I didn’t realize that this mourning process was going to take as long as it did. I was really hoping I’d be over it much sooner than now. But gentle unfolding and allowing means having faith that life IS unfolding just as it should be. Despite my desires to hurry it along, it is unfolding as it should be.
You may recall last year I was laid off from a job I loved for 20 years. Well, I loved it for 15 years. The last 5, I’d say, were a love-hate relationship. I found such safety and security being a long time, productive employee. I found great comfort in knowing my bank account would be replenished every two weeks. I found my ‘routine’ to be rather comfortable. And there were things I didn’t like… You know them well. We all do.
Then I heard these words, “your position has been affected by the reduction in force.” I didn’t realize when I wrote that MODAvational note in November 2015, what I thought would be a figurative mourning, turned out to be quite literal.
Let me back up to 2015:
July 28ish – We had just been informed about the impending reduction in force at work. The only information we were given was that 15% of the company would be affected.
August 1st – My family, some great friends and I went to Puerto Vallarta for a family vacay. We had a great time! We stayed in a great resort, on the 9th floor, with a great view.
August 2nd – We get a call from our real estate agent saying our offer to buy a new house – brand new construction – was accepted. AND we entered into an agreement to sell our current house.
Though I was enjoying our vacation, I couldn’t help but worry about what was going to happen with work and the housing situation. My mantra become, ‘I am awaiting confirmation of my continued employment.’
One night, after dinner, my hubby and I went back to our condo on the 9th floor, and while we were admiring the ocean view, a voice inside my head said, “Jump. Jump. Jump.” Very quietly and soft. I slowly backed up from the railing, sat down, and got curious. First, I centered myself, connected to my inner wisdom and just listened. I wondered why that voice inside my head was telling me to jump off the 9 story balcony. Let me set your mind at ease – I would NEVER have jumped. I’m afraid of heights, so I was a good distance back from the railing itself.
September 15th – I was invited to attend a meeting where my boss said, “your position has been affected by the reduction in force”.
Fast forward to June 2016. We went back to Puerto Vallarta. Same great resort, same floor, different condo this time. Again, after dinner one evening, while looking out towards the horizon, that voice was back. “Jump. Jump.” It said. This time I was sitting on the day bed, so I closed my eyes and listened. Being still is a new practice for me. I tuned in and listened intently.
It became clear that the old me had to fade away before the new me could come into being.
What I was hearing – that “Jump. Jump.” – was not meant to be literal. Instead it was a message of letting go of the old me, to make room for the new me to emerge. My old beliefs, habits and routines had to reach an end, before there was room for the new to emerge freely sans constraints from the past. I had to let go of the little bits of pain and anger that remained in my heart. I also had to let go of the notion that having a job, particularly that job, somehow made me a better person. Remember, I had already acknowledged that my ego was fed by working for that company, having that particular job and the direct connect to the executives who made things happen.
July 6, 2016 I was doing my private yoga practice with Megan. I was sharing with her what had happened in Puerto Vallarta the week before. While we were doing our work, she was sharing her wisdom with me, and then it happened. I felt the top of my head open up like a lid, and these words poured in, “You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.” They poured down the center of my face, down my throat and into my heart. I AM ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH.
And with those 3 words, the old me was extinguished.
I’ve been doing personal growth and development work for 15 years. I have been coaching others for 5, and still, this process took almost a year to complete.
It took time to process all the emotions. It took time to mourn who I was. It took time to create the new me. It took time give myself permission to let go of who I was.
I found three things were very important during this past year:
Making time to be still was paramount: Being still and quiet took some time to master. Sometimes I can be still for 20 minutes, sometimes 2 minutes. Nonetheless, we all have to practice what’s new to us in order to get better at it.
Being curious about everything I was feeling and thinking: This meant making it a priority to attend transformational retreats, learn from new gurus, taking on new healing modalities, reading books by authors who were new to me. In order to be cause in the matter of my own life, my learning had to ride shotgun!
Being connected with a personal mentor/coach and a very strong support system: My beloved Kari is still my coach, 13 years later. She has 20\20 vision into my blind spots and ever so gently guides me to see what lives in that space for myself. Megan, my dear yoga instructor, who taught me how to use Yoga poses powerfully to support what I needed most on this journey. My dear friends and family who can empathize with me, then remind me – move on, sista!
It’s when you’re still that your inner wisdom will speak to you. And when it does, you need to get curious about the messages. In order to do that, we need some reinforcement that we aren’t crazy and most importantly, that we are not alone.
These major life shifts take time to process.
Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be loving to yourself. And if you need someone to do it for you, call me. I will be all three for you, until you can do so on your own… Just as Kari did for me 13 years ago.
I am keeping the faith that my life is gently unfolding as it’s supposed to.