Maybe it’s an old job. A relationship. A habit. A pattern. You can always find something that’s begging for change.
There are moments during the process of transformation when we feel high on life, like a superhero. "Yes, I did it! I left that unhealthy relationship!" But every up has a down. And things can quickly become ugly, uncomfortable, and awkward as we grieve and let go. Then, we can begin the rebirth process, which can be so embarrassing! Think Bambi legs. Or the moment a caterpillar is primordial goo in a cocoon before it hits supermodel status as a butterfly. Or the state Buddhists call "sunyata." It’s like "Hey. I’m just chilling in the void. Dunno who I am or what's next."
Change can get weird. It can be scary, and culturally we often overlook it. There are very few rituals, very few rites of passage to help us through. So does a way to gracefully undergo massive change and transformation even exist? Yes. Here it is.
Remind yourself that change is a part of life.
When you surrender to the fact that you’re always evolving, you can stop getting so surprised every time change comes knocking! Much like nature continues to change seasons, shifts will keep happening in your life. Instead of becoming unbreakable and rigid, you’ll eventually get super bendy, like a tree with deep roots and branches that bend and flap in the wind.
Every year the leaves fall. Every year the flowers bud again. Whether you like it or not, you are a living, breathing organism and your life is cyclical. People and loves will come and go. Start by accepting that. Easier said than done, I know, but when you surrender to this fact, a huge weight will lift.
How to start gracefully accepting this change:
1. Admit and surrender to the words: "I don't know."
When you try to pretend to have it all figured out, saying things like "It's fine cause I didn't want that job anyway and I have a plan," you create a contraction where there is opportunity for expansion. Instead, surrender to "I don't know what's next." I guarantee you that amazing things will come if you give them space and patiently sit in the "I don't know" space—which Buddhists call "nothingness"—a moment when something beautiful is about to be born.
2. Avoid asking everyone you know for their help and opinions.
If you’re a soft little Bambi, the last thing you need is opinions from your mother-in-law or all of your Facebook friends. Keep it between you and your higher-ups (your guides, your meditation practice…whatever you turn to when things get difficult.)
3. Stay moving.
When things in our life "die" or change, it's easy to stop everything and freeze. Take some time to mourn, but then keep moving. Even if you don't know what's next, be it in love or work or health, stay curious and explore. Play. It's easy to want to just hide under the covers, so do that a little then go volunteer, take a hike, or sign up for a new experience.
4. Externalize the change.
This one is so helpful. Maybe you’ll get a haircut and a new outfit or start to feng shui your room. Make your own personal metamorphosis translate to your surroundings.
5. Lean on your practice.
You may find that your old practices don’t fit anymore as you’re changing, and that’s OK. Try to lean on them to get you through, but once they start feeling clunky, adapt. Your old yoga class may be getting, well, old! That doesn’t mean you need to quit yoga altogether; try finding a new one.
Always find a way to celebrate that you have chosen a life of consistent, conscious expansion. It takes some people lifetimes to get here. You’ve chosen to keep pushing how big a love you can feel, how high you can go, how far your wings can spread.