So, do you remember when you were a kid and you would get those “growing pains”- like when your body was literally growing so fast that it hurt? Well, I’ve been thinking that those pains don’t only pertain to kids. And they’re not only about physical growing.
The other day I was feeling kind of down, and I ended up realizing that it wasn’t really sadness I was feeling- it was fear. And I landed on the source of the uneasiness, which was that I am going through (and have been going through) so many changes, so much growth. I started to do some writing about it, and made a list of all the things that are different in my life compared to this time last year. I almost didn’t recognize my life!
I could more easily tell you the things that HAVEN’T changed than the things that HAVE; it’s a much shorter list. Basically, I still live in the same house, and see clients in the same office space. That’s about it.
Some of the changes have been things that I’ve consciously chosen and initiated; others, not so much. I recognize, however, that I created ALL of it, or at the very least CO-created all of it.
I’m not saying these are “bad” things. In fact, most (all?) of them are “good” things. Still, that does not change the fact that I sometimes feel scared. I am stepping into a bigger version of myself in so, so many ways. And sometimes it even feels surreal and terrifying.
When I am not conscious of my fear, it shows up as me feeling temporarily “depressed”. I woke up this morning, for example, in one of those states. From the moment I opened my eyes, I was miserable. I didn’t want to get up. I was tired. I didn’t want to face my day. Didn’t want to go to yoga, as I’d planned.
I know that just because I don’t want to do something that it doesn’t mean doing that thing is a bad idea, especially when it involves yoga. 😉 So I went. And for the first twenty minutes, I had tears rolling down my face. And then, seemingly out of the blue, (except it wasn’t, of course) I looked up from a pose and I saw the sunlight illuminating a beautiful, antique stone house through the window of the yoga studio, and I felt joy, wholeness, peace.
I am in the process of reinventing myself and launching a massive revolution in my life and in the world. I’m doing some radical shit over here! And sometimes, as with all births, contractions happen. This morning when I woke up I was experiencing one of those contractions. And then it passed, as contractions always do.
Every few days or so I have been experiencing these growing pains, these contractions, for a good couple weeks now. I used to call these experiences being depressed, which would result eventually in BEING depressed.
This time, I’ve decided to try something different. The status quo just wasn’t cutting it.
So, I’ve dropped the story. I’m NOT depressed. I’m periodically having some growing pains.
And I can minimize the duration of these pains by doing just that, dropping the story, and by doing a couple other things simultaneously. First, by giving myself some self-compassion. This is not the same as self-pity. I am not a victim of my depression-causing biology or of anything else. AND, I can be gentle with myself during these times. I can also do just what I did during yoga class today. I can be in the moment with my experience. Not distract myself with food, alcohol, drugs, sex (insert your favorite distraction here). Just BE with the experience.
My life right now in many ways is amazing, fun, joyful, energizing. Except when it’s not. I don’t feel fantastic 24/7. Pain is part of life. I remember when I was pregnant and reading books about childbirth. They said that labor “pains” are not real pain, since pain is an indicator that there is something wrong, and labor is a normal part of birth.
The illusion of my occasional “depression” is just that. It’s just a tricky way for my ego to try to get away with remaining in resistance. What are your growing pains showing up as?
Reminding both you and myself that there is in fact nothing “wrong” at all. Ever. As long as we remember to stay calm and do the yoga (insert your favorite way of being present here). ♥