Last month I had no idea that my reality as I knew it was all about to change. Rewind a few weeks back and hubby and I flew over to the Barossa Valley in South Australia for a much-needed week-long holiday. It was nothing but wine tastings, bicycles, walks, exploring nature and eating good food. I admit, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to experience this. But I will also admit, it triggered in me old patterns of escape and coping mechanisms such as eating and drinking. However, this time neither the food or alcohol felt good.
Within a couple of days of returning home I fell into a deep depression. I felt unable to proceed in life as I had before. I lost all desire to stay interested in the reality I had been building. And then we both were knocked to our knees with the flu. Neither of us had been sick in a few years but this one knocked us down for a solid week. Couch-bound and completely incapacitated. It was during this time I felt the last of my old self-image dissolving along with the my motivation to keep pushing forward in all my personal pursuits in life. I had gone from an intense 12-months of personal exploration and healing to a new mood; one of total and complete nothing-ness. I lost all interest in making videos, writing inspirational posts, journalling, meditating, socialising and even, intentional breathing.
This experience, in its essence, is a form of a dark night of the soul where your identity and self image suddenly engulf itself. I lost sight of the ground. I moved into a limbo state. You see, I had grown tired of pretending I was happy trying to fit in with the status quo. I was tired of placating my friends and family with a fake smile and false story that I am happy plodding along and being “nice”. I had come to the end of my rope where pleasing others was concerned. I felt this extreme reaction because I’d been masking my true self for so long. All of this masking must come to a head in our lives if we are genuinely seeking to be true to ourselves. I had put out a heart-felt quest to be free of all attachments in this life that were holding me back from authenticity and joy. This emptiness that consumed me was a stage in this beautiful transformation. It’s reassuring to know how this process works. It’s scary when you don’t know what’s going on and then this kind of thing hits you.
So what now? Firstly, this is the first time in my life that I am consciously experiencing a surrender of a personality that doesn’t serve me anymore. I’ve had plenty of times in my life where I went into deep questioning apathy periods and came out with a new inspired trajectory (and escape route) only to repeat many of the same lessons. But this time, I am well aware that the shadow work I avoided doing those last times (and the gaslighting) must be addressed this time. What does this mean? This means that I have to be okay with being present with the parts of me that are experiencing apathy, helplessness, aloneness, numbness, sadness, uncertainty, hopelessness and fear of the unknown future. I’m not trying to be anywhere else and instead, just acknowledging and validating ALL my feelings. I’m not trying to problem solve or get past this limbo time. I am 43 years old and this could easily be seen as a kind of mid-life crisis, however, I know it is exactly what I’ve been asking for. I want to live this life truly and authentically from my heart. I don’t want to to be holding onto plans and ambitions that are not truly mine. I no longer wish to please others via external successes that showcase my savviness in navigating a world that is materialistic and shallow. I am not choosing to live this life in this way, it’s too precious. And so, I am releasing all of these shadows by honestly feeling them.
I choose to live the next chapters of my life in congruence with my heart. This means I will tell my loved ones my true feelings and not spend a moment trying to please them out of guilt. It means I will stop doing those things that feel empty and cold in order to “get ahead”. It means I will speak my truth without fear of retribution. It means I will not bow down to the illusion of conformity, status, popularity or material success. I will never again allow myself to mask for others so that I feel I fit in. I am here, hear me roarrrrrr!
I am excited to see who I become over the next months and years of my life. From experience, these times are a time of great integration, what feels like a breaking down is often a breaking through. I know I am levelling up and I will look back at this time as sacred and important. I believe it is more important that we are true and honest with ourselves and admit we are out of alignment than trying to maintain “control”. When we make control more important than growth, we sabotage the emergence of our own best versions. Surrender is the only road that leads to more flow. For me, this also means I mustn’t make any sudden moves but rather, allow flow to lead me into new ways of being.
Before my trip to the Barossa I had already begun let go of old control mechanisms that were keeping me enslaved to my old routine of conformity and people pleasing. One of these moments produced a strange and creative 2-minute video that I was inspired to share as a message to others who are also going through a time of uncertainty that would normally create anxiety (fear of the future). Please enjoy this flash of inspiration and know that it’s okay not to know sometimes:
If you are going through a time of uncertainty, or experiencing depression or anxiety, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a coaching and counselling session. Visit my booking page for a free 1-hour virtual session with me, I would be honoured. Life can be challenging when we feel we are doing it all alone. You are never alone and millions of us are going through massive transformations everyday, questioning our identity, especially at this time in history. Reach out for help if you need to.