I am not lost. I’m exactly where I need to be, where I’m supposed to be right now.
Sometimes when we are in transition (just left a job, a relationship, moved homes, are recovering from illness) we can feel a bit lost. Not sure about our future direction(s). It can be hard to remember that this in-between space, this feeling of neither here nor there is actually part of the process.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, I promised myself that once my treatment was finished I would not jump into my next thing. I would give myself time to recalibrate, to think about what I needed. I wanted to take time to process what I had been through and to really heal before I moved on. As a way of holding space for myself, I chose to write in my journal and sit at my rug hooking frame to hook every day.
This turned out to be a magical, transformative time. Over the space of about eight months I filled five journals and designed and hooked seven healing mats. Each mat was about what I needed next to move forward in my healing. I also wrote my first book, incorporating excerpts from my journals and the seven hooked mats, as I told the story of my reinvention from homeopath to artist.
Moving from lost to opportunity
So what are the steps to moving from feeling lost to using this time of transition as an opportunity? An opportunity to heal, to process where we’ve come from, or to identify what brings us joy.
Step 1 – Trust
Trust that you are not lost. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be at this time.
Step 2 – Time to process
Allow yourself time to process what you’ve been through. Practice self kindness, self compassion. Now is not a time to set huge, monumental goals. Try setting small, achievable goals, and remember to allow yourself extra down time. I laugh now when I remember I had set myself two months to get back up to speed after finishing radiation. When I got to the third month and was still feeling vulnerable and exhausted I had to reassess my expectations.
Step 3 – Journaling & asking questions
Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts on paper. To begin processing and figuring out next steps. Here’s some questions I ask myself. Feel free to use them as writing or sketching prompts.
Where am I right now?
How do I feel in this space? If I had to sketch or make a piece of art that would convey how it feels to be in this space of transition, what would it look like?
What do I need right now?
When we are in a transition, it can be tempting to try to visualize the whole solution, for example, where do I want to be in five years. I’ve always found this to be overwhelming, and leads me to feelings of incompetence or discouragement. Instead, I often ask myself What do I need right now? That might be as simple as to take a walk or a nap, or to make that one phone call to a friend.
What is my next step?
Each of my seven healing mats represented the next step I needed to continue my healing journey. I have continued to use this one step at a time (or one loop at a time) process when moving through difficult situations.
What brings me joy?
During my recovery from breast cancer treatment I started to pay attention to what brought me joy. I took note of what was flowing in my life. Then I did more of that. I observed that when I spent time doing the things I loved, that brought me joy, doors opened and life went more smoothly. I made a conscious decision to do less of what I felt I ‘should’ do, and to listen to what made my heart sing. This is a process I have continued to strengthen.
Transition can be a time of richness, of discovering what it is we really want.
How can I help?
I hope if you are in transition that you have found these suggestions helpful. I work with women to help them reconnect with joy and a renewed sense of purpose. Many of my clients are in transition when they reach out to me.
My Creativity One to One sessions are designed to help you to start getting unblocked and moving towards feeling ‘in the flow’ again. My approach is gentle and non-judgemental. Through writing, sketching and conversation I help you to get out of your head and connect with your heart and self.
Are you ready to make a change, reinvent yourself, make time for self care and want the company of other like-minded women who are making space for self and creativity? You would be most welcome to join my Creating Space community. Many of the members of Creating Space have joined at times of transition.