In many traditions and cultures, especially where the climate is cold, winter is a time of pulling inward, an internal hibernation of sorts. It can be a time of reading by the fire, doing internal work such as processing life’s experiences and thoughts. Some look forward to this somewhat forced time of inner reflection. This time can be of great benefit even though it may be uncomfortable at times.
The same can be said of the different phases we experience in life. The transition phase of moving from one way of living your life to another can be so challenging. There is a period between the two- a void- that is felt while one way of interacting and moving through your life and the world is leaving, your letting go of it, and suddenly there is- nothing- for a time. It just sits there and you may even feel that you no longer know yourself, or what you want anymore. It can feel like an eternity until your searching, and just being, begins to enable you to start to piece together the parts that flow to you, as well as the parts that you begin to excavate somewhere in the void. This tearing down and gathering up shows you the way to this new uncharted territory called “The Next Chapter” in your life. Although uncomfortable and seemingly undesired, this time is crucial to your movement forward, and is actually part of the creating and building process.
We can be so impatient in the void. It can feel excruciatingly long and barren walking this path. It is a time that calls for great patience, for both the process and us. During this time it is important to treat yourself with kindness and great love. A time for taking care of your physical body by getting a massage, scheduling far infrared sauna sessions, or yoga; a time for reaching out, and a time to be alone. Also time to take care of our mental and spiritual side. You may find going to a therapist helpful, or reconnecting with old friends.
This time can feel like the darkest days of winter before the light starts to return, and this is actually a good comparison. The discomfort that may have been there for a while, has been trying to show you some things weren’t working anymore. It’s difficult to say good-bye. Sometimes the good-byes need to be to friendships that feel more like sandpaper than silk. Although you may know it’s the right thing to do, it still feels crappy. You may even second-guess yourself at some later date. Trust in yourself and your journey, and know that you are making the right decisions for your life, one step at a time. Finding your Truth and speaking it with kindness is no small thing. It takes great courage.
Each time this process happens in life, (and there will be several) it is a good thing. No, it is a great thing. It is much like the caterpillar in the cocoon, which must wait in order to become the exceptionally beautiful creature it was intended to be all along- the butterfly!!
The process of the Next Chapter happens repeatedly in life. We live so much longer than our ancestors did, that we experience this more. We can recreate ourselves as often as we desire, having several careers in our lifetime. Yet each decade of life brings new challenges and decisions. As you pass these milestones, new feelings emerge, and where once you may have thought you were invincible, realizations of your own mortality rise up. Loss of loved ones as we age, carves character in us. It is all a part of this wonderful journey of life! It is normal, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
The challenge and JOY is in realizing and cherishing the daily joys that come from just being alive! Realize that we are created to be social beings, and make sure that you are connected in ways that make you feel good! Do things daily that bring you joy! You were created for JOY. Remember that phases in our lives are just that- phases. They pass, and make room for even better things and ways of living! Change is really for the better!
*If you feel that you need help sorting things out, feel free to call or make an appointment.