When everything falls apart, we are forced to stop. These moments are when we can become off balance and out of flow, forced to face things we have been ignoring.
Whatever you are going through be it a loss of job, family member or the end of a relationship. I encourage you to dig deep and know that everything is going to be ok.
Late last year I had one of those weeks where everything felt like it fell apart.
There was nothing in particular that happened to me. Reflecting it seems like more of the breakthrough I was waiting for. I went through many life changes in a short amount of time. Moving around the world, improving my mental health, ending a long term relationship, etc.
Maybe this moment was the first time I was ready to feel and release emotions or grief I had been gripping. At this time my feeling built to immense emotions, pain in my chest and a gripping so tight in my throat that I couldn't swallow. My body, mind and soul were releasing deeply buried wounds and emotions.
One day, in particular, I tried everything in the book. A Bath followed by a ice cold shower, good music, self-massage. I dragged myself out of the apartment on a walk but still felt like I was suffocating. I felt strong emotions and did not want to meet them. I couldn't get off my iPhone I was looking for distraction, escape- googling every fucking thing under the sun to stop me from feeling.
“Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
It was the first moment in my life where I felt like I had an anxiety attack.
I called my sister, and she told me to stop and move through it. Then I cracked. I took that deep breath my body had been craving and sat right in truth. This moment encouraged me to do what I should have done days before. I needed to stop and deal with what I had been avoiding. It was scary for a second but the most liberating exercise I could do.
I laid down on my yoga mat in surrender. Otherwise known as savasana I breathed into everything that I could feel and everything I didn't want to explore. It was like heartbreak yet beauty at the same time. At this moment I let my body be and witnessed the electricity rolling through my chakras. I allowed myself space to release and became present in the emotional pain. Once I did this, It passed. I was right where I needed to be and no longer felt like I was suffocating.
Be present. Sit in the now. Embrace all you feel and all you are.
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't get solved. They come together, and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
― Pema Chödrön
When you fall, there are a few things I believe you can do to nurture yourself.
1. Stop distracting, be present in the now.
Stop trying not to be upset just let yourself express what comes up. As human beings we are blessed to feel. Human emotion is a gift. We are influenced not to show our feelings and hold them in. To always be ok however all ways being happy is not attainable. The up's and down's of life are beauty and reality. You can often move bigger mountains when faced with uncomfortable emotions than you can when everything is going well.
2. Drop all expectations.
When you need to feel there is nothing you can do besides take time out to move through it. Call in sick and don't feel guilty about it. Don't go to the workout class, just let your self off the hook and be 100% ok with it. I sat on the couch in my PJs eating popcorn for two days, intermittently trying to de-puff my eyes with frozen tea bags. Oh, the comedy.
3. Create an action plan and step by step routine.
At an unstable time in your life, it's very valuable to create a stable routine. Start small. Set up some simple daily practices that can become your routine. Once you are done feeling all the feels. Its time to make an action plan to get everything back on track. Begin with a simple activity that can create a positive ripple. Refer to this blog post for some more helpful tools!
Make sure to take extra time for self-love. Go for a walk somewhere you love, see a film, get a facial or massage. Choose an activity that fills you up. If you don't know what things you can do to make your self happy its time to experiment and make that joy list!!
4. Share your story.
Don’t be afraid to tell others when you aren’t doing ok. don't be afraid to ask for help from those around you Sharing is healing. It’s very liberating and cleansing to be able to express feelings to another.
Today I am here to tell you that sometimes everything does fall apart. Your break down may be due to a series of uncontrollable events, or it may be immense emotional release like mine.
I'm here to tell you that everything will be ok. I know how much moments like this hurt but I need you to trust, have faith, be strong and breathe. I want to tell you that anything you are facing will pass. Try not to distract, be a warrior.
I highly recommend checking out the book “when things fall apart” by the buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. If you are interested in learning more about how our emotions affect our bodies and minds take a look at the documentary Emotion.