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.
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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.