My teenagers are cycling through that mandatory life stage when chaos pays frequent visits. And similar to when butterflies struggle their way out of the chrysalis, no one—not even their mom—can do it for them. If the newly winged creatures don’t do the work on their own, they won’t survive.
But transitions can be rough. And the more we resist, the worse it feels.
I am going through a transition too, albeit a happy one. A new Instagram friend reached out and asked how I’d arrived at my message. “Tell your story. Be set free.” I thought, hmm it’s evolved into so much more than that. After writing all these stories about personal growth and training with Martha Beck, I have a tidy set of ‘heal your life’ tools that I intend to offer. Soon. I mean, I toss a few out here and there, but the whole enchilada is still baking.
It’s during this half-baked phase that we can make it harder on ourselves. And in case you think this doesn’t apply to you, I have news. Every seven years, all atoms in our bodies are different. Often, changes don’t feel so subtle. The world was supposed to be coming out of a pandemic and partying like its 1999 right now. Instead, we are receiving reports of impending doom. Some turning points can be downright terrifying.
The question is, how to ease into the next iteration of yourself in the most peaceful way possible. I have some tips.
- Get grounded in nature.
When we are going through a change, all parts of us have to be on board; body, heart, mind and soul. When you place yourself beneath the vast blue sky, listen to the rustling leaves, and feel the soft breeze on your skin, a certain peace comes over you. No matter what level of swirly transformation is happening inside, nature provides the space to align and grow. I try to do this daily.
- Feel your feelings.
Nobody likes change but a wet baby. I mentioned the three teens. One of them is dealing with something that, on occasion, has caused me to cancel all the new cool stuff I have going on so I can support him. It happened again on Monday. Instead of processing my feelings about my derailed day, I self-soothed with food—a habit I had substantially kicked. I buried the sadness and frustration under black and white cookies from Trader Joe’s. After the sugar crash, I recognized that I am doing the best I can. Then I had a great coaching session with Hope Cook. The tears flowed and I feel better. Thanks Hope.
- Acknowledge the shift.
Sometimes we are changing and growing but don’t want to acknowledge it because then we’ll have to do something about it. And that can be scary. This morning I went for a long run with my husband and we talked over a case of his. He’s still in business litigation—a profession I left years ago. But each time we discuss a legal matter, the lawyer me is right there. I am also a mom, a writer, and a life coach in training. It’s given me a nuanced perspective. That has value. A few minutes ago, I changed my instagram bio to include all that and stopped worrying that people would think I am a flake. I am every version of myself that I have ever been and it’s actually cool.
3. No sudden moves.
If you have a lot happening inside already, there’s no need to change your external circumstances unless it’s some kind of emergency. Decisions made from stress limit perspective anyway. Spinning worst case scenarios doesn’t help. When you are feeling relaxed and creative, your decisions include the entire landscape. It’s natural to feel mildly freaked out at such a time. Allow yourself to evolve and unfold. Go easy.
4. Care for your body.
When we get in our heads about all that’s going on, we sometimes ignore physical symptoms. The body gives us SO MANY clues. For me, I’ve noticed more fatigue than usual during workouts. I finally reached out to a functional medicine doctor. I also switched up our family’s morning routine which had become stressful. I’m doing my best to listen.
If the change you are experiencing is an especially difficult one like an illness, you have even more reason to max out on the creature comforts. Call in favors and hibernate like a bear if you need to. During my mystery illness a few years back, I wished I had asked the illness what it came to teach me. May sound bananas but if you ask these kind of questions, you get answers. In retrospect, the reason it happened is clear. I gave away a ton of my time to “should’s” and almost no time to “want to’s.” It made me sick.
And if your nears and dears have commenced to hand-wringing in your presence, take a break from them. Phone off. Set healing boundaries.
5. Take notes.
Give your subconscious mind a place to unload and clear space for new growth. I love the “morning pages” style of journaling from author Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: three free-flowing, long-hand, written pages of literally whatever comes out of your pen. No judgment, no planning, no cross-outs, first thing in the morning. You’ll feel better!
7. Get a cheerleader.
In this messy stage, you don’t need any naysayers. It is time for support and laughter. My Aunt Louise watched funny movies day and night during her cancer treatments at the hospital. She literally laughed off the cancer.
That’s all I got. Remember, life goes a lot smoother when you surrender to the flow.
And now for the exciting part of this story. On the theme of transitions and keeping it light, I have a special guest coming to my Instagram Live show, Tell Me All About It, this Friday, 3/18/22 at Noon EST. It’s been a minute, so I’ll remind you that this series began when I got curious about people who follow their inner longings to serve others in a way that taps into their unique gifts.
Lucie Frost is an employment lawyer turned humor & satire writer and an excellent authority on managing big life changes. Lucie’s Instagram series “How The Hell Did I Not Know That” offers grammar lessons, thoughtful theories on why things are the way they are, sage advice and more. She’s an absolute DELIGHT. You can sign up for her newsletter at https://luciefrost.com and follow her on all the socials @luciehfrost.
Here’s what’s happening:
WHO: Lucie H. Frost, Humor & Satire Writer @luciehfrost
WHAT: IG LIVE series Tell Me All About It
WHERE: Instagram LIVE on @elizabethheise.writer
WHEN: TODAY! FRIDAY, March 18, 2022, NOON EST
Don’t miss it!
When you give yourself the space and time to grow, you get the sense that it’s all going to be okay.
WRITING PROMPT: What changes are happening in and around your life? What is making it easier or harder?
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