Man, is it just me or have the past few weeks been super energized. I’ve really been feeling in my flow. I’ve been consistently moving in aligned ways, producing new and yummy materials, feeling totally in service with my clients. The Universe is delivering BIG TIME and I am receiving in new, expansive ways. I feel like I’m riding high on top of one of those huge waves from the surf videos- and I am killing it. Hang ten and all that surf bro stuff.
But the thing about waves is that they eventually come to shore. And sometimes you get to ride that wave gently to the shallows, and sometimes shit gets crazy and you find yourself surfacing, sputtering seawater out your nose, gasping for air. And it’s this first scenario that I want to speak to today. Because even though it’s gentle in it’s approach, the aftermath can be devastating.
Imagine a scene like the one I described above. You’re winning at life, everything is going your way. Life is fucking great. And then, all of a sudden… not so much. Things just feel a bit stuck. Perfect. I’ve talked before about what to do when you feel this stuck-age, but today I want to talk a bit more about what this actually is.
I’ve witnessed so many women falter at this step. The first sign of stagnation, we see as failing. And worse still, we start to see ourselves as FAILURES. Yikes- that escalated quickly.
What we’re experiencing is simply a period of contraction. Contraction periods come after we take massive action towards change in our lives. Sometimes these highs, or periods of expansion, can last weeks and months. Sometimes only hours. The same goes with the lows, or the contraction periods.
Expansion feels like awesome. Contraction is a period that’s generally marked by feelings of exhaustion, a lack of motivation, and a desire to hermit oneself. In a word: not-as-awesome. But so so important. And here’s why:
Periods of contraction reinforce our capacity to expand. They are mutually reinforcing of one another. They allow us time to rest our adrenals, to re- centre. It is here that we integrate the lessons we learned along our path to propel us on our next adventure.
So the next time you find yourself pushing and struggling after a period of flow, breathe. This is a call to practice divine self-care. Dig out your list of all the things you can do for yourself that feel really fucking good (and if you don’t have one- make one now!). Devote yourself to nourishment for the next big wave. Cowabunga, dudes.
I wrote this post way back in October, and it’s taken a few months to feel ready to release it to the world. In the spirit of courage and daring greatly, here it is today.
I lost my father ten years ago today.
It all started with that little knot of anxiety in the back of my throat that just wouldn’t go away. His anniversaries (i.e. his birthday, his death, my parent’s anniversary…) always hit me in new and unexpected ways. Tonight, I feel gross and unsettled, like my jaw is aching and I can’t focus. Now, I’m lying in my bed journaling, trying to get the lump out of my throat one of the only ways I know how.
I spent a few years enveloped by shame over my father’s death, not because I had anything to do with it, or because I felt that I could have been there and the story would have ended differently, but because I didn’t feel devastated enough. To be sure, my father’s death hit me hard, brutally, viscerally. I have yet to feel that kind of pain again since, although the echoes of that loss still creep in like a quickly rising tide. I never got those carpe diem feelings- those ‘life is short so live it’ moments that drove me to see life differently and to Make It Count… my life just simply continued, without the fanfare.
When my father passed, I was on a year abroad program. Without going into the details, I immediately flew home, took part in all the ceremony and ritual that we surround ourselves in at times of death, and then two weeks later I made the decision, re-packed my bags and was on a plane back to school.
I sat in my host family’s car as we drove through the rainy night and was overcome with a calm knowing – an understanding that I was exactly where I needed to be.
My decision has always been part of the That Time My Dad Died story, but it wasn’t until tonight that I realized that this was That Life Changing Moment for me. And really, my life can be seen as a ripple effect outwards of this exact moment.
Today, when I think of losing my father, this moment is always the first to be conjured – not the fear, the anger, the sadness, the shame … but this private moment with myself. This connection to my own higher wisdom that everything was in it’s perfect place. That night, driving through those streets, is the closest I’ve ever felt to the Universe. I felt strength and an assurance in my own inner wisdom. A space opened inside of me that night that allowed the Universe and all its wisdom to rush in.
That knowing has coloured the way I see life and my current journey in it. It’s become so much a part of who I am and how I make decisions- how I’m motivated in my life– that I forget that it wasn’t always with me. It is through this loss that I continue to push my edges. It is what has created space for me to step into myself and for this I am grateful.