“Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing and regrouping.” ~ Julia Margaret Cameron
Fresh from vacation, and a new perspective on life and the expanding opportunities before me, I suddenly felt tender and fragile like a newborn child or the fallen baby bird pictured above.
I knew as I returned to my home in North Carolina, after 12 days vacationing in Boston, that something huge had shifted within me.
My intuition told me to protect that new sense of being by staying somewhat isolated (which seems to be the norm these days anyways). I also chose to become extremely discerning about who I shared with in my self-imposed bubble of “safety.”
The truth is, not everyone will support our growth, nor will they understand the deep inner journey it takes to rewire the brain and manifest new outcomes, such as the one I just experienced. That major leap, as noted in last week’s blog post, was the recent endorsement of my worthiness platform and showcasing of my book by internationally renowned Dr. Christiane Northrup, a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field women’s health and wellness, and a NY Times bestselling author, multiple times.
The integration: Deepening our new roots
When we upgrade our lives, elevate our businesses, or change in some other significant way by moving from one identity to another (like transitioning in or out of relationships, work, housing, a financial situation, etc.), we are sometimes on shaky ground initially. That sense of instability is part of the transformation, as we slowly learn to grow new roots. Respecting the time it takes to deepen those roots is crucial for lasting change and healing.
Sometimes we need to grieve the old ways of being as we branch into new versions of ourselves. Then we need to take time to pause and integrate the new self.
Right now, I am integrating becoming a much more visible coach, teacher and writer, creating my own podcasts and scheduling media appearances via my publicist. Before, my work and life were more “behind the scenes,” consistently learning, writing in front of a computer screen, coaching mostly via phone, and teaching circles of intimate groups at leading spas and wellness centers.
Propelled by my mission of claiming worthiness as a transformative foundation for creating anew, I am choosing to step outside my comfort zone and share more openly to wider audiences. It is a new story of greater service, for which I have spent decades preparing.
My intention is to stay grounded within throughout all the external activity, focusing on the hard-earned wisdom I am sharing from years of adversity and courageously stretching beyond old limits of early life conditioning.
There are two questions I continually ask myself, just as I advise my clients to ponder, when they feel on shaky ground:
- What would love do here?
- What would self-love do here?
For me, as I integrate the responsibilities of an expanded business, I am focusing on being present—to myself, my clients and the requests of time, choosing only those connections, activities or opportunities that feel aligned with my core values.
When I feel overwhelmed, I am retreating to meditation or to the hiking trails, where I always get centered by spending time in nature. Years earlier, in times of being super busy, I thought I did not have time to be still or even exercise.
Now, I know, from years of transforming my own life and helping others do the same, that becoming still is one of the most productive things we can do. From the calm of stillness, we get our best answers and connect more lovingly to ourselves and others.
There is another challenge to embracing a new version of ourselves: The ego, which loves the familiar, will try to drag us back to our old ways of being, even though we have outgrown them.
Usually, it happens this way: As soon as you take a major step forward, some challenging circumstance typically occurs, to distract you from elevating. For example, as I shared in an earlier blog, the day I booked my trip to Boston, I fell hiking on a dry, familiar trail and sprained my wrist. I could have let that injury stop me. Instead, I focused on knowing shortly I will be with those I love.
The power of support
That is why coaching, or being lovingly witnessed by a friend, works. It keeps us accountable to moving forward, and when done well, a good coach champions us to become the best version of ourselves.
Few of my clients ever sensed, before working with me, what it felt like to be championed, or to be “held” in love and compassion, as they emerge into their greatest version of themselves.
In fact, some mistakenly stop coaching when they release what no longer serves them, before fully integrating that new sense of themselves from their innate wholeness and greatness. The result? They end up backtracking, repeating past patterns of behavior.
I liken it to crossing a bridge. As you walk over it, you leave behind the past. When you get to the other side, you have a new landscape or path before you, but you are not yet on solid footing, with your new sense of self fully ingrained.
I believe this can be one of the most vulnerable and precious moments of transformation, when extra dosages of love and self-care are important.
For this reason, I strongly encourage clients to build their teams of support ahead and find like-minded companions aligned with their core values. We are not meant to journey alone.
For me, going forward, I know these two inward weeks post vacation helped deepen my sense of self and purpose. I am better prepared to serve in the ways I have been guided. I also have a team of mentors and colleagues supporting my expansion.
I am excited to share with you lots of new content in various formats in the months ahead.
Happy fall, which to me has always felt like a season of new beginnings.
Onward and upward…with love,
My friend and talented photographer, Sharon Spector, captured the picture above of an abandoned baby bird she found at her birdbath when she lived in Austin, Texas. Stepping into the new, we sometimes feel lonely and scared and wish someone would “catch us” as we take brave actions forward. To see more of Sharon’s work, email her at email@example.com.
Gail Kauranen Jones is an intuitive coach, gifted wordsmith and inspiring teacher who has been leading others through transformation for more than twenty years. She is the author of two books, Cancer as a Love Story: Developing the Mindset for Living, and To Hell and Back…Healing Your Way through Transition. Both books were met with rave reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.
She recently appeared as a guest “worthiness coach” on CBS TV’s award-winning talk show The Doctors and on Sirius FM Radio. Her articles and “tips” on worthiness have also appeared several times in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.
She has taught many leading-edge workshops at top spas and wellness centers. She now leads Zoom group coaching programs and is a guest speaker at many related events.
Gail lives a passionate and simple life writing, hiking, connecting in meaningful ways, aligning in joyful collaboration and thriving in nature.