Stripping Down Naked

The last month or so has been one of the hardest months I've had to face. 

Things like the podcast, my side-hustle work, my social life, health, and pretty much everything was put on hold. 

I'm not writing this to divulge intimate details about what happened, but I am here to share with you what I've learned... so far at least. 

Often times we project into the future. We make plans. We believe so strongly in those plans that we start to build our lives around them.

Then, life is clicking along, and all of a sudden... BAM! Everything changes in a white-hot instant. 

We're shocked and find ourselves saying "WTF?! WTF!?! WTF!?" to the universe. 

"Ummm excuse me, but I was going this way and you kind of are cramping my style here."

With this recent life change, I have been thrown into the depths of darkness. And when you're in the darkness and your life has taken an unexpected turn, it can feel like you will never ever get out.

Despite your logical brain reasoning with you. Despite what your family and friends tell you, you are CONVINCED that this will be your life, for the rest of your life.

And I'm not here to tell you that either. Because if you are in the darkness you don't want to hear that. You just want things to go back to the way there were.

So why is it so fucking uncomfortable?

Change means switching gears. It means stripping down to your naked self and reevaluating. 

And it's not easy. In fact, it can feel like you're getting raked over the coals of life. You come out feeling burnt, broken, bruised and like you've lost all care for what happens to you next. 

But, it is in the rawness stripping down that we then come in contact with a very deep connected part of ourselves. 

We're naked. Totally exposed. 

It's from here that we can then begin to rebuild. Which can be an extremely scary and daunting thing. Especially when you feel so deep in the hole that the thought of climbing out, let alone rebuilding seems next to impossible.

And for those of you who find yourself in this place right now, to you I would say, let yourself be there. Let yourself feel the gravity of the situation. Write about it, talk about it, reach out as much as you need to, ask for support, allow yourself to be needy, and the number one thing is to be gentle with yourself. Don't judge yourself for anything that goes on during this time. 

You are raw and exposed. Now is the time for compassion, not judgment. 

At some point, most likely very slowly, you will get tired of feeling like this. You'll pick your head up and if that's all you can do that day... that's ok. Go slow. Be loving. And most of all trust that where you are is exactly where you're meant to be. Burns, bruises, and everything else. 

After a while, you'll pick up your head and then you'll sit up fully, maybe you'll stand up, and maybe eventually you'll take a baby step or two. Maybe some days you'll find yourself laid out on the floor feeling like you're back at square one. 

That's ok too.

The important part is to trust and be patient with yourself. Treat yourself as if you were the 7-year-old version of yourself. Be tender, be loving, and be kind.

To get stripped down to nothing is hard, but find solace in the fact that the universe is always working in your favor. It has given you a contrasting experience because the road that you were walking down was no longer the right road for you. Trust in that. 

Start to focus on the things that make you feel good. Even if it's something small like a warm cup of calming tea in the morning, or the way the breeze makes the curtains float around the windows. 

Focusing on these things won't make you feel instantly amazing, but it will make you feel a tiny bit better in that moment. And if you can spend your days looking for those little things that make you feel good, you're well on your way.

Now, this isn't to say you should avoid your feelings. In Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance, she talks about allowing yourself to sit with, and allow all of your feelings to be there. She talks about saying "this too" when the uncomfortable feeling arises and just letting it be there. Welcoming it and not trying to push it away.

If you have to cry, get mad, or just sit there in silence that's just fine. Just be with your feelings and let them be there. Or, as someone once said to me "if you don't face your feelings they will go down into the basement and start lifting weights". They'll just come back with more punch and power and lay you flat on your arse the second time around. 

Also, take solace in the fact that feelings are temporary. None of them are sticking around for the long-term. Both the good and bad. It's just part of the human experience. 

Honor yourself and where you are, and when the time is right, start to focus on the joy that is rebuilding your life. Start to think about all the things you really want to do. Get in alignment with your soul, and start to make plans that excite you. Maybe you've always wanted to try a dance class, or learn a language. Whatever it is, plan it, think about it, dream about it, and take steps towards all of it. 

Often times the best gifts in life come hidden in a pile of shit. I have to remind myself of this on the daily. And sometimes even minute by minute. 

Don't trust your thoughts. Remeber what Gandhi said...

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.”

So be mindful of the chatter in your mind. Remember that you can choose how you will look at the situation. Also, remember that the monkey mind is just that, a fucking cheeky monkey. Don't trust it. 

So to those of you who find yourself in a dark pit type of situation, I raise my giant glass of champagne to you and say cheers, you naked and brave mother F*cker. I tip my hat to you. 

You got this.

Sincerely your host,

Katie B