This week we focus on what comes after the jump, making a graceful exit. It’s in this liminal space – between no longer and not yet – where self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness is most critical.
And with the death of Robin Williams last week reverberating around the world, there’s no better way we can honor his passing than to reach out in connection, slow down to take the time and space we need for processing, and create practices for falling in love with ourselves and honoring our self-care.
This past Friday was gorgeous and sunny Boulder, as usual. At 4pm, after my last coaching client of the day, I took a moment to check in and see what I wanted to do. I had been going so hard and so fast for days…weeks…months…years really. Even with having built in more “me” time, regularly running, hiking, reading and writing, what I discovered was that more than anything else in that moment, I just wanted to lay on my bed.
I had never ever allowed myself to lie down in the middle of the day. Actually I had never even allowed myself to want to do such an irresponsible, lazy thing! But, thanks to all the work I’ve done around owning the qualities in myself that I had previously rejected and projected out onto others, on Friday my proudly irresponsible lazy self curled up on my comfy bed and put on a movie. In the middle of the afternoon. In minutes I was bawling my eyes out. When the movie ended, I was a little hungry so made myself some dinner and then settled back in and put on another movie. Soon I was crying again. And then I did the unthinkable! I put on a third movie! I can’t even believe I’m telling you this! And yes, again, waterworks!
What I began to realize that so many incredible opportunities were rapidly presenting themselves to me lately. So much good. My cup runneth over. And so much change too. I desperately needed a self-induced crash so that something else wouldn’t come along and crash me unexpectedly. I also needed the purge, the release, and the replenishing that can only come from catharsis. I went to sleep with gratitude for listening to my heart and allowing myself to have exactly what I most desired. No guilt, no shame, no resistance, only sweet surrender. The graceful exit. The gateway to rejeuvenation.
Just as we honored our resistance a few steps ago, we must also take the time to honor all that has brought us to this very moment. I would never have become the person I am today without every single one of the experiences I’ve had. Even – perhaps especially – the most difficult ones. If my now ex-husband hadn’t ever read my journals, I have no doubt that I would have stayed in my marriage – sleepwalking through my old life, silently giving my power away, trying to buy love in any way possible. I wouldn’t have published two books, I wouldn’t be a Certified Integrative Coach with a vibrant practice in service of guiding others to live in alignment with their truth, I wouldn’t be sharing my story on stage before thousands as a beacon for others to hone and own the courage and strength it takes to propel themselves powerfully forward in their lives, and I most certainly wouldn’t be leaving my day job at Hay House to venture out on my own! That original journal-reading crisis opened the door to everything else that has happened since, most of which has been wonderful beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Including falling in love, and then ultimately leaving still in love, when we both knew it was the only way for each of us to honor our truths.
Sometimes the emotions are overwhelming. The grief can be intense. We may know it isn’t about wanting to go back to our old selves, yet it can still be confusing.
By embracing the grief we discover that when we allow the visceral reminders to be present, we can more easily move through the emotions and emerge without fighting with them. When we fight, on the other hand, the feelings seem to linger and fester. It takes much more work to hold our painful emotions at bay than it does to let them flow. It’s the “core dump” of emotions that allows us to transition.
It’s during the transitional, liminal space of the graceful exit that we detach from the old and cross the threshold into our new worlds, even if we haven’t yet fully made sense of everything that got us here. This period of time might feel like the void, but it’s allowing us to digest and integrate as we adjust to all that has happened, as well as what we desire to invite in.
This work of exiting, integrating, and entering by jumping again and again into the new is an integral part of the process. One jump down…many more to go…