On Starting Over
These days, the world speaks to me in songs.
One that I can't stop playing, a country/folk song I never thought I'd catch my rap-affinitied self listening to, is called Starting Over by Chris Stapleton. It hits just right.
There is a time when you know you must start over. Create a new you. Leave. Find a different circle. Do the work to heal your body, or heart. Love again. Go after that dream. Get out as fast as you fucking can...
Maybe it's in your relationship, your career, your health, your setting, or your soul.
You hit that sticky-sweet spot of knowing that something needs to change.
Retreats stir up and ignite buried desires for change. This is intentional in the container of a well-run retreat. So, we talk about how to use our new insights as fuel to create the life we want.
Knowing that there is a process to transformation can be helpful when making sense of our new beginnings.
Transformation happens in stages:
Satisfaction - Life is going as usual
Dissatisfaction - You start to get triggered more regularly
Emotional Threshold - Pain or desire becomes a must, and is no longer just conceptual
Moment of Insight - You notice a sign, have a new idea, or change to make
The Opening - You take action to claim this new identity of yours. You say to yourself "I'm never going back to..."
Often, by the time you're ready to listen to this felt desire, it can feel like an affront. You find yourself on the brink of a choice that can change the course of your life and perhaps others around you, too. Do you step into it? Take it on? Start again?
Or do you pull back. Settle with what's before you. Wait for the next time your emotional threshold for pain has been pushed to the limit, and you see the opening for change once more?
Each new beginning requires a different answer and timeline, no one knowing its pace but you.
Starting over is the work of Goddesses and Gods. It is Herculean in effort, the underground work of winter to bring forth the explosive birth of spring.
For some decisions, you may be below ground for years before you can burst forth. And this is just fine.
Whether you're wrestling with starting over in a large or small way, change requires tremendous courage. Living consciously means being ready to evolve, even when it feels hard. And we can't know of the life we didn't choose, the choice we didn't make. Regret does little for us in the long run.
As Cheryl Strayed says: "I'll never know and neither will you of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore."
To you and all your courageous new beginnings,