Ohh baby baby it’s a wild world 🎶… how’s your heart doing these days?
I’ve had a lot of conversations lately around feeling lost…like you’re not sure who you are or how you fit into this “new normal” that we’re all figuring out. Here’s the thing, the person you were before COVID might not feel like the same person you see in the mirror these days. Which can feel scary…but it’s also an invitation.
To put it gently, it’s been a revealing time. We haven’t been able to numb out with our usual distracting vices and it kinda feels like we’ve been forced into some rather uncomfortable introspection.
We’re all aware that what we once considered normal is now gone forever. *Poof!* But this “new normal” that everyone’s talking about seems like a mirage on the horizon of our lives…elusive and shimmering but out of reach. We’re craving certainty and routines that provide connection, consistency, and freedom instead of monotonous, caged-in days where time seems to expand and shrink in unpredictable ways.
As I said, this is also an invitation, a chance to pause and re-evaluate where we’re headed and possibly…choose a new path. This invitation can feel unnerving because it was thrust upon us (ready or not, here I come!) instead of being something we came to on our own. And at the same time, we’re also grieving the loss of normalcy, freedom, safety, the way we moved about easily in the world and for some of us – we’re grieving the loss of our old identities.
We’ve realized (now that we’ve had a chance to get off the hamster wheel of modern life) that we don’t like the direction we’re headed, individually and/or collectively). Our eyes are open now. And it’s harder than ever to look away. Maybe we don’t love who we’ve become, or where we’re working, or who we’re with, or what we’re aiming for.
That can leave us feeling lost, raw, untethered and…hella vulnerable.
Brené Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure” which pretty much sums up most of our COVID days non?!
It’s normal to feel anxious, lonely, or depressed even if you didn’t often experience those emotions before COVID. I always saw myself as a fairly even-keeled person and this pandemic has triggered anxiety I didn’t realize I had.
It’s forced me to slow down (‘til I feel like I’m crawling through some days), look at myself, and tune into my root chakra so I could try to stay present and grounded amidst the chaos. Not knowing what would happen from day-to-day took its toll on my nervous system (along with the constant construction happening in the house attached to mine! 😩 SERENITY NOW!!).
It also forced me to really look at some of the deeper shadow aspects of myself and one was a basic need for safety, which for me, was triggered on almost every level. (Is it safe to go outside? Can I pay my bills (financial safety)? Where do I feel safe? Who do I feel safe with?)
The other ways I felt this pandemic on a deeper level is that I’m a planner at heart (planning helps me feel safe and in control) and I cannot plan a dang thing right now. I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow let alone this weekend or next month. I can’t book a trip that will be something to look forward to and help pull me through the hard times.
Many of us are trying to plan a return to work outside the home or looking ahead to September wondering what school will look like for our kids and whether or not it will be safe to send them.
All of this anxiety, uncertainty, and the seismic changes in our lives is an invitation for us to create the most courageous life we can imagine. To become the bravest version of ourselves.
Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. ~ Brené Brown
Right now we’re being asked to show up courageously without a plan. Despite our grief and anxiety. When everything feels messy and uncertain.
It isn’t easy but our vulnerability IS the path to bravery.
And right now the only thing we can control…is ourselves.
How do we do that?
1 – Be Honest
With ourselves and those we love and trust the most with how we’re feeling and what we need. This takes courage because it requires us to be vulnerable and stop being strong for everyone else or insisting that we’re “Just fine, thanks for asking”.
2 – Be Curious
Once we can name the emotion we can begin to scratch beneath the surface and ask questions with a compassionately curious, open heart. Why am I feeling this way? When have I felt this way before? What happened? Where? With who? Do I need to just sit with these emotions? How can I help them move through me (journal, meditate, move my body)? What do I need right now?
3 – Be Present
All fear is future-based. We can’t be fully present and anxious at the same time. What can I do to come back to the present moment and stay grounded? (Garden, meditate, dance, play with the kids, get out in nature, take a bath, do yoga) What’s the story I’m making up? (i.e. that we’re all doomed this fall/winter). Is it true? How do you know? Can we rewrite it to be more truthful and hopeful? (i.e. There might be a second wave of COVID this flu season. I know I can get through quarantine because I’ve done it before. I can do hard things. It will be easier now that I know what to expect).
4 – Check in with your values
In a landscape of shifting priorities, we can anchor ourselves to the things that matter most.
No matter what happens in our outer world (and globally) as long as you know your values you’ll know who you are and what you stand for.
Your values are part of your foundation, they ensure your decisions are firmly rooted in your integrity. They’ll raise your vibration energetically and, dare I say it, that of the planet because we all need more people vibing at this higher level. ✨
Taking the time to get clear on our values and what they look like also taps into our solar plexus chakra because it’s associated with confidence, self-esteem, power, and using our will for the highest good of all.
Which is why it’s the perfect time to check in with your Core Values. Everything you do moving forward should be aligned with your core values. These serve as your own personal GPS (when you’re not sure if you recognize the person looking back at you in the mirror) and make decisions easier (despite the uncertainty) since they determine how you want (and will) show up in the world.
We’ve all struggled through COVID whether in tiny everyday moments or events that we’ll remember for a lifetime. We’ve all encountered heartbreak and loss. It’s time to stop hiding. To stop pretending. It’s time to own our stories of struggle and learn to rise.
p.s. If you’d like to get in touch with your Core Values, download my guidebook here and get to know yourself on a whole new level (and take yourself out on a virtual ‘first date’).