Four weeks ago, serious inflammation filled my chest and mildly formed inside my heart. The intensity of the symptoms set off a chain reaction deep in the well of my spirit. A metamorphosis had begun.
Here’s my story, and 11 self-awareness tips to help you through your own.
To be unable to take a breath easily is one of nature’s most terrifying symptoms. To have a weakened heart brings even more fragility. Both together are exhausting.
As I worked on deepening my relationship with my body and what it was going through, I simultaneously kept trying to find ways to support my recovery so I could return to work.
But my recovery kept slipping through my fingers.
And I could not work out why. When I went to press the GO button inside of me and connect to the power that supports me, this button, my Old Reliable, just wasn’t there.
The scary truth slowly began to dawn on me. Maybe that GO button was not going to come back. Maybe it was gone for good.
At this point, I started wondering if something else was happening inside me alongside this illness.
Had my soul chosen this as a doorway for an even bigger undoing than the already huge and challenging undoing taking place?
Maybe my soul chose this opportunity, when I am completely stopped in my tracks, to initiate a massive metamorphosis.
A kind of metamorphosis that takes no prisoners. One where, when you get to the end of it you’re grateful for it…but there’s certainly no gratitude for it in the meantime.
The root of the word metamorphosis is Latin, meaning “to be beyond shape.” This differs from the common understanding, “to change shape.” Dissecting it further, just the root Meta means “to be above, to have a higher view, to transcend.”
My metamorphosis was very much beyond shape.
It was all about relinquishing form, being willing to not know, to let go of the security of the self. I was to dissolve, to be lost, to forget.
The process took me to the liminal and the realms of deep trust.
And then, I finally reached the place of surrender.
My ticket to this stop was recognising that this beautiful soul power that I had cultivated, that had carried me through losing everything during COVID with border closures, etc… That soul power had gone and was not coming back.
It had been so creative, had built so much, given so much to so many people. I loved it. It was precious, generative and appreciated. And it was just…gone.
The moment I recognised that it was not going to return, I allowed myself to cry and be sad with the tender grief of loss.
Then, in that well of loss, I sensed that something deep and ancient was going to birth in its place.
My job was to be patient and wait in the dark.
This was not easy as the physical symptoms persisted.
And it was not easy with business deadlines, an overflowing inbox, students waiting and clients needing support.
Writing about it now, I’m remembering the un-ease, the confusion, the important internal command to stay close to “not doing” and to constantly drop out of my identity, to stop trying to hang onto it.
I listened. I fully surrendered trying to go back to anything I had before, and with it, I reached my next turning point.
I turned away from that power that was not coming back and toward what was to come — whatever that might be. In the soft, dark emptiness, I continued to wait. And I trusted that “it” would come.
I felt like a cicada under the earth, waiting for whatever signal was going to arrive and tell me if or how I would take flight again.
Then, at the right moment, I started to feel the flickers of tiny signals and the sweetness of what was coming. I could feel myself filling back up.
One thing I know about cicadas is that they await a signal, a call for something, from somewhere. They don’t know when it will be, but when it arrives, it’s clear. Instantly, they leave the dark earth, inch their way up a tree and push off their old shells.
I am somewhere on that tree now, waiting for the moment to push the shell off and reveal the new form underneath. To become the thing that I, like the cicada, do not yet know what it is to be.
To my total surprise, I received positive feedback from my students during this time. After not teaching for a full 2 weeks, I came to class thinking everyone would notice how unwell, pale and fragile I looked. But instead, they commented on how “changed,” “pure,” “filled with light” and “radiant” I appeared to them.
These loving words inspired me: this retreat under the earth, this time of metamorphosis, is taking me somewhere valuable and important.
I know countless people are going through their own metamorphosis around our planet right now. If you are one of them, I hope my tips below help you support your process with greater understanding and thus grit, patience and even reverie.
11 Self-Awareness Steps to Help You Through Your Metamorphosis:
1. When it begins, you won’t necessarily recognise it.
You might feel confused, scared or wonder what’s going on.
You might want to go back to what was.
This is all normal and part of the process.
2. Parts of you will object to the change and push to reject it.
That is okay and expected.
3. You will reach a turning point when you recognise that it won’t ease up.
This is when surrender happens, the acceptance that there is no going back.
This brings a special form of soothing, albeit a form that is not without grief.
4. At this point, I encourage you to tune inward.
Because somewhere in the quiet of who you are at your core, your essence, something in you knows that this process is trying to happen.
Getting close to the part that knows may be the central thing that guides you through this.
5. Staying in the state of surrender, you will start to drop your identity and dissolution of what “is” will come to the forefront.
Here, you will find less struggle, less distress, more allowing.
6. At some point, you will feel new grounds forming.
It may not have shape yet, but you can feel it in the dark and in the quiet.
7. On these building grounds, you are emerging, new, more liquid than formed.
Being liquid and not recognising the details is part of the emergence.
8. You may feel vulnerable and long for quiet, silence or nature.
Give yourself what you need.
9. Be kind to yourself.
Be tender. You are newly formed, morphed and softened.
10. Eventually, the energy and subtle form of what you have become manifest as movement and direction that carry you back into the world.
11. Enjoy the song that your new form sings!
May your metamorphosis bless you deeply, too. And if you would like to share about yours with me, please leave me a comment below.
Most importantly, know that you do not have to go it alone. If you desire private support, I welcome you to read about my private coaching practice, download the info packet and reach out for a free intro call with me.
With passion for your journey,