Hi Lynn ... I’ve spent my whole life as a Type A, driven person. I was on a partner track at a well-known law firm in my city. A year ago, I had what I thought was a heart attack. I thought I was going to die. It turned out to be a panic attack. At first, I was relieved. Now I’m having frequent bouts of anxiety and panic attacks. I’m exhausted and can barely work. I’m seeing a doctor. However, I’m recognizing this as a call from my soul that I need to slow down and begin to heal my life. How do I begin? — Mary M.
I’ve often wished that loud and clear instructions would accompany these crises in our lives. Perhaps you would hear something like the message I received from your guides when I tune into you.
“You’re in a limbo period. It will last for a while longer. You’ll have some ups and downs, but life on the other side of this period will be so much happier, spacious and joy-filled than you could ever imagine. You’re receiving help from the unseen world. We’re here helping you and guiding you. Your task is to let go of this hard-charging and driven side to your personality. You’re here to be of service and to open your heart. Self-forgiveness and compassion towards others is the path to this new life.”
What happened to you, happens to many of us at some point in our lives. It may not have been characterized by panic attacks and exhaustion. It often occurs subtly, a malaise sets in. You’re in, what I call, “The Void.” You no longer feel like your “old self.” You’re bored, restless, anxious or depressed. It occurs when your spirit is calling you to let go of some aspect of yourself that no longer serves you. And, more importantly, it’s calling you to embrace something new and wonderful that will serve your Soul and its purpose.
When you’re in the void your life changes. It may happen outwardly with a job change, a pandemic, a divorce, an illness or a geographic move. Just as frequently it begins inside of you. You no longer love the job you’re in. You no longer seem to have anything in common with lifelong friends. You may no longer feel stimulated by your current life and be craving a change.
If you’re like most people, you’ll try even harder to make your current life better. Perhaps you’ll take a vacation, sell your house, move, or win a promotion. You’ll do anything to make your old life fit better. However, if you’re in a true “void,” nothing superficial will suffice. Your spirit wants to move you in a new direction. The path of least resistance is the best choice. Something new is coming and you need to make room for it. It feels scary because letting go in a profound way leaves you with nothing solid to hang on to. Our personalities like life to be dependable and secure.
So, how do you begin to navigate this often difficult terrain of the void? You begin by paying attention to your intuition. It is the wiser part of you that’s calling you forward. In essence it’s saying, “You need to let go of what is no longer working. Better things are in store. Listen. I’ll show you the path back to peace.” Spirit is always calling us towards our true self. This is when we are living fully in forgiveness, compassion, love, kindness, harmony, joy and support of others.
The way back from a void is not usually through a big leap. It’s not one day you’re in the void and the next day, voila, a big success! Part of the task is making peace with the fact that you’re in a transition and that you’re okay. You’re being led. There is an inner compass guiding you along the way. Following are some ways to access it.
Take Time for Quiet — It’s very tempting to take a great deal of action when you’re in a transition. On the surface, action would seem to fill the void. You may think that if you’re always “on” — sending out resumes, getting together with friends, checking your phone for messages, logging onto Facebook — that you’re doing something to hasten your journey out of the transition zone. On the contrary, it may delay your parting. I’m not suggesting you don’t take any action. However, this is the time to daydream, read a good book, enjoy a walk, take a few days away on a retreat, meditate and pray.
Find Moments of Joy — Think of small things here. Pay attention to your environment and begin noticing what brings a smile, a sense of peace, a spring to your step. I took a short walk around the bustling area near my office as I was thinking about this article. I noticed a small child skipping down the sidewalk in sheer delight. A woman asked me for directions. She was going to the dentist and dreading an appointment for a root canal. I was able to offer both directions and my experience of root canals not being so bad! I looked down at the sidewalk and saw little impressions of maple leaves in the cement as if designed by a Divine artist. It was a 10-minute walk full of delight.
What Does Your Heart Need? —You may be used to navigating your life by your head, your thoughts, your intellect. You may have thrived on facts, data and analysis, but now, in this transition zone, the question becomes “what does your heart need?” Author Barbara DeAngelis writes, “Messages, calls and directions are always appearing if we pay attention. If you navigate by the map of the heart, miracles can happen in your life.” Try this: close your eyes. Put your hand over your heart and ask, “What would comfort me right now?” Or, “What could I do to feel better?” Listen. What idea, feeling, instinct or clue comes to you? How can you put that into practice today?
Know That You’re Being Guided — If you’ve been a newsletter subscriber for a while, you know that you have a wise guidance available to you at all times. The Divine is always speaking encouragement to you through your intuition, helpful friends, great books, inspiring works and many other ways. God wants you to succeed. If you have a dream in your heart — for a career you’ve always wanted, for a relationship filled with love and respect, for the overcoming of an illness or addiction, or an opportunity to help others — don’t settle for less. God puts those dreams in there for a reason and He will give you the tools to help you manifest them in the world. They’re part of your calling, your mission. I know you’ll make it through and live a life of joy.