The Winds, They Are A-Changin'
If it seems the whole dang world is turning upside down right about now and you’re staring down major unforeseen changes and unwanted routine overhauls lately, I salute you.
I want to share a bit of my story from before I started life coaching because this situation of being forced into stillness and having to reinvent how we live and work feels oddly familiar to me.
I hope that by sharing my experience, you will feel some comfort. While the situation outside is hairy, I know you have incredible inner resilience that has the potential to permanently change not only your life but many other lives for the better, too.
Here’s the quick and dirty:
In 2014, I was a tattoo artist. And then, I wasn’t.
There was A LOT of inner turmoil leading up to my exit from the industry, but the exact moment that my career as a tattooist ended it was tied pretty inextricably to a few torn tendons in my hands and undiagnosed inflammation that was leading to panic attacks, dizzy spells, and heart arrhythmia.
I went from being a business owner, a paid artist, and a functioning adult member of society to a sick and helpless invalid seemingly overnight.
Everything I believed about where I was going, what opportunities were open to me, and who I was were gone.
It was humiliating.
It was painful.
It was terrifying.
It took me MONTHS to let go of what I had lost and to come to terms with what had happened.
I spent about five months mostly alone, working out how to take care of myself – what to eat, how to regain hand strength, even how to relax, because relaxing was such a foreign idea for me my doctor actually wrote down a “prescription” to take a bath twice a week for at least 30 minutes so I’d STOP DOING THINGS. 😳 Embarrassing? Yes. But remarkably hard for me to do.
In 2020, these last three months have had eerie similarities for me. I didn’t catch covid, thank god, so far… but I’ve spent these months mostly in silence, alone with my family, working out how to take care of ourselves and our child.
I have to learn what to cook to maximize our menus, how to shop safely while cohabiting with my 77-year-old mother-in-law, and how to relax when every time I look at a news article or community forum post I feel my body tightening into a coil of fury and fear. Not to mention juggling working at home with a 4-year-old, setting up an office for my husband, and generally restructuring my own business into a completely online model.
I know that we are all doing what we must to survive. And I want you to know that however you are doing it, you’re doing fine. It’s not easy.
Long periods of quiet, when routines are disrupted and we’ve lost some aspects of our lives that brought meaning and purpose, tend to bring out the subconscious fears and stories that have lain dormant. You can find yourself easily overwhelmed, tired, and wanting to tune out. And to that, I say, by all means!
Take the rest you need. Honor your experience. Be the kind heart to your inner child. Let yourself have a break, or a cry, or a pillow-punching scream.
Life is not fair. We didn’t ask for this.
But I want you to also know that through my last experience of turning inward when my outward was upside-down, when I lost so much and had no idea who I was anymore or where I could go from there, I emerged 500X stronger. I emerged 500X more purposeful.
I knew what I wanted, and I had finally learned how to hold myself in grief, in anger, and in fear without falling asleep or numbing out every time to avoid it. I learned how to say NO so I could say YES to what truly mattered to me.
There are GIFTS hiding for you in this time of difficulty. They aren’t obvious. They are slippery. Claiming them might cause you pain, for a while. But they are YOURS.
No matter what is happening in your life today, I wish you the finding of your inner gifts.
I wish for you to rise like a phoenix from this experience and create a NEW you that is wiser, and stronger, and a bit more beautiful for all the ash.
I’ve written a book during this three-month pause. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It wasn’t the story I thought I would write. I always thought I’d write an epic fantasy novel full of romance and swashbuckling heroes.
Instead, I wrote about what it was like to end a career and face my real-life demons.
It’s called Business Breakup: How to Survive a Difficult Transition in Your Business. It’s not just for business owners, though. If you’ve ever been sideswiped with circumstances that are out of your control that you wish you could control – it’s got something for you, too.
If you’d like to check it out, you can grab a copy HERE.
This week, in the spirit of helping others move through difficult, unexpected, mostly unwanted transitions, I’ll be sending a few emails with insights I gained from that time in my life. I hope they are of some help.
As always, if I can be of service or you just want to talk, hit reply. I love hearing from you.