Here’s one I prepared earlier … I wrote the bulk of this blog yesterday morning but was unable to post. My feelings change by the day but it feels important to share yesterday’s thoughts …
I’m in a dip – an emotional dip. One of those periods when the tears aren’t far away, when all it takes is a little nudge or a tiny trigger for them to start rolling gently down my cheeks.
It’s been like this for a few weeks now and I’m quite accepting of it. In the old days, I would have panicked. I would have tried to fix myself. I would have thought there was something terribly wrong with me and that I’d never be right again.
But I’m older and wiser now. I know these emotional dips are part of my life cycle. They are part of my journey. Part of me. And the good news is they usually precede a period of emotional growth. They are the growing pains that accompany a growth spurt.
I know what this dip is about and usually I bear my soul on this blog – but not when it breaks the anonymity of those I care about. So suffice it to say that another layer of the onion is peeling off. I’m experiencing a deeper layer of grief and loss – a new awareness about myself and my story, about the events that shaped me and made me who I am. It’s painful at times, but healing too. And I know it’s an important part of my process.
I’m not down all the time. There have been some ups in recent weeks, most notably the freedom and excitement I felt as I skirted around Old Harry rocks on a paddle board beneath clear blue skies and glorious sunshine this past weekend, or as I sat soaking up the rays with my fiancé beside me on an empty pebble beach on the other side of Old Harry as my kayak rested on the shore.
These were highs – moments when the little girl inside me skipped with delight, when I felt so grateful for everything I’d made happen over the past few years, so grateful for my entire story, in fact, because we can’t always appreciate the highs without the lows.
Perhaps this emotional dip has happened now because I’ve slowed down. How many of us run and chase and constantly do stuff in order to escape from the uncomfortable feelings that inevitably surface when we pause or sit still?
I certainly do.
I feel like I’m coming out of a period of intense activity. This year, I’ve updated and re-released my book, I’ve run my second retreat, sold out my third retreat this May, coached a number of clients on love and life and started taking bookings for my fourth retreat in October. I’ve hosted a London workshop in partnership with Psychologies magazine and I’ve run two workshops in London of my own. It’s been full on. Not to mention a ski trip, setting a wedding date and spending time with my ailing mum in Wales.
And now I have paused. Well, I say that but I have just finished a BBC radio interview on love, self-love and my book (click on this link and go to 2:03:46 to listen back) and I have a talk in Poole next Monday (see the end of this post for more details or click here). But beyond that, I have nothing in the immediate future to ‘sell’ (how I dislike selling, but it’s easier if I reframe it as serving or sharing).
And I think this pause has enabled me to feel, to really feel. To embrace the grief, loss and emptiness that I often carry around, despite all the wonderful stuff that’s happened in my life.
It’s funny. I often use the phrase, ‘we take ourselves with us wherever we go’ with my coaching clients and friends. It’s relevant for anyone who’s considering moving city or country. It’s important to remember that we can change our external environment but our insides stay the same – unless we do some work on them.
The same goes for being in a relationship. Being in love and engaged is wonderful. It brings a real sense of peace and security and my partner is a rock, an oak tree. But I am still me. I have taken myself into this relationship. I haven’t left myself behind and miraculously turned into someone else – someone resolved, sorted and always at peace. I need to keep doing the work on myself. I need to keep clearing the debris from my past. I deserve to keep caring for my inner child, loving her, nurturing her, helping her to heal. I deserve to keep working on my stuff. Yes, I still have the capacity to feel blue, down, depressed, empty, even though I have a wonderful man to walk alongside me.
Maybe it’s in this pause and in feeling my feelings that I am able to create – to return to this blog after an absence and to return to another book that I have half-written and would like to finish this year (although I have to be careful about taking on another project if my mind and body want to rest). And it’s in the pause and in the feeling that I’m able to prepare, mindfully and peacefully, for my May retreat so that I can be the most empathetic, perceptive and intuitive version of myself for the lovely women who have put their faith in me.
Pausing like this has its downsides, however. My energy is lower than it usually is – because grieving and processing take energy. Have you ever noticed how exhausted you feel after a really good cry? That means I’m not as present in my Love Ladies community or in my Being Real, Becoming Whole Facebook group as I’d like to be. And I feel uneasy about that. If I were more organised, I’d have a system. I’d have scheduled upbeat posts for these low-energy times but I’m not that organised and also that wouldn’t be real. It wouldn’t be authentic. I hope the members of my groups – I hope you, if you are in one or both of those groups – can forgive me. I know I’ll be firing on all cylinders again soon.
I also hope my pause and this blog can help you reflect on your feelings. I hope it can help you to slow down too and look inside. Is there anything you’re running from? Is there grief beneath the surface? Is there loss? Are you ‘using’ on frenetic activity to keep you ‘safe’ from your feelings, to numb out in some way?
Maybe the opposite is happening. Maybe you’re experiencing an emotional peak rather than a trough, and that’s wonderful. Enjoy it. Throw yourself into it. Enjoy all the energy you have. Soak up life. I know how that feels too and it’s a time to be relished. I’m looking forward to feeling that way again soon.
But if you’re running and hiding because you don’t want to feel, can I invite you to join me in a moment of slowness and stillness? Can I invite you to join me in seeking clarity about what’s going on beneath the surface and in connecting to whatever you find? Can I invite you to bring the darkness into the light?
The feelings won’t kill us. In fact, they’ll free us up to heal and to live wholeheartedly.
Thank you for bearing with me through this emotional dip. It’s an important time – one to cherish as it shows I’m in touch with my true self and because I believe it heralds good times.
As I write this, on a train to London with sun streaming through the window through the trees that line the track, I feel open, vulnerable and real. I feel soft. I feel light, relaxed and trusting. And then I close my eyes and breathe deeply and suddenly I want to cry. But instead of tears, there’s a smile. And behind the smile, there’s a knowing – a knowing that it’ll all be OK if I listen to myself and if I give myself the deep rest I know I need.
Maybe I’m coming out of it, out of the emotional dip. Maybe writing this blog helps. Writing has always been cathartic for me, after all. Freeing. As though I’m giving a voice to the truth trapped inside, as though I’m opening up my heart and letting the feelings flutter away like tiny butterflies.
Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for helping me to free my soul.
Go to www.howtofallinlove.co.uk for information on my book, love course, coaching and retreats.
I’m speaking in Poole, Dorset, this Monday, May 14th at the Live, Laugh, Love Ladies club about my journey from binge-eating political correspondent to beach-living love coach and author. Tickets here.
As I mentioned, my October seaside retreat is open for bookings – a few spaces have gone. I also have something cooking that I’d like to give you plenty of notice about – I am planning on hosting a How to Fall in Love retreat with yoga and meditation in Turkey in October 2019. If this is of interest, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you x