Does Change have to Mean Chaos? For Me, Maybe So.
So, I called in some change. Big, epic, seriously life altering change.
I've been working on pieces of it for years now. Little bits seen here. New dreams felt there. Then in one phone call and one clear moment of “YES,” all the little puzzle pieces fell into place, forming a gorgeous picture I could see and smell and feel and taste and touch. AND, I WANTED IT! My whole being celebrated this vision of what I could choose to evolve into.
I've been through change before. Arguably change, upheaval and transformation are my drugs of choice. Skirting the edges of my comfort zone, doing the work, then more work, then falling off the path into some metaphorical bushes, then more work followed by some fierce accountability is my version of a blissful vacation. I feel profoundly alive when I'm in this process.
But, I knew this one would be a bit different. For starters, this vision had a timeline. A tight measurable one. Two years. Start to finish. To reinvent myself in this new image. To change up my work, my tribe, my lovers, my relationship with everything from my children to financial institutions. To literally and figuratively walk in the world in a different way. To still be me, in fact, to be the most me I'd ever been, in a way that was free of the belief systems and ways of being that I've worked so hard to outgrow.
I called in the vision New Years Eve of 2016, though at the time I had no idea what I was calling in. I received the vision in February of 2017. By the end of the month, I had a timeline and a solid (though flexible) plan. Then came the excitement. And the reveal. I told my people.
I expected some trepidation, some questions. Some looking out and probably some much needed dissection of my plan. Some calling out where I was deluding myself with shitty belief systems that hadn't been examined yet. I also expected some cheering. Some "yay bliss following!" A banner moment of validation for being willing to live large. A high five on dream following.
I got some of that. Some of it came from people in my circle I never expected it from. I also received shock and doubt and all my fears reflected back at me. It felt fucking horrid.
I managed to sidestep the worst of it. I noticed I was able to spot that much of the reaction was my own fear being reflected back to me. I triggered their fears. They were sad and worried I'd fall and they wouldn't be there to pick me up.
I'd love to say I dodged it all, but really, more of their fear crept in than I wanted to admit. Doubts started swirling in my head. I was feeling tight and irritable. I meditated (or tried) daily, I tried to dance, do art, journal, anything to drown out the fears. Mostly, I was quietly anxious. I’d be totally fine one minute and emotionally unhinged the next. My son called me out on it one morning in a sweet moment. I'd been yelling about something and he just looked at me and pointed out that I seemed a bit strung out - and that I had since this decision had been made - and that maybe I needed to chill out. It was a great reminder to breathe and trust my own yes. That was the crack in my swirling anxiety but it wasn’t enough to completely ease me back into my usual Zen.
Around this same time, I had lunch with a past client who happens to be an amazing coach and feminine energy on the planet. She lovingly pointed out that part of this new path involved be being seen and heard in a new way. She brought up me making video blogs and audio recordings and my heart beat fast. My heart beat with equal parts of terror and exhilaration vying for my central nervous system. I dreaded what she was saying and knew beyond doubt she was right.
I found and signed up for the Catalyst Coaching Intensive. Cue the impetus to be seen and heard literally on video. To be held accountable via technology.
Before the first class, my webcam broke and I got strep throat. “Perfect,” I thought, now I'm healing my fear of being seen and heard through web cam shopping and amoxicillin. I anticipated an easy return to life, lessons learned. My soul/inner being/god spark/observer had other ideas. My own transformation wasn't done with me. I broke out in full body hives in reaction to the amoxicillin seven days after I started taking it. It required an ER visit, two kinds of anti-histamines and two kinds of steroids (all in large doses) to get my body to stop freaking out. The parallel between my inner mind and outer world couldn’t be more clear.
The next two weeks were super intense. I was getting clearer and clearer by the day. What was important to me? What was I willing to sacrifice for this transformation? Where was I willing to trust? How blindly could I leap? Could I let go of the me I was to embrace the new? Could I do the in-between abyss I was already feeling with grace, or was I going to temper tantrum through the whole thing? What if I failed miserably and let myself down in a huge and public way? Answers were coming as fast as the questions. Sometimes in meditation, sometimes while driving. A few came in the shower or while washing dishes or just in noticing the synchronicities of the conversations occurring.
While it was a very full few weeks (there were also visitors from both coasts, spring break, and the re-arranging of super understanding clients) I loved it. I was in my element. I profoundly knew that this was all me. I called in this magic medicine journey and I wasn't going to waste a single second of it. Yes, I looked a hot mess. And yes, there were definite moments that sucked. Through it all though, I had a really great time journeying in my own head. Everything was up for review and it was great.
This isn't the first time a systemic allergic reaction affecting ALL of my skin was my medicine. I have a history that my close circle is familiar with that goes something like this… Big Change -> YAY! -> Oh shit -> super intense and visible skin reaction -> major clarity. It's been pointed out that I could maybe call in gentler way of doing this. That this is a trauma response that I should examine because it sucks. That I'm just looking for attention. The feedback has been pretty brutal in the past and it has made me question everything from my sanity to my own healing process.
This time, I just embraced the hell out of it. Even as the critiques came, the well-meaning advice and the judgement. It was amazing. It was freeing. For the first time, I didn't give a shit what anyone else thought or the way they doubted my own process.
Out of the many growth moments in the last few weeks, that was the biggest gem. I decided to trust me.
I’m trusting my being, my body, my path, my way of doing this epic life I have. I’m learning to breathe and let go and line up with the never-ending stream of change that is life. I already know and live this. Now I know it in a way that makes me dance in my skin in a new way. I'm breathing deeper. Laughing more. Living joy profoundly. Singing in the car and cracking up during board games.
I love my people. They caught me and pushed me. Even their critiques have been beautiful contrasts for me to find greater clarity with. We've laughed and cried together over life and milestones. We've called each other on our bullshit, and boosted each other with shows of support. I trust their feedback to be something I need to hear, whether or not I agree. And maybe they're right. Maybe I could do it easier. Maybe it IS a trauma response. I definitely needed some attention from myself and a serious dose of genuine self-love. The kind that isn't a good smelling massage or bubble bath, but is a full accounting of who I am and appreciation and love for all that that is, and isn't.
I had to face up to the fact that I appear to need a good thwacking now and then to keep me on my path. I understand my stubbornness on certain things might not be serving me. I get that maybe being more interventive a bit earlier with the self-care when I feel myself sliding would be helpful. I also realized at the end of the day, I actually enjoy my process. In my surrender to it, I learned to appreciate and love it. It's powerful and efficient. Direct and thorough. I want to be called out by my inner being if I'm off track and this was a super powerful traction beam - which was perfect - for me. And that’s what matters.
I have a theory that humans (especially in the United States) don't give ourselves enough credit for our resiliency or ability to heal and love. As a result, we hide from our pain and each other. We avoid our own truth. We forget that life is supposed to be fun and messy and confusing at times. We're so afraid we can hurt or die or go broke or be alone or piss someone we love off that we make our personal world tiny and small to protect us - which might be the most adorable illusion we collectively hold. That we can even protect ourselves from storms. We can build relationships and networks and self-awareness. But still, and because of, and in spite our safety nets, life will happen. We might as well join the party.
Ok, so the point in sharing all this? We all have our journey. No two look alike, I am super clear that my way is not for everyone. Your way might not suit me. There's no “right” way to live your happy or to deal with your shit. Trust yourself. Trust your journey. Trust when you fall it's ok and when you get back up it's even better. Trust you'll find your people and they'll find you. Trust answers will come and confusion will turn to clarity. Trust you're badass enough to wander in darkness and confident enough in yourself to know that lights will appear upon your path. Trust. Breathe. You got this.
And if today you don't, that's ok too. You will.
Would you like someone to help you call in change and manage it effectively without chaos? Book a session with Jenn.
Interested in change as well? Click here to learn more about the Catalyst Coaching Intensive.