Episode 53 - Reflecting on the Messy Middle of a Spiritual Awakening
I think we’ve all felt it before. You know those days going into somewhere or something where you feel filled with doom, anxiety, and as the drive gets closer things just don’t seem to get easier or stronger, and you feel worse, more anxious, and eventually just *can’t*.
Yep, I used that word.
The day I went on leave I was driving into work and it was a little bit icy with some freezing rain. One of those drives where it’ll take you a little bit longer to get to where you're going, but come on it’s Canada…those happen biweekly around here.
I ended up going on leave for a month before Christmas break.
My leave was filled with time reflecting, sleeping, and ultimately thawing.
If you have ever been through grief or trauma, you might have felt the thaw process. The process of peeling back layers and starting to feel better, become more yourself, and eventually, wake up.
For me, waking up was about coming to the realization that I had been going through the motions of things. Things like journaling, working out, mindfulness, all the things I tell people to do that will help them. I was using the tools, but I was still feeling like absolute shit mentally.
And here’s the thing, you can do all of these things, do them with your best heart, but sometimes, if you’re intention isn’t in it or if you’re ultimately not changing the other things that you do or the things that make you feel unhappy, then you probably won’t make progress and might continue to burn out.
I was using the tools, but was still burning out because I wasn’t making meaningful change with intention behind my tools.
I had to change the situation that was the root cause of the anxiety, and the day I decided to go on leave I finally woke up to what that was.
The waking up process was messy. I cried, I slept for full days, I had anxiety attacks, I was physically sick, but at the end I started feeling better.
I wanted to do my hair again,
I wanted to put together nice outfits for going out.
I wanted to clean my house.
I woke up to how much money I had been spending for small dopamine hits of mail coming for me.
I woke up to the fact that I would avoid coffee with friends or being in public because I felt embarrassed or not good about myself.
I woke up to my eating habits and weight gain.
It could have easily felt like I was waking up to a mess and that I needed to go back to that mess again. I could have hid, but I didn’t.
I went through the mess, I made the mess, and now it’s time to clean up the messy middle so I can go forward to being the best version of myself.
I could say, I want to go back to being who I was before all of this happened, but I won’t and I don’t.
Every experience that we have changes us. It changes us for the better or worse, we learn from the worse and we learn from the better.
I don’t want to be who I was, I want to be who I am and the person who learned from the experience, so here I am, learning from the experience.
Sure, I want to lose the weight and start doing things again that I used to enjoy, but I also don’t want to devalue the experience of waking up. Just because the word again is in there doesn’t mean it’s the same experience or that I’m going backwards.
So, here’s to learning about thawing. I’ve already stopped shopping as much, I started reading more books, I cleaned my house, and I enjoy my workouts again. I want to eat healthy and be aware of what I am putting in my body everyday.
I get excited going to see and meet up with friends.
I make plans for the weekends to go see friends or go skiing again.
I actually plan out my outfits and wear something other than leggings and a hoodie when I go out.. Which isn’t often because I work at a fitness facility training people and hockey teams, so my work uniform now is literally leggings and hoodies.
Your thawing process might look different, your spiritual awakening might look different, but here’s to the messy middle.
Here’s to doing things again as new you.
Here’s to going through the mud to get to the other side, because if you mess it up, that’s fine! We invented cleaning supplies so we could make a mess and clean up afterwards.
If you’re in your messy middle, spiritual awakening, hiatus, or whatever you’re calling it, you have survived 100% of your hardest days, you can survive this one too.
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