Positive thoughts, affirmations, and new behavioral systems can all help with personal development.
They provide new energy to an old life. They provide inspiration to live in a new way. They make us feel good about our lives.
At some point though, our soul wants us to stretch beyond our current life. We feel pulled in a new direction. We become tired of our old fears. We begin to desire and dream of change. We feel the fear, but we’re compelled to change regardless. We begin to want change more than we want to stay as we are.
We Won’t Feel Ready
We may never feel ready. But one day, we will be sick of our own sh*t and tired of the shadows holding us back. One day, our desire to move forward will be greater than our fear of doing the work.
That’s when it’s time to do the work. When we’re compelled to, drawn to, and pulled towards change. When we know it’s time to work on that one area of our life that needs it, the shadow. That conditioning in our mind that plays over and over, that fear that holds us back, that self-doubt or lack of trust—it needs work.
When it’s Time
When it’s time, we will be able to look at the shadow, conditioning, fear, doubt, or lack of trust—with honesty. Feeling it and understanding it in a new way. And then we will be able to dissolve our resistance to it and do the work.
The work can be painful, hard, and upsetting. It can also be easier than we thought, healing, and freeing. It can also be the most rewarding work we will ever do. Because it will help us peel away the layers that aren’t us, freeing ourselves to be who we are supposed to be.
Hold Space to do the Work
When it’s time to do the work, we should find someone or find people to hold space for us. People who will honor our experience without judgment. People who will hold us as we go deep into the shadow. People who will allow us to scream, cry, grieve, and laugh. Sometimes all at the same time.
We may want to tell the people in our life that we’re going through some emotional work. Do this so that they understand a little better when our emotions are on the surface, or when we react in a strong way, or when we need to be alone. It’s easier to mention it to them before, rather than apologize for it later.
If we don’t have that someone, we can hold ourselves without judgment and care for ourselves as gently as possible. We can hold ourselves gently as we peel the layers and expose our tender, vulnerable inner self. We can hold ourselves gently as we experience the emotions that we held onto for so long.
Self-care is not an option while doing the work—it’s part of the process. Emotions get stuck in our body and when we do the work, we may have physical symptoms. We must care for ourselves gently as we move through the process. Take baths, stay hydrated, get rest. Be gentle, and always without judgment.
Be Brave and Trust
We should trust ourselves to know when it’s time. Trust ourselves to go deep and shine light on the shadow that is no longer working for us. Trust that this process works and that we are doing what we need to do to move forward in our lives.
Be brave and trust the process of peeling the layers, exposing our shadow, and processing it. Allow it. Enjoy it even when it’s challenging. Remind ourselves that we are worth doing the work.
Feel All the Feels
Doing the work will unlock emotions that we have resisted feeling and are likely stuck in our bodies—that’s a good thing!
Humans are emotional beings. We are designed to feel. We aren’t designed to bottle up our emotions. Emotions are energy, and our energy is meant to flow.
Feeling emotions is allowing the energy to flow which unlocks us from our past conditioning, fear, or lack of trust. Let the emotions flow. Feel all the emotions. Feel all the feels.
And When We Have Done the Work…
We will have grown in confidence and realized a new level of resilience. Our energy will shift. We will have created a sense of space, like walking out of a dense forest into a clearing and taking a deep breath.
We will have a new understanding and new learning takes place. We will find it easier to move forward in our lives having freed ourselves from the blocked energy flow. We will find it easier to be in the flow of our lives.
We will have changed which is exactly what it was time to do.
And then we will also know when it’s time to work on the next shadow.