There have been (many) moments on my healing journey when I felt like I was losing my mind. To be clear, “losing my mind” felt a lot like hopelessness, stuckness, stagnation, fear, excruciating pain, betrayal, rage, bewilderment, exhaustion, confusion, and frustration. Fun, right?
There were moments I sought the council of therapists, spiritual directors, teachers, guides, energy healers, coaches, friends, family members, and practitioners in about 500 other modalities. That’s a lot of work. And it’s not over, because I’m still alive.
However, as a functioning adult, it’s not practical to stay 100% in the thick of it every minute of every day. Believe it or not, the laundry still needs to get done, and you still need to eat, and there’s a great big world that still wants to meet you and warm you with joy.
Over the last several years, I’ve discovered and cultivated a few ways to stay sane in the process of relentless healing.
Consciously pause and breathe.
I know this seems like a “duh” kind of statement, but it bears repeating and repeating. Two simple guidelines to make this practice more impactful:
- When you pause, don’t pause while staring at your screen. That’s not a pause. That stilling your fingers while remaining stimulated by whatever you’re staring at. Unplug your pause from every screen, device, and distraction.
- When you breathe, feel the breath move in your body. Even if you can’t chill out long enough to notice anything else, notice the sensation of breath moving in your body.
We hear this often without knowing what it looks like in practice. Prioritizing self-care is saying ‘no’ to the unnecessary and unfulfilling. If it doesn’t light you up or require your attention, it’s off the list. Prioritizing self-care is taking a break when you’re overwhelmed, exhausted, unfocused, or triggered. You don’t have to push yourself through that discomfort every single time. Step out. Take a break. Prioritizing self-care is listening to your body amid life and healing. Put her first and she’ll carry you through healing like a life raft. Our body is the landscape of whatever we’re healing, the physical manifestation of our woundedness, often times. It’s easy to see that and want to look away, ignore, repress, etc. Don’t. Be kind to your body whenever you can. She’s your ally in healing.
Learn Healthy Self-Comfort.
There’s a lot of talk about self-care in the personal development and spirituality realm. I believe self-comfort is equally as important. When you’re doing deep healing work, sometimes you need the body, mind, or soul version of someone holding you close, with genuine, agenda-less love, telling you that everything is going to be okay. You can do that for yourself, you can ask someone else, and you can discover new ways to experience self-comfort. Much like a fussy baby, I like being swaddled in a snuggly blanket. Sometimes I sit on my couch for half an hour, not doing anything except enjoying being wrapped up tight in a blanket. Other times it’s a delicious meal, laying on the grass, hugging a tree, hugging anything really, talking with your mom on the phone, going swimming, squishing homemade play dough… you get the idea.
If you’re still unclear on the distinction between Self-Care and Self-Comfort, Molly Mahar wrote a great post about it here.
Make Space & Take Time for Healing.
Trying to squeeze life-altering sessions, modalities, practices, experiences into a hectic, “I never have the time” life, is flat out ridiculous. If this is how you operate, constantly trying to condense your process, it’s going to be ineffective and unsustainable. That means whatever resources you devote to it are a loss, right out of the gate. Your body, mind, and energy need time and space (away from responsibilities and distractions) to integrate the healing you experience. The process of assimilation, shifting, release, realization, and growing more powerful is one that operates largely outside of time and space. Trying to fit it into a tiny slot on your calendar between picking your kids up from school and going to a networking event isn’t grounded or efficient. Make space and time and watch the rate and efficiency of your healing accelerate.
Distinguish Between Survival and Thriving.
There are moments when the lines can blur, but trust me, they are very different. Survival is a baseline, the foundational elements that keep you alive and functioning, able to communicate, to pay your bills, to care for your body, and sometimes throw your soul a bone. Thriving is another thing altogether. Speaking of altogether, it’s a common misconception that thriving means having it all together. It’s not. Thriving isn’t perfection. And thriving isn’t an image you’re projecting. Thriving isn’t about how many yoga classes or green juices or moments of manifestation or a dollar amount or any other outward sign.
Thriving is an inner, high vibration state of joy, trust, vision, and love. It’s levity amid chaos. It’s allowing yourself to be who you are and going to whole way. It’s clear boundaries and intentional self-care. It’s honoring your way, your rhythm, your voice, and your taste. It’s creating your own definitions for balance, success, wellness, and responsibility. It’s being kind to yourself (and everyone else) when you make mistakes, get off track, piss someone off, hurt someone’s feelings, or miss something right in front of your face. It’s patience with your humanity and devotion to your divinity. It’s changing the world by simply being who you are. It’s fortitude and courage and tenacity.
Practice Boundary Setting.
Lose or nonexistent boundaries undermine healing. You cannot experience wholeness without boundaries. The depth of your healing is directly connected to the strength and clarity of your boundaries. If this is an area that you need some support in, click here to download a free copy of my Chakra Boundaries guided meditation.
Ask for Help Before Asking for Help is Your Only Option.
Most of us have been here before. You tough it out until you’re at your wits end. There’s no award for toughing it out. There’s not medal at the finish line of denial. Sometimes there’s panic, or pain, or frustration, but no pay-off. If you’re struggling, ask for help. If going it alone feels like shit (and it usually does), enlist help. Hire someone to support your journey that is 100% committed to your process.
And last, but possibly most important:
Allow the Unexpected.
Your healing process won’t look like anyone else’s. There’s no formula, standardized guide, quick fix, or modality that’s suited to everyone. If something doesn’t resonate, let it go and move on. There’s no obligation here. Only your inner voice trying to speak amid the clutter of thought. Your path is your own. Your needs, desires, and trajectory require unique fulfillment. So instead of sifting in vain through every magic formula, recognize that the map for healing, or whatever you’re in the midst of, is already inside you. Let it rise to the surface. Let it speak. Keep it simple.
If you’re still reading, I’m guessing there’s something you’re in the midst of mending. I’d love to help. Click here to schedule a free exploration call.