Image by Liz West. Used under a creative commons licence.
Before we step up to our most awesome selves, before we can step into the place of living deliciously, delightfully, uncompromisingly and abundantly - however that looks for you - there is often a process of undoing.
You’ve been hearing a little about how I’m changing: my habits and ways of working, living and communicating. I’m moving countries and I’m shaking off possessions. I’m getting ready to share in a different way, one which may lose me friends but also one that I know will create me miracles.
But before the charged up, wondrous creation can occur, before the power can be channelled, I need to allow the undoing of what's gone before.
Maybe that’s undoing the beliefs we hold that didn’t realise we had: around money, around relationships, around what makes someone ‘successful’. Around how we ‘should’ do things or the path that we think we will be taking.
You see, ‘change’ is about being who we are in a different way. We are still us, but we might look different, act differently, interact differently. We think differently.
Transformational change is what’s needed if we are to step into all we can be.
But first we must shed, let go of, take off, discard, divest ourselves of that which isn’t part of who we are in our changed being.
What are those things?
I go back to my highest vision for this. The best, most perfect version. And I ask myself: Is this thing: appointment, piece of work, food stuff, relationship, activity - is this part of who I want to be? If not, I must at some point let it go.
I sometimes feel like when I think about the process of change, I’m looking at myself as though I’m a clementine. There is tough skin, an exterior that protects the softness inside. It’s sometimes cold and a little bumpy. It sort of sits there on the shelf nonchalantly, as if to say: "You want me? You have to get through that protective encasement." So it is with me.
I know that to get to that sweetness, I have to start peeling back the layer of what I’ve built up around me. As I go along, I get bits of orange under my nails. I get frustrated because the skin isn’t coming off in one piece and I’ve got lots of little bits. It’s messy. And all the while I’m wondering whether it’ll be worth it. All this effort. Maybe it’ll be full of pips. Maybe it’ll be really sour. Maybe it won’t be worth the effort.
Yet, the sweetness of the fruit is the reward. It’s better to have undone and discovered, than look at it, put it aside and never know. However messy.
For me, undoing is:
Learning to lie still and get better when I’m ill or tired, despite a to do list.
It’s letting go of taking on responsibility for everyone else’s actions or inactions. I am responsible only for myself.
It’s letting go of expectations that I think people have of me.
It’s letting go of the need to be right, to accept what is.
What does that look like?
It’s sleeping in - however long I need to, speaking out against that voice that says: "Claire, today you haven’t achieved anything."
It’s sometimes cancelling appointments. However, much it feels ‘wrong’ and ‘unhelpful’ and ‘selfish’.
It’s facing my deepest, scariest, terrifying fears and insecurities - and allowing myself to do exactly what I need to do to face them, in my own time and in my own way.
It’s practicing being fully conscious and aware of what I’m doing, saying, feeling and acting on, and giving myself a break when I fail.
Undoing is eating takeaway pizza when you’ve decided you’re having a healthy week. The undoing part is not the eating, it’s the not berating yourself for the eating: before, during or way, way after.
Undoing is not creating but being, existing in this icy, pleasant, fearful or unknowing moment, rather than letting your mind roam to ‘What do I need to do?’ ‘Where do I need to be?’ ‘Have I forgotten something?'
Undoing is letting there be an uncomfortable silence, when you’re used to filling the gap.
Undoing is peeling back layers of yourself and then getting used to that cold, draughty feeling of exposure, knowing the warmth will eventually come.