I’m going to be brutally honest here. Growth sucks.
It is painful and scary, awkward and uncomfortable. It feels ugly, gangly, and embarrassing.
I am not a fan.
Except, of course, I am. Or I must be, because I keep digging deeper, pulling up my boot straps and moving forward – long past the time when any sane person would have climbed into bed, put a pillow over her head, and called it a day. Or a decade.
See, here’s the thing.
Clearly I make a habit of being positive, uplifting, encouraging and supportive on this blog.
I do this in my “real” life, too – it’s what I do as a profession, but even moreso, it’s who I am.
I believe in it 110%, from the deepest parts of my soul.
I believe in pursuing our dreams, in following those little whispers, or big nudges – those things we long to try, and lose track of time once we’re finally doing them.
I believe that when we leap, the net appears – that when we say “yes” to our deeper calling, that we will be supported in strange and mysterious ways.
And I believe in moving forward in spite of fear, because it gets the Universe moving on our behalf, and otherwise we stay still and fail to grow in new and exciting ways.
I am also human, and I falter in my beliefs.
So sometimes, instead of believing all the lovely, expansive things I just wrote about growth, I find myself feeling this instead: growth sucks!
Growth actually, physically, seems to hurt.
When I put out a video even though it’s far from perfect, it hurts.
When I publish a blog post that doesn’t seem to reach many people, it hurts.
When I launch a class and it doesn’t get the enrollment I was intending, it hurts.
My insides feel all knotted up. My breathing is shallow and my heart rate is speedy. What is it – embarrassment? A sense of failure?
Whatever it is, it makes me want to run and hide. Or at the very least, to stop doing the thing that is hurting me so much.
But then, gosh darn it, didn’t I just write a blog post lauding the values of Puddle Jumping?
When we jump puddles, I confidently declared, “all manner of cosmic forces, magical energies, and synchronicities are set in motion.”
I went on:
“The simple act of jumping is all that we need in order to meet success,” as in, there is no failure when we move in the direction of our dreams.
Yes, I wrote it. And of course I believe it. Most of the time, anyway.
But on days like today (or weeks like last week), I can’t always get behind it so much.
It’s times like this that I have to remind myself, just as I would tell a client or friend, that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel frustrated, imperfect, and drained.
Yes, it will pass, but even before it passes, it is okay. Things go up, things go down. That’s the nature of life.
And then, I start to breathe a little deeper, and let go of the strangle hold I seem to have developed – around myself as much as anything.
And once my energy begins to loosen even just this little bit, I find myself pausing to pull back my perspective in the way I do when I’m clear, grounded and connected:
First, I take a bird’s eye view – as if I am hovering in the sky above my life, witnessing it all. From here, it looks like this:
Yeah, there are lots of little steps you’re taking. Some of them seem like success, and a lot of them seem like failure. But they’re all part of the same path. Just as an airplane on autopilot is constantly self-correcting to get to its destination, you are constantly making adjustments too. This isn’t failure, it’s progress.
This helps for sure.
But now that I’m here, I’m reminded that there’s an even more powerful perspective from which I can observe.
So I shift to a sitting-on-the-moon view, which goes something like this:
Oh, my dear soul. You are so brave. This is not easy, what you have chosen to do. All of it is growth. Be gentle with yourself. Notice your courage – admire it. Have compassion, as you would a child. Remember you are loved and supported, by forces far greater than your humanness. Call upon your faith, your guides and helpers. We are here for you. And above all else, always allow your deepest light to shine.
And when I do that, my world seems alright again.
My heart rate has slowed down, my breathing has deepened. I have released the tightness, the fear. But even more importantly, I have suddenly become filled. And deeply grounded. I have remembered, at the core of my being, that when I move in the direction of my inner knowing, the Universe does indeed move with me.
As I pause, in this newly-peaceful state of being, I wonder why it has to be this way. Why do I fall off the horse like that, and experience the fear, when I know so well all these other things, these other ways of being? My husband says it’s so that I keep walking my talk. I know there’s a lot of truth in that.
But I also think it circles back to the simple fact that I am human, as we all are. If I, or you, were meant to be perfect – to get it all right, and have no fear or pain in our experience – then we would have stayed in spirit form in the first place. And while I may not always be able to live, minute in and minute out, an enlightened view of it all, I’m grateful that I eventually find my way back to it.
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