When I was in the midst of my mid-life crisis (which I had at 39) it didn’t feel like it was good for me, and it certainly didn’t feel like it was good for anyone around me either! So why on earth would I be saying this now?
Because transformation doesn’t look like transformation when you are at the start of the process.
I know the Butterfly Metamorphosis is a well-used metaphor for life transition but let’s take a closer look.
To go through the complete process an emerging Butterfly has to go through four stages- egg, larva, pupa and adult and each stage has a different goal.
I wonder if when the egg becomes the larva, and then the larva becomes the pupa if the emerging Butterfly knows this is what is happening.
I wonder if the larva get’s anxious, or depressed or feels like it’s having another Groundhog Day. I wonder if it feels stuck, thinking that life is always going to be as a pupa?!
Or if it patiently allows the intelligence of the design and surrenders to the process.
If we have no awareness that we are moving through a transformation, a dramatic change in the form our life is taking, it can feel as uncomfortable as hell.
But what a lot of my clients find comforting to know, is that there is always something greater trying to emerge.
Because from out of the discomfort, even when it feels like life is cracking us open, there IS something trying to break through.
We might feel anxious about it. We might feel down and depressed, and we likely feel stuck, but when we can see this as a new beginning it feels easier and even a hint of excitement can come in.
This is the time to reinvent your self on your own terms without needing anyone else’s approval.
This is time for you to get excited about you!
Time to get to know who you really are behind the labels you have been wearing up until this point.
Time to get to know what you like, how you want to be spending your time, what has you waking up in the morning feeling like your life has meaning.
Time to find what fulfils you and what has you going to bed at night feeling deeply contented, joyful and happy.
But where do I start Alison?
I remember when I was in the depths of my mid-life transition, looking at my life and thinking there has got to be more to life than this, that part of the thinking I was caught up in was that I had lost touch with who I was and how I wanted to spend my time and then invariably I ended up doing nothing! I had got myself into a deep place of dissatisfaction and felt like all I was ever doing was what other people were choosing for me. I filled my time up, pretending to the world and to myself that I was busy when really I was just feeling stuck in a cycle of low self esteem and not knowing what to do.
So, if this is how you are feeling then there is a really simple exercise that doesn’t take very long to do and that is a good way of beginning the exploration and shifting process. It requires a pen and a piece of paper, or a digital means of writing.
The exercise is called “50 Things I Love”.
When I first did this exercise, I was felt like I wouldn’t come up with anything, but, as seems to happen with all the exercises I give my clients to do, it is a matter of ignoring the thoughts that come up and just starting!
Have your means of writing to hand and close your eyes. Start to think about things you love, or as another friend calls them, your “strawberry moments”. What are the little things that fill your heart with joy? Tune in to good feelings as you start to come up with images, smells and sounds. Then start writing. It may be a struggle to start with, but as you are engaging your RAS (go here to read more about your Reticular Activating System) to start looking through your files for happy memories, or new things you would like to do, it gets easier and more inspiration comes.
I will give you a few of my examples to get you started-
The smell of flowers, or a nice scented candle.
Meeting up with friends for a coffee and great conversation.
Spending time in the woods.
Going to a foodie fair or market.
Cooking a new dish from a recipe.
Going on a city break.
Doing a cookery course.
Meditating….in fact I would love to go on a meditation retreat.
Visiting my favourite place in Glastonbury- Chalice Well.
Spending time by the sea, walking and watching the waves.
The smell of coffee.
Keep going until you absolutely can’t think of anymore, and if you haven’t got to 50 then go back and add things as they pop into your mind as you go about your day.
And notice how you feel doing this exercise.
Notice what stories pop into your mind.
You might start to realise that there are more things than you thought that connect you with your heart.
It might start to inspire you to look in to making some of them happen.
You may start to come up with all the reasons you can’t do any of these things.
You may start to feel more motivated to make some changes.
Just notice what you notice, because it is all information.
If there are stories about why you can’t do any of the things that you come up with challenge them- Is that true? Is that really true? What would you do if you didn’t believe the thought that told you it was true?
It is so easy to get stuck in thinking, caught up in a tangled over-thinking mind and to not be able to find the momentum to take create change.
Give this exercise a go and see how you get on, and if you want any support with the process please do get in touch.
That’s what I’m here for ♥