Last week delivered a challenging moment for me.
You know that sinking, dragging feeling that hits you in the pit of your stomach when you receive unexpected news?
That in and of itself can be challenging. But sometimes it’s the ripple effect that intensifies the pain.
You can find yourself catapulted back in time where past thoughts, old memories and scars, things you believed you’d put to rest a long time ago re-emerge.
They can creep quietly up on you or barge right in taking your breath away, plunging you back in time, needling you and having you re-experience the angst, the rejection, the fear all over again.
If you allow them to.
Sure, they can hit and, left unchecked, they have the potential to add new layers of scar tissue.
But only if you let them.
There is another way.
There is a distinct opportunity to write a new script. To leave memories that no longer serve you where they belong, in the past.
By shining the light of conscious awareness on them, to excavate the lesson that recurring memories have buried within them (as they must, why else would they keep turning up when so many thousands of other experiences, simply don’t?).
Sit with the discomfort. Breathe through the pain. Tap on the ache (EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique is a wonderful healing modality I learned from Suzanne Scarrow and teaching to my own clients as we utilise it in business and life coaching sessions).
Allow the feelings to arise – feel, deal, heal is the mantra I was taught, And, as the uncomfortability eases (and it will, I promise) open your eyes again and look closely at the experience you are recalling.
- Why has this been brought to your attention?
- What is it trying to tell you?
- Why is it stretching you, taking you right up to your edges?
- What gift is there?
- What realisation awaits you?
- How is this helping you grow?
- What new direction is it sending you in?
- Is it helping you to define what is unacceptable to you?
- Ensuring you develop new boundaries?
- Prompting you to create greater clarity in your communication?
- Opening your eyes to new ways of doing things?
There are infinite possibilities in perceived failures. Dead ends. Hurts. Disappointments. Surprises. Shocks. It’s just not always easy to see this at first as our most human of reactions is to hide, to defend, to avoid, to retaliate, to bury.
But if you can take the time and cultivate the courage to breathe deeply and look at the experience, and even better, if you can take this step as soon as possible after a sucker punch moment with full self-compassion, curiosity and loving kindness you can pass through that grey cloud quickly and cleanly.
And you can make changes, new choices that integrate the experience into your bigger picture. You become more self-aware, more expanded and more gracious.
Next Chapters are often a mosaic of just such experiences.
Wisdom is our elixir.
Resilience, courage and a commitment to growth and personal development, our nourishment.
I had to apply this balm to myself just last week when a client decided to withdraw from her mentoring program with me. It was a completely unexpected scenario and it hurt. And then it threatened to trigger the good old “see, not good enough, who do you think you are?” script from the past that my Inner Critic likes to dig out and try to wave in my face.
But this time, oh this time, I was ready to cut that cord.
I’d already prepared my self-compassion plan and I quickly put it into action, practising what I preach. I reached out to Belief Buddies. I spoke to my Mindset Mentor about it on my fortnightly call with her. I dived into my Fabulous File and rolled around in all of the positive feedback I’ve received over the years and soaked myself in that gratitude.
Only then was I ready to look for the lessons in the experience.
They included being really, really clear on who I am best equipped to help. Being specific about the industry sectors I love to dive into and who I love to work with.
That’s women finding their voice, refining their message and feeling the pull to launch or expand a Next Chapter service-based business that leverages their life experience – typically coaches, consultants, mentors, healers, wellness practitioners and spiritual counsellors.
I also needed to recognise how far I have shifted in the past 12 months as I evolved into this Next Chapter positioning and message that fits me like a glove and thus, the clients who will most resonate with me now have shifted as well and I needed to see and honour that.
I’ve really moved into a beautiful blend of intuition and insight, heart and head, spirituality and marketing strategy sitting side by side as I combine all I know of building the confidence and self-worth of my clients as much as I help build their businesses.
And finally, understanding that it’s just not all about me! The reasons my client decided to move on were myriad and although I did not manage to satisfy her needs on every level, when I revisited her email with a clear head and open heart, I actually saw and received the gratitude that she also delivered to me for the things that we had achieved in our time together. Funny how they were invisible to me when I was in that first fog of pain….
I need to let go, to allow others to create their own path, just as I am creating mine.
Can you do the same?
Can you rise like a Phoenix, softened by the flames, stronger and more beautiful and insightful as a result?
I know you can.