Do you feel like a blank slate at the moment? Like everything you knew and used to do has been reset somewhat and you don’t quite know where you are going?  I’ve been feeling like this myself for the last 6 months or so and I want to share my experience to give insight and hope, and help you understand the power that exists in such a state.

A few months ago I stopped working as a doula after ten years in this role. A period of intense discomfort followed. Now things have mellowed a bit but I still feel some low level of unknowing that makes me feel rudderless and unsettled. Patience isn’t my strength, and my ADHD brain functions at the speed of knots, so it’s difficult for me to accept a period of what feels like fallowness.

However, having been through this process many times in my life, I recognise the signature of power and new beginnings. This time it feels softer than the forced situation that I experienced in 2019Maybe it feels softer because this time this is a crisis of my own doing. Nobody booted me out of my position. I chose to remove myself from my current role, which means that energy feels very different. 

Last Autumn I had a realisation that I needed to step out of doula work in order to be able to realise my next vocation, which is to help people connect and lead from the heart instead of from the mind. The scary bit is that I had to step into the void in order to let this process happen. The other scary bit is that I do not yet know what the offer will actually look like.

This time I chose to initiate the phoenix process myself. The rebirth is slower than I expected. Some days I feel calm and trusting in the process. Some days I feel the power of the void. Some days I feel irritable and frustrated. I want it to happen NOW! Yet something in me know that this isn’t the time yet, and that I have to spend some more time in the strange in-between (which is very similar to waiting for labour to start). Some inner wisdom knows that there is no point in trying to push water uphill. I need to surrender to the flow. Maybe that is part of the lesson I need to embody in order to progress to the next step.

The process is like a train going through a tunnel, you cannot skip it, get out before it is finished, or speed it up, lest you’ll end up missing out on the lesson and have to go through it again until you get it. I guess it is easier because I’ve been there before and I have the insight and perspective of knowing that I’ll come out from the other side eventually. It doesn’t mean that it’s not challenging at times, but at least this time I have awareness of what is going on inside of me when I get frustrated.

If this is what’s happening for you too, right now, I am not surprised because I feel that many of us are going through this accelerated growth at the moment. I see it around me, and in many of my friends. It’s a bit like when you’ve just had a baby and your old life don’t fit anymore. And you don’t know who you are anymore. It’s like you’re been broken into puzzle pieces and they cannot yet be assembled again.

When you feel like a blank slate, this is because in order to grow and process things and rearrange the puzzle pieces, you have to let them go for now. So it can feel like everything you’ve learnt and done is no longer relevant. It can feel very unsettling.

I’ve been feeling for some time that I no longer want to teach most of the things I’ve learnt from others, but rather create my own teaching from scratch and from my own unique experience, and help others do this for themselves. At this moment in time, we no longer need gurus but get insight from our inner knowing. 

Last year I tried this out for the first time by creating a workshop about running mother blessings. I purposefully avoided looking at anybody else’s teachings, or read any books, and created the course for my own knowledge alone. People who attended the course and had already trained with me said it was the best course they had attended. I since made this knowledge into an online course

I’m ‘blank slated’ about other things I used to teach too. I no longer want to teach Reiki, but rather something else entirely new, which would be more uniquely tailored and individual form of intuitive healing. 

It is tempting to feel that I have learnt all these skills for nothing, and that I am wasting all these years of experience. Except I know that, when the time is right, the right pieces will reassemble themselves in the right order (and maybe some pieces will no longer be there and that’s ok too).

I’m at the cusp of the menopause which is a rite of passage and transformation of its own. And I find it fascinating that I left science and started working as a doula exactly when my perimenopause started, and that I’m doing a similar huge change as I near the end of the process. I’ve also only recently learnt that the process led me to tip fully into ADHD when I was only borderline before.

Perimenopause in some ways feels quite similar to puberty (although the changes are less visible externally and the energy is quite different). In the movie Inside out, a young girls’ emotions are represented by 5 personified characters who lead her brain. As she goes through puberty some parts of her brain disappear and new ones grow. I like this image (in fact I think I may watch the film again). Research tells us that this isn’t just figurative as brain cells do die in a “pruning” fashion during puberty and the menopause (a process called apoptosis).

When parts of ourselves no longer serve us it can be difficult to let go. It can feel like we need to grieve too, very much as we do during other identity transformations such as puberty and new motherhood.

If this feels true for you now, I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Here are some of the people/books I enjoy and have found that provide supportive insight during times of transformation:

  • Lee Harris, an energy intuitive who provide a free monthly energy update on YouTube
  • Pamela Gregory, an astrologer, who provides a free monthly update on YouTube

Books (I often listen to audiobooks whilst I drive or cook):

  • Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser
  • The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle (I have read this one several times)
  • All the books written by Brene Brown (I’m a fan), and especially Braving the Wilderness
  • Energy Speaks by Lee Harris
  • Belonging By Toko-pa Turner

Practises that help me to process my emotions and stay grounded

  • Placing my bare feet on the earth
  • Year round wild water swimming
  • 5rhythms dancing (a form of movement meditation, where you simply move to music according to what your body wants to do)
  • Shamanic drumming

You and I are the Phoenix. We too can reproduce ourselves from the shattered pieces of a difficult time. Our lives ask us to die and to be reborn every time we confront change—change within ourselves and change in our world. When we descend all the way down to the bottom of a loss, and dwell patiently, with an open heart, in the darkness and pain, we can bring back up with us the sweetness of life and the exhilaration of inner growth. When there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self—the self that is whole, the self that is enough, the self that no longer looks to others for definition, or completion, or anything but companionship on the journey. This is the way to live a meaningful and hopeful life—a life of real happiness and inner peace. This is the Phoenix Process.” Elizabeth Lesser, broken open.

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