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“If You Want A Rainbow…

….you’ve got to put up with the rain.” ~ Dolly Parton

Few things that we achieve in life come with complete ease and grace. Personal evolution and growth arrives only after we have spent some time in the rain, for some of us, in a downpour, and for others, stuck in storm after storm…

Ok, so I have done my fair share of dancing in storms. I recognize it is a natural part of one’s evolution. Why fight it? Why not just take it on as a dance partner?

In this culture we are encouraged to take care of “to-do” lists, take action, go in early, leave late, eat quickly and mindlessly, grab a drink (or two), plop one’s self in front of the boob tube to numb the chatter, be filled with someone else’s idea of what is normal to fulfill our lives, pop a pill to lull ourselves to sleep…. Sound familiar?

I’ve been there. That is me you’ve just read about. It might be you, too.

So, I recently made a decision to stop the bullshit, say “no” and truly surrender to the void. When I stopped doing, that’s what was left: this amazingly vast, empty feeling. It was so scary I was tempted over and over again to return to old habits and fill myself up with “fluff” so that everything could return to feeling normal. I persisted resisting going back.

And it’s something most people chose to avoid doing.

Last year’s intention to exorcise the “demons” that had held me back, played havoc with the paradigm I have chosen to live my life by, up to this point.

So what are you to do should you find yourself in the middle of a wild storm? I could say, look for the “positive aspects”, but that sounds a little shallow to me. I am not saying that this is not a tool you should have handy. I am saying, it should not be your ONLY tool. If the void is whispering to you, stop doing whatever you have been doing and just Be.

This means, allow the feelings that you’ve been pushing down and avoiding by keeping busy, come to the surface – whether they be grief, desperation, anger, hurt, self-deprecation – invite them all in. They may feel overwhelming. Doing this exercise may feel too much. Even if you give yourself the opportunity to feel for two minutes one day, three the next, seven the following week you’ll be on the way to reclaiming your birthright: being fully ALIVE.

You can even begin to dance with these emotions. No, I am not talking about a pretty pink tutu and ballet slippers kind of dance. I am talking about a loud, messy, snotty, wailing, punch the pillow and let the expletives roll off your tongue kind of dance.

Because I have gone through this process repeatedly in my life (I learn quickly, you just have to explain it to me for a long time…), that I encourage you to stick with it. Surrender to it over and over, until you feel complete. And once you are, there’s no turning back, no going back, no being who you were before you started.

Surrender? You mean give up control?

Yup. That’s what I am saying. Do it, until you feel a shift. How will you know what the shift feels like? By taking the time to listen and be, your body will let you know – here is a caveat: don’t follow your mind. She’ll fool you into thinking you are done so that you may feel “safe”, prevent you from going deep with this work and keep you where you’ve been: stuck. Keep at it. Trust that you are safe, because you are. Listen, I’ve gone through this process, and I am here writing about it. If I can do it, girl, so can you.

I know that I am on the right track because I am after years of struggle, I am dancing gracefully in what lies at the other side of surrendering to the shit. And it feels really sweet. So, I am going to keep at this. I cherish myself and know, with certainty, that once I dance in the storms with gusto, they’ll never throw me off course in the same way again.

Happy dancing,

Joëlle

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