Our Real Work: Jess Ryan, MS

Coaching and consulting. Something's calling. It's your life.

What to do when you are in the shi…


Shift.  (Granted, shifts in life often go hand in hand with feeling sh^%#ty.) So, what do you do when you are smack dab in the middle of one of these shake-ups?

ORW blog transition pic

And I’m not talking about the random bad day, having low self-esteem, someone took my parking spot, or sat in my chair kind of change-ups.  I’m talking about the big ones: break-ups, illness, death and even seemingly good transitions like births, buying a house, moving, going to school, new jobs.  Periods of time that reconfigure how we define ourselves in this world.

The times that cause us to ask:

  • Why?
  • What is the point of this?
  • Who am I?
  •  Is this where I’m supposed to be?
  •  And if you are me in these periods of time… WTF??!

Shifts or transitions in life are…disorienting, to say the least, especially the internal component.   No one can “see” this part and no one can do the internal work for you.  People can bake you casseroles, help you move boxes, babysit your child, offer advice, but they can’t find your peace over the loss of a loved one, make you believe that you are a whole person outside of your job or the size of your house, or reconfigure your mental insides.  That’s your work.

And, man.  It’s not easy.  I’m not going to lie.  There are no quick fixes or magic answers.

So.  What to do? What to do?

1. Go through it.

No point in getting in the stream and paddling against the current.   It’s exhausting and you don’t get anywhere – except tired and frustrated.

What happens if you give up the struggle a little and go with it?

2. Take care of yourself. 

First.  Meet your basic needs.  Sleep, food, shelter.  Second. I’m a proponent of seeking out the help you need when the sh*&^t is hitting the fan– whether that be movers, therapists, life coaches, or the neighbor kid.  (Each hired for their appropriate purpose.  Nine times out of ten, you don’t want the neighbor kid as your therapist. Unless he’s actually a therapist.) Make your external load a little easier so that you can…

3. Take care of your Self.

This is big…and most people aren’t sure what I’m talking about.  Hang with me here…  It doesn’t mean eating all of your favorite comfort or health foods, getting pedicures, or going to the movies.  Those things are nice and do help you feel better temporarily when things are sh#$%ty.  So, by all means, do them.  However, this is not the same as caring for your big S Self – the part of your spirit that is actually in the thick of things, the part of you that is reconfiguring and redefining itself.  Don’t get me wrong, a good haircut can do wonders for your self and can even be an expression of your Self, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say you are bigger than your hair.  This requires you to take care of the parts of you beneath the surface.

Something you can do (aside from hiring a professional to aid in this Self nurturing) is find your breath and spend some time with your Self.  Journal, go for a walk in nature by yourself, meditate, and make space for whatever the deeper part of you is trying to figure out.  In the middle of a giant shift we often default to filling our time, our bellies, our social calendars in an attempt to not feel or listen to what’s happening under the surface. It can feel uncomfortable.  However, the deeper part of you is not as scary as you might think.  Trust me. The bigger part of you is expanding. Make space for it.  You’re going to want to hear what it has to say.  Because it will help you…

4. Remember your Self

You are an amazingly brilliant spirit…who might feel a little jangled by life at the moment.  But, your place on the earth, at this moment means something.  The fact that you are alive means you are sacred and this “shift” is just that.  A shift.  It is not going to last forever.  When it’s all said and done it may even bring you into stronger alignment with your truth.  It may allow you to bring the most authentic part of your soul, your gifts and contributions into your daily life.  That is our truest work.  To live this life like it matters and we matter.  Because we do.

For those of you have been in a physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual shift, I’d love for you to share, in the comments below,  what you did to weather the transition?



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