Some of us hit life head on creating change at every corner, intentionally stepping out of our comfort zone. Some of us are more "go with the flow". Regardless of whether your path of transformation is proactive or not..."life" can decide your next transformation is around the corner.
So, how do you know it's coming?
Signs Transformation is a Knockin' - 1. Decipher the type.
Well, in my experience, the beginning signs of transformation have gone one of 2 main ways....a sneak attack or a blatant upheaval requiring immediate attention.
If you're the proactive type, maybe you're 21 days into your focused goal. You don't feel that "standing on the cliff of your next nirvana" arriving and you're anxious, possibly confused or slightly pre-disappointed. On the other hand, if you usually let the wind guide your steps, you might suddenly feel like you're on a cliff to what seems like your supposed death.
Depending on whether transformation is taking the sneaky route or the 'in your face" approach, you might rethink your approach to managing it. But first, let's look at some of the more subtle signs at the beginning of a transformation. Things start going away. Yep, that friend you thought you were close to ghosts you. The job that sent you an offer letter unexpectedly sends you an email they filled the position. Events might even cancel, get postponed or get rained out. Usually, it's not just one thing...it's a bunch of things.
Sometimes it feels like you're being let off the hook and don't have to do those things you committed to - OR. - it's almost like a hurricane with your name on it has come thru your life bouncing all over commitments to work, friends and things you have set out to do.
The good news is, whether it's an "in your face" call to step your life game up a notch or a sneaky series of let downs that move you to eating ice-cream & binge watching Netflix ....it's going to turn out just fine.
No matter what it's likely to get dark before it gets bright again. So, what's there to do in the midst of your personal Category 5 or the more sneaky style of calling for change?
Strategy for the Chaotic Transformation Arrival - 2. Say "Yes" to You
Arrival is exactly what it appears to be. A blindsided whirlwind of unexpected occurrences. Whether you chose to uproot your life and make drastic changes or it's the end game of your 2 year drawn out divorce, the time is now. When fast action seems to be apparent, stress increases and you might feel like you can't make any decisions. The body is likely in fight or flight mode and it can feel like you are losing your mind. This can be completely paralyzing or if you're normally a risk taker it can seem like the thrill of a high stakes poker game. Regardless, the feeling of slightly losing your mind is not too far a stretch.
So what's the game plan? In this state , it can be difficult to remember or even justify taking a few minutes for yourself. But this is the exact time for you to give yourself permission to create a day off or even a 1/2 day off. Choose at least 1 thing you normally do to give yourself a break (read a book, take a bath, go to the beach, etc.). This is not time for social media, tv binging or drowning in wine at home alone. Your life is asking for true nurturing that feels whole.
If you are so stressed out and can't justify even a 1/2 day off, it's time to start breathing...pull out your favorite meditation app or look one up if you don't have one and start off with a 5 minute meditation. Yes, they exist. Preferably one with breathing as part of the meditation.
If you are too stressed to look one up, just start breathing. The body responds to elongated (equal in and out counts of 4 or more) breathing very quickly and can put you into a state of relaxation in under 1 minute. Yep, 60 seconds. Quick fix. A healthy idea to use this several times thru your day.
Strategy for the Sneaky Transformation Calling - 3. Self-Worth
This is the more subtle approach. Life is calling you. It usually happens before the Chaotic transformation. Sometimes the whisper can be so low, we aren't even aware life has change in store for us. This is why a regular practice of tuning in and disconnecting helps. It turns our beacon on much sooner and we can adjust the volume and listen. So life is calling, what does it look like?
Well, this one usually feels more like we are being let off the hook. When that friend disappears...you might think..."Yeah, I didn't really enjoy my time with them as much as I thought anyways." When something at work happens that only slightly teeters on the line of what you prefer vs. what you don't prefer...you might think...."It doesn't really matter anyways."
In some ways, this more vague approach is a test of how you show up for yourself. Do you give yourself the best you deserve or look the other way when a small obstacle comes in the way? It's a test of time usually with the sneaky transformation calling. It may go on for quite some time all the while you are noticing small pebbles being dropped into your proverbial glass of water. When will life decide for you, that it's time to drink to the next phase in life?
The strategy here is actually working on your worth. Working on how you love yourself. Waking up to be there for you. Allowing life to make your decisions is almost as, dare I say dangerous, as having every minute of your life planned out. Answer the call earlier than you normally would and you may never need to deal with the Chaotic Transformation Arrival. So how? Start stocking up.
Bonus: Stock up on Reserves
So what does acting on Self-Love/Self-Worth look like? How does one go about working on self -worth? With the plethora of self help books, yoga classes and life altering trainings to choose from in the world it can seem like a daunting task. Especially when there's no one size fits all approach to YOUR LIFE.
The main thing is to begin somewhere and be consistent. A daily practice, even if it's just 5 minutes before you get your day started to appreciate the breath you have by being with it and elongating it can work wonders. Studies show that stress can be reduced by having a consistent schedule of mindfulness in your life. For instance a daily Qigong/Taichi practice of 15 minutes daily shows greater effectiveness when added to the one hour per week.
Seek guidance. It's an old adage attributed to Buddha "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Create an opening for yourself to see yourself in a new light. Allow yourself room to grow. Maybe this starts out looking like a searching self care practices online. If you are already being nudged by life, give yourself another look at it. Stop ignoring and begin answering the call to care for the only you, you have.
You can also start by making a list of your 10 favorite things to be kind to yourself and doing them. Better yet, make a list of the things you have let slide by and commit to making choices about at least one of them. There's no greater payoff than creating a stand for your choices in life.
When all else fails... it might be time for a phone vacation. Choose 1 or more days where you completely unplug from technology - make a date with a friend ahead of time and invite them to unplug too! Whatever you do, create room for yourself and be open to being guided by your intuition.
Remember you have made it thru previous transformations. You are strong. Remember who you are.
Dare to dream. Dare to be awake. Dare to transform.