See if this sounds familiar to you. You decide to commit to making a change in your life. It may be changing a habit, embarking on a new venture or maybe it is changing who you are being. You know deep in your heart that it is what you want and it is the right thing for you or you wouldn’t have committed to it. You feel really good as you start taking the first steps towards what you desire. Then it happens!
Enter the shit storm! Everything seems to go wrong. Your once felt euphoria morphs into dismay and frustration. You become filled with fear about everything that could go wrong if you continue on this new path you started. You want to run away to avoid feeling the pain and discomfort. This is not what you wanted or what you asked for and you start doubting whether it was a good decision in the first place. Instead of moving forward, you stall or pull back and retreat, feeling so enmeshed in the grip of fear. How can this new path be the right thing when it now feels so awful?
Ever have an experience like this? I have, countless times and in the moment, it feels pretty revolting. I used to be consumed by the shit storms, paralyzed by fear, feeling like I wanted to flee. The very last thing I felt like doing was continuing to move forward towards my desire for fear that even more shit would hit the fan. I still have moments when I am unconscious to what is going on and get carried away by the fear but it happens with much less frequency.
So what really is going on? Bottom line….transition is uncomfortable! This saying really sums it up, “When one door closes, another one opens but it is hell in the hallway”. Transition is being in the hallway and yes, it can feel like hell on wheels. I remember telling my coaches in the past about how horrible the shit storm was and thinking “How can they be so calm? How come they don’t see how bad this is?”. Now I know that they knew something I didn’t know. They knew this was a normal part of the process. It was the breakdown before the breakthrough.
There are actual biological changes occurring at a cellular level. On a recent video , Todd Herman described what happens on a cellular level when we try to create change. Our cells are constantly receiving information and are replicating themselves. They are used to receiving cortisol (a stress hormone). The cells then want more of it so they send info up to the brain saying “give me more cortisol” and they get it by creating more stress in their lives. That’s why we still feel stressed even when we don’t think we are. Our cells are used to cortisol. So when we start taking steps towards improving ourselves, positive emotion goes through our bodies and the cells get bombarded with feel good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin instead. The cells start vibrating to change their receptor sites to receive these new hormones. It is this vibration that trips us up. It is the very cause of self sabotage and resistance. We attach our own story to the discomfort and interpret as “this doesn’t feel good, it must not be right for me”. This is when we pull back and stop moving forward to making the changes we desire. Right when our cells are making adjustments from receiving mostly cortisol to mostly serotonin/dopamine, we quit because it doesn’t feel good. This is the hell in the hallway. Change is happening and if we just hang in there and keep taking steps forward during this transition stage, transformation will happen. Our cells will want more and more dopamine/serotonin and less cortisol so we will start choosing more activities that lead us to release more of those feel good hormones instead of continuing to create stressful situations for ourselves. You can relax into the change now that you know the biological changes happening at a cellular level. Transition is literally a cellular adjustment period.
That’s the science behind it and it can be very helpful for people to have something that their logical minds can grasp on to. There is also another perspective that has helped me immensely. I can’t truly say that I am thinking about my cells when the crap appears. Here is the realization that has changed how I look at the storm. When we ask for something we really want by making a decision and a commitment to making changes, God/Universe/Source shows us everything that is in the way and has been running the show. We are being shown our patterning in our subconscious mind, what needs to be seen, healed and cleared before we can have what we really want and be who we want to be. The gremlins are being shown to us by a big ol’ spotlight shining on them instead of hiding out in our subconscious minds where we aren’t aware of them.
Amazing things happen when we can welcome and embrace the fears/doubts/discomfort because now that we are aware of them, we have choice. Without awareness, we don’t have choice and feel pretty helpless. Awareness brings choice and power and we get to decide what we do with the storm. We can continue to resist or flee (fight or flight) or we can recognize that we have an opportunity to really look at what has been running our lives and change it if we choose. We can continue to move forward in spite of the discomfort and find out for ourselves if we are really on the right path. We can gather our own evidence instead of believing the fear. When we resist or flee, we are choosing to believe in the fear instead of what is really true for us. Find out for yourself instead of taking fear’s word for it. I am so grateful for my coaches helping me through my transition periods because it can feel like a very torturous time. I still need help from time to time when I get caught up in the storm, and yes it still happens, but not to the same extent and not as often. I now believe that life supports me. Life has my greatest good in mind, not punishment or suffering or lack. What do you believe about life? Is it working for you? Do you want to change your beliefs? It is possible and I am living proof of that. If you don’t believe you can change your beliefs and thoughts, that’s just fear yipping at you:) Until next time, may you welcome the storms in your life and see them for what they really are – an opportunity to know yourself even more.