Living The Big Stuff


India Kerala MunnarIn my first blog I talked about the first two steps of Living the Big Stuff: Embracing change with courage.  This is a path to help you accept “what is” and integrate what may feel impossible to you right now.  You may not be in the happiest segment of your life story, but you will soon realize that there is a beginning in every ending. It is in this beginning when these two steps are essential. Step one: Find your inner courage. Step two: Become the victor. As you step into life and into this process of transformation, you will be on your way back to a life of joy.  Continuing the journey, use these steps like stones on a path to healing.

Step three:  Creating your “stillness” space

You live a busy life and then, bam! You are stopped short with the rug pulled out from under your feet.  For whatever reason your life is changing and you are in transition; the end game is not about focusing on “why this happened to me.” What you really want is to discover what’s next in your life, or “what’s in store for me?” But first there is a distance you must travel to integrate and reconcile what has happened to your life.  Unfortunately, as much as you’d like to, you can’t wish yourself to the next phase. For a time you must go through a metamorphosis; you have to be a Chrysalis and create your stillness space for transition. The Chrysalis is a bunch of messy goop changing form and even eating itself in its well-designed and protective container of the cocoon. (I know that doesn’t sound very encouraging but remember you are in metamorphosis, and in the right time you will emerge as the butterfly.)  If you skip this transition, this will postpone arriving at the next stage – the stage you desire to live in.

A coaching client of mine unconsciously decided that she would skip the metamorphosis stage and soon found herself in complete chaos. She came to me after she lost her father.  He was 80, and he had been living with her when he transitioned. The first time I met with her she was all smiles as she said, “I’m ready to launch into my life.” I queried her a bit further, “Are you sure this is the time to be setting the stage for your next big dream?” She said, “I feel good about my dad. He had a good life. I feel really good about spending this last year with him.”  I nodded and thought to myself, It hasn’t hit her yet, but it will. Despite my recommendation that she create stillness and white space in her schedule, she busied herself staying in denial. Six months later she asked why it felt like she is in a washing machine of chaos and why dreaming about her future gave her anxiety. She said it felt all wrong because she was so sad. I said, “You’ve finally seceded. Welcome to transformation. It’s a little messy for a while but everything settles down when you do. Are you ready to create space in your life to be still so that you can feel and heal?”

As you embrace change rather than resist it, even though it’s not too pretty and even painful, you are evolving into something beautiful. Sometimes you have to break down to break through. There is safety in stillness. This cocoon space that you create in your life will allow the wisdom of your heart and your innate healer to come forth. As your presence grows you will hear the wisdom and well-defined healing instructions of your soul. Without creating the stillness space in your life, it’s far more difficult to tune in. What is required of you now is finding time to unplug and have quiet; this will allow you to hear your heart whisper. You know what’s right for you.

To help you begin this transition, answer these five questions to start creating your stillness space:

  1. How can you alter your schedule to have more down time that’s not busy and social?
  2. How much rest are you allowing yourself? Do you sleep when you are tired? Can you allow yourself more rest?
  3. Can you go to bed earlier so you can wake up in time to include a half-hour morning inspirational ritual that includes meditation and journaling?
  4. Can you make a list of the ways you distract yourself? Now, replace those things with actual real time dates in your schedule by spending time in nature, listening to music, grooming a pet, doing yoga, meditating, hiking, dancing and journaling. (You will come up with your own special “me” time.)
  5. Can you prioritize a quieter more inner-directed life for a period of time?

If someone promised you that if you take some time to create the space in your life for stillness that you’d be in and through transition to acceptance sooner than if you filled that time with busy chaos – would you do it? If someone promised you to be still in order to empty and hollow out from the inside to awaken and become present in your soul’s calling – would you give yourself time?  If someone promised you that at end of this short period of time you will be on track for your next best life – would you risk saying “No” to a few things for a little while and create the stillness space to have that kind of clarity?  Always remember that it is not about the change itself, it is about what we do during the transition that defines the outcomes.