been a master ‘resister’ equipped with a ‘I know what’s best for me’ attitude that totally dismissed the ‘voice’ of the positive support system and wise counsel that I sought when faced with a physical ‘breakdown to breakthrough’ experience. In the end of 2018, I realized I’d been in a ‘physical’ breakdown for about a year. Every time I turned around, my body was betraying my value of health and well-being. I was surrounded by a wonderful support system of family and friends that allowed my frustrations to be ‘aired’ and encouraged me to seek wise counsel. One of my friends referred me to an integrative doctor who listened, did effective testing and came back with a diagnosis and plan. She took the time to fully explain Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, helped me get started on a supplement plan and went over my diet and exercise regime. The diet is restrictive, and the exercise limited to restorative movement. I was thrilled to have support and answers.
Here’s the catch-she let me know in no uncertain terms that this would be a long-term plan. Like for a year or more!!!! It took me a long time to get here and it was not going to change overnight. And this is where my ‘I know what’s best for me’ attitude jumped in. I thought oh-I can be really good for 3 months and then I can get back to my love of movement and high intensity exercise. I can adapt my diet so most of the time I follow the regime-maybe 80/20. Here I am almost a year later back at the starting gate.
The first step to What’s Next is accepting What Is.
I learned that whatever the breakdown is-even if you are breaking down a project to get it managed and completed, you must accept where the project is in the moment even if it is a mess and feels overwhelming. I had a physical breakdown, got help to breakthrough but had not fully accepted how bad it was and all the changes I would have to make to restore my health. The commitment was hard!
I’m slowly accepting that my body is wiser than my know-it-all attitude and it is leading me back to the counsel of my doctor. However, the ‘What Is’ has more to do with being open to changing my perspectives, beliefs and ways of being in the world as I have known them. Recently I had’ breakdown to breakthrough to what’s next’ conversations with a few people going through life changes, one launching a child and the other just beginning a family. In both situations, what was needed for What’s Next was an openness to change how we perceive ourselves in our worlds.
The second step in What’s Next is Openness to see yourself differently.
As I humbly attempt to re-discover myself in this new way of being, I’m also experiencing that let down feeling of letting go. It’s interesting that we can experience this let down feeling after a successful project has completed, after a wonderful vacation, as well as in loss. When we take any new step in life-we are leaving something behind, letting go. Even beliefs-will I let go of my belief that in order to be healthy you have to do hard, intense workouts? I used to love my intense workouts-that adrenaline rush and natural high afterward-how can I embrace the slow, restorative exercise in the same way? Am I willing to believe they are just as beneficial?
The third step in What’s Next is a willingness to let go of What Was.
And how do you really let go? I believe letting go is a daily practice of observing myself and what I’m resisting and then noticing what attachment is behind that. If you truly want to let go of something, you have to become aware of what you are trying to let go of that is keeping you from What’s Next. With awareness comes conscious choice. Choice that may be difficult so acknowledge that difficulty and pain as a valid part of letting go. As you move into acceptance, the letting go naturally happens and before you know it, you’re free to move toward what’s next. Let the Treasure Hunt begin!