My Realization That I'm in This Phase of LifeJan 06, 2023
Earlier in December, I decided to participate in an event put on by the coach in the blogging Mastermind group I'm in.
I would describe it as a challenge to take an intensive look within.
I joined the challenge because I had been feeling a bit "stuck." Not in a depressive kind of way, but in more of a "lost" sort of way.
I felt like I was floundering.
I am sharing this and being vulnerable here because I'm 100% sure that I'm not the only woman in this community who has or is going through something similar.
I was super excited this past summer because I made the decision to fade out of my 25+ year career as a behavior analyst.
I was looking forward to devoting my time to creating content for Life Balance and spending time with family (especially those 5 little cuties who call me "Yammi").
But, truth be told, I was surprised at how easily I was able to be faded out. How I went from having a 12+ family caseload to 1 or 2 kids that I'm still a bit involved with.
Although I love my family, blog, and this community, I was also surprised at how difficult leaving my career has been for me internally.
The Process in the Challenge
Each day we were to figure out what we'd like to get "coached" on and create a self coaching model.
This entails looking at a circumstance, our thoughts around the circumstance, and reflect on how it is our thoughts that drive our actions, rather than the actual circumstance. We then could brain dump whatever else we want to and our coach would respond.
On the first day, I started with my unintentional model around my "stuckness." The circumstance was that I had stopped selling my program months before. My thoughts around it were things like, "I don't know where to go from here" or "I never finish anything I start."
Our coach responded with some follow up things to reflect on, which I began to do.
It is also of note here that on the first day I created what we call an "intentional model" as well. This is the model that represents the same circumstance but with the desired thoughts and actions around it. I got very excited about the intentional model, which is very common, because it's more positive than the unintentional. It has the same circumstance but alternative thoughts and actions that are typically more useful and uplifting.
The intentional model can be helpful, but, in my case it was deterring me from taking a real look at how my thoughts were affecting me.
The coach was gently ruthless in having me continue to look at my real life model. Why I was feeling stuck and confused.
I resisted this in my brain because it was negative. But, she continued to encourage me to work through it so that I would be aware.
Hmmm......much like what I do in here with you guys.
So, I decided to stop fighting it. I dove into the process.
What I Realized
Over the past couple of days with MUCH pushing and prompting for me to really look at why I was choosing to be stuck and what that was helping me avoid, here is what I realized.
I was sad. Plain and simple.
And I didn't want to face that.
As I continued to be coached through this process, I faced and verbalized that I was sad because:
- I had been fading out of my 25+ year career that I loved. With that career were work friends and client friends that I was no longer interacting with on a daily basis or even at all for some. I missed them! Along with the daily "social life" that I had each day and didn't even realize it.
- I'm entering this new phase of life shortly after my 60th birthday which brought with it all sorts of negative feelings that I am still unraveling even as I'm about to turn 61.
- Leaving my career to focus on family and blog feels fabulous to me. However, along with that is the realization that this is my final "phase." We often say that none of us ever really know how long we've got here, but the fact is, that as we get older, that statement becomes more and more true.
- I also felt some guilt about leaving my job. My husband was continuing to work and support us with no help from me. As I worked through this, he and I discussed it and he put my mind at ease.
Through the process, I faced the realization that, although positive, this was a change.
A major change. One that I had never experienced in my lifetime.
And one that I made because of the fact that I am aging.
As I write this, I realize that this is the first big change I've ever had to make due to aging.
The Biggest Surprise....
Was how FREE I felt after I went through that coaching experience. I felt as if a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders.
I didn't realize all that crap that I was carrying around by not really facing my feelings.
What it was doing to me, both physically and emotionally!
Perhaps most importantly, I'm giving myself permission.
Permission to read when I want to.
Permission to take the time to make taking care of my health a priority (walking every day).
Permission to get back to cooking because I have time to now!
Permission to write and create for this community.
Permission to just hang out with my grandchildren and enjoy them without worrying about anything else I should be doing.
And, as a result of this permission I've been granting myself, I am more present in my daily life than I ever have been.
I also realize (and admitted this to my coach) that this sadness wasn't just going to disappear.
It was going to go away and come back again throughout the rest of my life.
Now I'm aware of it.
So, when it does come back, I'm not going to push the feelings down and "busy myself" with chores. I'm going to face them, journal on them, feel them, and pick myself back up and continue to do the things that I love to do.
It's all part of being present.
When we're fully present, there's not only joy, there is sadness, anger, frustration, etc, as well.
And that's okay.
The coaching helped me to realize and, most importantly, face that I am in this new phase of life.
And the self awareness that comes with that is going to be so helpful for me as I move forward on this journey.