Have you ever felt lost, unanchored – where the very things that motivated you in your life do not provide the sense of gravitas they usually did? Where you feel somewhat untethered from your connection to the ‘why’ that was strong enough to get you out of bed each morning? That very ‘why’ that kept you going as you experienced hardships and trials – and that even held you up during those periods when you felt somewhat wounded by the world you were operating in.
Embracing deep change
I must admit that I have always been fortunate in that I was quite connected to my ‘why’ and knew what it was that I was doing in the world. However, in the past few months, I have struggled a bit, feeling somewhat lost and unanchored. I found myself questioning the purpose of what I am doing, and of continuing to live. What is this all adding up to?
Some may call it a mid-life crisis, but deep down I know that what is happening is a process of transformation and renewal. I still recall that the last time I went through such a process, almost 10 years ago, I felt completely disempowered and in a constant state of anxiety. I even recall sliding into a minor depression because I did not know what to do. I did not have direction and I felt unsure of myself.
Right now, I am immensely grateful because I am able to observe myself and view my process with deep compassion. Whilst I am curious about where this is heading, I am also able to sit with the uncertainty, and to do so with love and acceptance of myself. I won’t deny that there is some tension generated from not knowing, yet I balance this with a mindset of self-care and personal exploration. For those who know me, I function well in the ‘doing’ mode, which means I need to know what I am moving towards, I need to know the motivations, the reasons, and I also need to have – to some extent – an idea of the map that I will follow.
As I move through the world, I am learning to let go of what has been a security blanket of ‘knowing’. This means developing capabilities of trust and acceptance. It is not always easy – on some days I do feel sad, lonely and isolated because this is a deeply personal journey. I have moments where I crave the safety of knowing more about the emerging picture but, I am also becoming friends with patience.
That being said, each of our journeys of renewal will be unique. Nobody’s recipe will work for you! However, I can share some of what has held me – and continues to hold me – during this period:
#1: Supportive community
Having people I can share with authentically and state what it is that is happening to me, is an absolute must. Being able to call someone up, or even having my closest soul tribe members check in on me, is what has kept me going at times when I felt vulnerable and lost.
#2: Seeking professional support
I continue to affirm the principle that we do not need to do it alone! Aside from coaching, having a therapeutic space is valuable as it allows me to surface what is going on in my head and even excavate the wounds I collected during the last phase of renewal. In the past, with some clients, I find that they hold off on seeking this kind of help because their view was that they only need to seek help when something is wrong. I, however, believe that the process is what is valuable, and would encourage anyone to seek out professional support when they can.
#3: Self-learning and reflection
Once again, this sounds like common sense, but I find that journaling is one way of learning more about what is moving through me. With close friends and professional support, I can surface areas that require deeper learning and reflection, and writing about it enables me to understand the new connections I make.
Wishing all of you love and compassion on your unique journeys of change.