Doors close. Doors open. And yes, it can be hell in the hallway.

Hell in the hallway.

You know that saying? The one that says:When one door closes, another one opens. But it can feel like hell in the hallway.

Yes that one.

I’ve been in what feels like a dark, chilled, unfriendly hallway for the last ten — no, eleven — days now. And it’s been awful.

My housemate gave notice on the 13th, and I’m on a clock to find a new place.

Hell in the hallway is a true description, but I’ve done enough work on myself to realize that much (all?) of the hell is of my own making.

You see, I have a lot of thoughts that are loud in my head and that keep me stuck in my familiar state of negativity. Sound familiar?

I am much more skilled at retaining the fear and negativity, and hanging out in them, than I am in embracing and wrapping myself in the good and juicy possibilities that arise.

  • I tried to negotiate with my current landlord, got myself informed of my rights, and spent a ton of energy trying to get things to go the way I thought they should.
  • Once I realized I couldn’t stay here — after receiving the certified letter announcing the 25+% rent increase — I began to look at places, and I can describe in detail the horrible, awful, creepy places that cost more to rent per month than I pay now by 25% or more.
  • My financial realities made me realize that spending a ton more on a new place in which I can live, work, and thrive makes zero sense.

I got really scared. And the fear’s invitation was irresistible. I couldn’t resist it. To the point that I was ignoring the sweet, clean, and clear possibilities that came my way.

These are the three most important tools that helped me let go of the fear and return to a place that has some ease in it.

  • Self-compassion. I have this mental image I use of putting my arm around myself in a loving compassionate way (like I would with my daughter, or a cherished friend), and saying something soothing and full of empathy. I often will cup my cheek with my hand with the most loving touch I’ve got and send that love to myself.
  • Rest and restorative practices. Get enough sleep. Eat (for the first time in my life, I am not eating enough). Meditate even if scattered. Journal even if it feels yucky. Walk and practice tai chi even if preoccupied. Play my favorite music and sing loudly and dance around.
  • Remember that my fear is a thought, and that thoughts aren’t real, and that this thought too shall pass, just like they all do. The concept of innate resilience is saving my ass once again. (See Molly’s quote below).

Moment by moment, we live in the feeling of our thinking, not our circumstances. Our resilience, wellbeing, and creativity are innate, not circumstantial. It doesn’t always feel this way; we all get caught up in the illusion of our thinking from time to time. But the more you cultivate your awareness of your fundamental, innate okayness, the more you will come to see through the ups and downs of your thought-generated experience. — Molly Gordon

This transition has brought me to my best coaching work ever.

My level of compassion is up; and the look on the face of my clients’ tells me that it’s just what is needed as they walk through the hallways they’re in right now. I have room for one or two more even now as I begin to dismantle, pack, and move. Check it out: Book a no-strings call and let’s see what’s meant to be.

Hope to see you on tomorrow’s Moon Circles call.

Once you sign up, you get membership in a secret Facebook group where you can join the conversation, get support, listen and be heard.

What’s your go-to practice when your dealing with those top-ten transitions? When you’re feeling like it’s hell in the hallway? Please let me know; leave a comment.

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Enough. Basta. Dayenu.



I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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  1. I chant….a lot. I always have a current running through my head. Usually neutral mind or the chant for miracles.

    Thanks for your openness.

    Love and blessings

  2. Sue, although I am not a client of yours, I lurk and enjoy what you have to say. The last 4 years of my life have been in that dark hallway, and it sucks. No amount of meditation, breathing, whatever helped. I ended up making myself sick, (with the help of a doctor who made a medication change for me that was wrong), very sick. Long story short, I discovered that blessing the issues that are causing me problems starts a wonderful process that allows me to release the bad feelings, to find a few more open doors and to feel better. I have spend the last few days blessing the fears that I feel, and little by little they are dissipating. It is a long journey back after 4 years of being in that dark hallway, but I am using my flashlight to find my way out. I pray this new move will be the right one for you, it sounds like you have a plan. A safe place to live is so important to our well being. Thanks for all you do, and for putting this out there. How many suffer alone, stumbling in the dark. It does help to know you are not alone in that dark hallway! Many blessings.

    • Andrea, maybe you’re supposed to be a client? Book a call with me (no charge); we’ll see.

      I haven’t been blessing the issue (yet!) but I have been taking moments here and there to reply to completely inappropriate listings when something moves me; words, or a photo. I’m paying it forward for thanking people for their ideas or images, and I find that it helps keep the energy circulating in a good way (at least inside myself).

  3. Wow, my heart goes out to you Sue! Having followed along as you went through the last move I am not at all surprised this sudden turn of events would throw you for a loop. But neither am I surprised that you’ve found your way out of that dark place so quickly. No matter what challenges you may be facing, you are a strong, beautiful woman and you will be okay!

  4. Sue, yes that hallway can be a hell when you feel frozen out of your comfort zone, but it sounds like you are using it to your advantage and that is a breath of fresh air. I love your 3 tools for getting though difficult times. I have a feeling in the end, due to your positive mind-set, this is going to be a positive move in your life. Thanks for sharing your deepest emotions and thoughts with us.

  5. Fingers crossed you find the ideal place to move, Sue. It reminded me of my student days when my landlord hiked my rent beyond my reach and that too with 3 months to go for my final accountancy exams! My parents had to reach out to their network to help me get new lodgings. Quite a feat considering they were in a different country!

    What I have learned is such experiences makes us stronger and keeping the Faith provides the buffer while we work out the details in real life. So glad you’ve taken this experience as one to emerge stronger.

    • Vatsala, wow, so glad you navigated that transition with so much ease. Yup, I am getting so much stronger now! I like the way Helen Keller put it: “To keep our faces toward change, and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate, is strength undefeatable.”

  6. Sue, even though you are dealing with an upheaval in your life, I applaud you for taking the time to blog and respond to comments. I hope you can take all our connected energy and add it to your own to find the place that is right for you.

    • Joyce, I wrap myself in that energy with each breath as I fly through the bay area looking at housing opportunities. Thanks for having my back.

    • Nicole, welcome, and thanks for letting me know someone else is going through this. Let me know how you go.

  7. Great post, Sue. Self-compassion is always such a balm, especially for those of us who ‘toughened up’ in our approach to ourselves and to life. How wonderful to let that go. I’m with you on that one!

    • Thanks, Reba. It’s a daily (at least) challenge, and right now I feel grounded and perfectly okay. Until the next bout of tears and fears. And….moving on, moving through, moving!

  8. Sue my heart goes out to you, I remember those feelings when we had to move and had 5 weeks notice in a very slim rental market, especially the grotty places where the rent was crazy for the standard. What I did was use my LOA tools and ho”oponopono and we drove around a new area and drove into a complex where they tried get us to take aa 2 BR small town house and they said a 3 Br would not come up in our time frame . I said i will put it out to my angels- 2 days later they called saying my angels worked and we lived not in my ideal home, yet an ideal location 3 mins drive, 10 mins walk to my fave place the beach . My goal is owning our own home again. I will go and check in Fb and see if you got the house
    sending you positive vibes and big hugs xxx

    • Suzie, sorry to be so late to reply. It’s been a full-time effort and I still don’t know where I’ll lay my head April 1.

      Thanks for the compassion and for telling me about your experience. Most times I feel that hand on my back guiding me through this, but sometimes I just don’t. I can now. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Sue, your personal experience gave such weight to the advice you gave. A year and a half a go, I too was in that hallway. My Mom was dying from a combination of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s after years of caregiving, my mother-in-law was dying from cancer, and my son was going through the ugliest divorce and custody battle you can imagine. You hit it on the nail that these life experiences make us more compassionate and empathetic. These are the positive things that come out of our trials – as you stated so well in your article. Thanks for sharing your personal and honest thoughts with us! You are inspiring.

    • Julie, From what I know about you, grace prevailed. And if can for you, I guess I’ll make it through this rodeo as well as all the others in my long life.

      Blessed be.

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