Please remember, you’re a human - having a very normal human response to a completely abnormal set of life circumstances and the time to be gentle with yourself is now.
Lately, I’ve been hearing a trend in my practice. Many of my clients are struggling in this phase of the pandemic where we have a little distance from the peak crisis, trauma and fear, but we are still cautiously proceeding forward with uncertainty. After so much isolation and unknown, it’s hard for us to merge back towards normal.
In addition, many of us are questioning what our post-pandemic life should look and feel like. We’ve been given a chance to halt and in that pause we can’t help but question ‘was the way I was doing it before really working?’
We are in what feels like a collective existential question and while that’s not a bad thing - it can be very destabilizing. If I know one thing to be true - it’s that anxiety spikes when we experience a perception (real or imagined) of being trapped and uncertain. We had both of these during the pandemic.
So, you take a global population who has just shifted into hypervigilance and you shake up everything they know to be helpful in maintaining a sense of health and wellbeing, you remove all their access to what helps them cope and feel stable, and you have a heck of a lot of people in this world left asking the deep questions about who they are now and where they really want to be.
All this to say - YOU. ARE. HUMAN.
And you’re likely having a tender, vulnerable, fragile and completely normal human response to something you’ve never before experienced in your lifetime.
The great thing about this very moment in time is that in it - is opportunity.
The opportunity to really ask ourselves - what needs to change?
What is possible now?
How do we want to shift?
What aspects of ourselves or of our lives do we need to release or let go of and equally, what are we bringing in with truth, honor and intentionality?
As a therapist, I have the privilege of holding space for the most intimate questions you ask yourself and I get to witness you discover answers in what is sometimes the most courageous space I could ever imagine holding with another human on earth.
The past year and a half has been the most challenging period of my entire professional career - and yet the most richly rewarding too. Something about the pandemic has invited you to accelerate action to rid yourself of the unhealthy aspects, habits or relationships that no longer serve your highest good. I have great reverence for you in your brave, bold steps towards emerging into the version of yourself that feels aligned with truth.
You’ve stopped hiding. You’re awake now. You’ve made resolute decisions (large and small) to take real action on the things you’ve been contemplating and questioning for a long time.
I’ve heard you say….
“It’s time to leave this relationship.
I’ve decided to have a baby.
We’re getting married.
I’m going back to school.
I’m changing the way I communicate with people.
The way I hold those boundaries.
How I allow people to treat me.
I’ve stopped drinking.
I am taking better care of myself - for myself.
I’m not going back to the way I used to do that.
And like you, I too have been moving through the same space. Staying present to the uncertainty and fear and questioning what was working and what needs support to change and shift. The pandemic invited me to reinvent the way I serve my clients. After 20 years of working with clients face to face in the same room, I was forced to pivot to telehealth. I let go of my brick and mortar office and decided to open a group practice in order to keep up with the demand for support that my caseload could no longer sustain.
After 8 years of supporting my husband and his ownership and management of Cornwall Bakery, we’ve decided it's time to close that chapter too. Covid asked us to look closely at time and how time was moving in our lives. In a really strange way, I believe the pandemic brought the concept of our own mortality closer to all of us and ultimately I feel it’s the reason why so many of these aspects of our lives are in a period of acceleration and declaration.
We’ve been invited to ask ourselves the same questions you’re facing. What’s working now? What isn’t? What needs to shift. How do we want to spend our lives, our time, our energy? What brings joy and meaning? What feels aligned with our truth and who we are? The answers invited us to pivot and while it’s hard to close our bakery, it feels like the timing is also perfect.
Doesn’t it feel like the world is screaming “wake up - the time is NOW!”
If something in your life doesn’t feel supportive, healthy, meaningful or grounded in truth, maybe it’s time.
The only way we get to do this though, is by staying present and staying connected with ourselves as we fumble and process through our own totally normal, often messy, always hard and wonderful human reactions to real human emotions.
7/18/2021 06:49:14 am
It’s been a challenging and rewarding time for me. I’m just now taking a good look at myself and my needs. I am finally starting to progress in a more gentle, loving (especially to myself), and healthy lifestyle. 💟☮️
11/6/2022 12:16:57 am
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Megan Gunnell, LMSW, Psychotherapist and Founder of The Thrive Advantage Group and The Thriving Well Institute.