I’ve been in a bit of healing crisis lately, one that has sent me to bed for several days to recover. As these passages often do, the symptoms showed up as spiritual, emotional, discomfort that then manifested into the physical. During the stress of a transitional period from one season to another, it’s natural to resort to old coping mechanisms. It’s not uncommon to feel restless, disconcerted, and cranky as a result. Symptoms of illness can also surface as we make ready for a new chapter in life.
I’m guilty of possessing a (sometimes) hyperactive inner critic. When I’m not feeling well, either emotionally or physically, often my first response is to wonder what I’ve done wrong. I will ask myself, “Did I eat the wrong thing or stay op too late or forget to take my herbs? Is there something I need to uncover or process or forgive? Maybe I need to meditate or pray or get outdoors more.” More often, however, I’m experiencing the natural response to a life passage.
This is exactly what happened to me this past week as I welcomed in the new and let go of some wounds of the past. My book is getting ready to go to print and this a HUGE step for me! I am simultaneously planning for a new season of growth and releasing of some old patterns and behaviors. This process has naturally brought up some old fears, self-doubt, and negative thought patterns.
As I battled what felt like a sinus infection and exhaustion, I wrestled–hard–with my harsh Inner Critic. I was overwhelmed by feelings that I could or should be doing something more, something better. Even though I knew I was undergoing a huge transformation, I’d forgotten to practice what I often teach my clients. I forgot to be gentle and generous with myself, to stop struggling and allow for a changing of the seasons.
“Sometimes your last resort is your best resort.” –Marianne Williamson
My resistance to my discomfort was exhausting and it soon showed up in my body. My sinuses were so inflamed even my hair hurt. I retreated to my bed, feeling alone and pitiful. Instead of judging my discomfort to be the result of some personal failure, this time I reminded myself it just might be a signal that a healing crisis is underway. So, instead of letting my unforgiving Inner Critic run the show, I asked, “What do I need right now? What is my body and soul calling for?” The answer was immediate, “Rest, support, and gentle compassion.”
Though I had many details to tend to in getting my book ready for print and an upcoming speaking engagement, I cleared my calendar for a few days. I also took a much needed media break and made an appointment with my healing practitioner. I supported my body by taking herbs and drinking lots of fluids.
Though asking for help does not come natural for me, I engaged in some loving self-care by texting a few of my close Mamma Bear friends, requesting their love and support. Within the hour I received loving responses back, offering prayers of healing and nourishing words. Another friend brought over some home made soup. Flooded with tears of gratitude, my exhausted spirit drank in the much needed nurturing, providing me with the strength to face old feelings of unworthiness and loss that had surfaced as a result of my commitment to finishing my book and releasing it out into the world.
Though the release of my grief and self-condemnation was intense, when I stopped resisting, it passed relatively quickly and soon I was feeling more like myself. I can be reassured that, though the process may be uncomfortable, it will pass if I surrender to the season at hand and don’t allow myself to become enmeshed in old behaviors and coping mechanisms.I can gently remind myself to enter into the change of seasons with a generous compassion, one that will welcome in a new period of growth.
Seasons of Reflection: How do you respond to uncomfortable feelings or situations? How to do engage in gentle self-care? What is your soul asking of you?