“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”
Henry Thoreau (1817-1862)
I took August off to recharge my batteries. After writing continually for three years on my new book and then articles to support it the last few months, it was time for a break. I didn’t go anywhere. I just rested more at home. For me, recharging my batteries involves periodic retreat from being in high performance. It allows me to then embrace gearing up again for a new cycle. Did you manage to get any down time over the summer?
As we enter mid September, my thoughts turn to my favorite season – Autumn, the season of change.
This season so fits with today’s topic – Preparing for the end of a cycle that is dying. Like the leaves in Fall, if we allow old parts of us to shed, to merely drop off, we can enter a new chapter without resistance.
In my last newsletter I wrote about the first stage of a LifeQuake, boredom. Today I am going to address the second stage – the death/preparation process for the severance from an old cycle of life. Some people respond to this stage by getting angry or frustrated and resistant that life has to change. Like a child who must face that summer is over and he/she is back in school, they refuse to face change. For others, it brings on grief and mourning and then there is the last group who become overwhelmed and confused by impending transition and become depressed. Any and all of these responses can trigger addiction issues.
Tomorrow we will commemorate the 8th anniversary of 9/11. We live in a different world since 2001. This was an example of how various people respond to crisis. Some take action to right the wrong that was done, some just complain, some mourn, and some turn to a bottle of pills or booze. There is no right way to prepare for change. There are however, more effective ways.
Robert came to me in the midst of Stage Two. He had put on some weight which for a successful actor on a hit tv series, can spell disaster. He and his wife had not had sex in a couple months. She had chronic bladder infections and kept their children in bed with them at night. Robert had experienced tremendous career success but was very unhappy in his marriage. However, he had small children at home and did not want to leave them. Trauma from his own childhood were uncovered. When he was four years old, his younger brother died and his mother never stopped grieving, so he was terrified of feeling sad.
Given that I work with dreams to transform the fear of change, I asked him to keep a record of them. He had a series of dreams whose theme was death. I counseled him to make no outer changes in his life. His only mandate was to release all judgments of his sadness and as the feelings came up, to breathe through them before he went in the kitchen to soothe himself.
As he spent more time just being with his feelings, anger started to emerge toward his wife. He requested that they seek marital counseling to deal with their lack of intimacy. She agreed. They came together and she openly admitted she was not prepared to make any changes. Eventually, Robert took action and filed for divorce but he first spent months learning to embrace all sadness from his childhood and the impending death of his marriage.
You might want to use the Fall season as a time to reflect on your own life. What is coming to an end that you have been avoiding facing? Do you need to make career changes, health habit changes, or not necessarily divorce, just re-negotiate the terms of your marriage? What feelings are coming up around this?
Allow for no outer change in the near future. Simply prepare through resting into the uncertainty and spending more time in stillness. If radical change is your destiny, you will need to conserve your energy so that your brain and nervous system is recharged and able to provide you with effective problem solving strategies when the time is right.
In my next newsletter, I will be addressing career change tips. In the meantime, look for signs of Fall. As you spend more time in reflection, watching the trees turn bright colors as they die is a great contemplation!
For those who wish personal consultation or to make direct contact with me, call:
Dr. Toni Galardi
“The LifeQuake Doctor”