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Growing Back Stronger: 5 Reminders as We Return to Our Changed World Now.

You can out the facebook live where I talk about this blog (& get into the feels)

A few weeks ago I went to my first full family gathering in over 6 months. Normally family gatherings are my jam. Sure, there’s the usual family dynamics to deal with but for the most part I really like getting together with everyone.

That said, when my sister-in-law texted me to make a plan I felt instantly anxious. I started to worry that family members were judging me & felt panic in my chest. Quite honestly my body was ‘on guard’ for days leading up to & throughout most of the get together.

But.. there was no logical reason to feel this way...

Sound familiar?

Several of my friends & clients have shared their struggles with re-entering life ~ a felt sense of being on edge, not wanting to engage, or feeling anxious in scenarios when there isn't a tangible issue.

It's frustrating & perhaps disheartening but it also makes sense.

The reality is that for many of us we aren’t quite the same person that we were 18 months ago… and our world has changed.

As we return to more 'normal' activities we are inevitably faced with those emotions, relationships, & inner states that have been fractured, compartmentalized , or are still being process.

The new 'normal' is still finding it's footing.

So how do we show up for ourselves & each other in a world that has been changed?

I’m not going to act like I know the answer to this question (only you do) BUT I would like to offer 5 gentle reminders that may support you in re-engaging & returning to life from a place of presence, honesty, & connection.

Reminder 1: Begin Where You Are Now

It can be easy if not habitual to compare ourselves to how we use to be. But, the reality is we are in a different place then we were in February 2020.

Where are you now?

Can you give yourself permission to be here. Permission to be a little anxious or nervous. Permission to take a little longer to sort things out or to need a little more time before getting back into the swing of full social engagement.

This isn’t about coddling or enabling our less supportive behaviours. It’s about being honest with ourselves about our emotions, our mental health, our fears, & our excitement.

When we can meet ourselves where we are forge a path forward that honours our lived reality without bypassing the process. I’ll be honest it might suck a little or be uncomfortable but meeting & engaging with ourselves in this way will likely serve us the most in the long run.

Reminder 2: Anchor

What makes you feel safe & free to be yourself? You may have a practice of meditation, go for walks, or just really enjoy snuggling on the couch with your dog & a great movie.

As life get’s going & we come back together it's still important to consistently anchor into those places that feel safe & comfortable. These moments help us regulate our nervous system & rebuild our resilience & capacity.

If you’ve taken time away from those activities that anchor you such (i.e. meditation, yoga, journaling, etc) it’s also normal to feel hesitant about starting again. You might remind yourself that grace (god, spirit, higher self, nature) doesn’t judge us for stepping away. Instead we are always welcome to come home to ourselves no matter how far we've strayed. And... if we need a little help, that's okay too.

Reminder 3: Go Slow

This is not a time to rush. In growth there can be discomfort, grief, & confusion. Naturally our impulse may be to rush through it ~ to ‘fix things now’, ‘do things now, & ‘get back to normal.’ But, my guess is that if there's been an internal shift & you are reading this blog that you actually desire to build back intentionally ~ to take the time to weave your values & awareness into your choices.

It’s okay to go a little slower. To take the time to sense into your body & breath. To request space before jumping in. It’s okay to go at a pace that allows you to cultivate that sense of inner steadiness & grace.

Reminder 4: Play

Things can feel pretty intense these day ~ climate events, ongoing Covid news, social movements… it can be a lot.

The idea of play may seem selfish or superfluous yet is such an important aspect of our well-being. Play elicits the social engagement part of our nervous system. In this state we can move our emotions, access our pre-frontal cortex, & process our experiences through the body. Hang out with people who make you laugh, play with your kids & pets, be a little silly sometimes & you might find that when the serious stuff needs to be addressed you have greater capacity to meet it.

Reminder 5: Listen

Listening is a whole body experience. It’s different that analysis. Listening does not require a response, an explanation, or a story. To listen is to take in your experience trough the whole body ~ to feel your sensations, hear words & sounds, & to be impacted.

When we take to listen ~ to our self, to our loved ones, maybe even to those relationships that have become fractured over the last while we demonstrate respect & are better able to met, celebrate, or repair our relationship to self & others.

Closing Thoughts

The world has been changed. Each person has a story, a reflection, & their own process to move through. It’s my personal belief that if we allow ourselves to come to terms with this time we can rebuild in a way that offers greater care & support to one another. We can be changed for the better & come to recognize how sacred the gift of this life, this planet, & each other truly is.

About the Author

Amy Thiessen is an international teacher, coach, & musician who focuses on helping individuals connect to their confidence, purpose, & self esteem through voice & communication. Offering a holistic approach Amy helps individuals uncover & overcome their unique blocks around voice & communication, connect to their self esteem & purpose, & ultimately express themselves in a way that is empowered & impactful.

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Your emphasis on meeting ourselves where we are is a powerful reminder of self compassion. Recognizing our current state and allowing ourselves permission to feel and process is truly liberating.

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