People call it by different names: energy shift, vibration rising, spiritual transformation, soul expansion, the force awakening (I'm not making this up). All these labels describe the experience when your entire energetic makeup -- what you normally identify as your "self" -- is taken apart, vacuumed and refurbished, and put back together, so as to create room for a most powerful, free, and grace-filled you.
For some people this process is a mostly painless undertaking with everything happening beneath consciousness which creates hardly any visible impact on their daily life. But for many others, this experience is at best inconvenient and at worst debilitating. A while ago I wrote an article about some of the signs of such an energy shift. This post is a followup to that.
My own experience with the energetic transformation started about four years ago, when I woke up one morning and had the strange sensation that my entire being had collapsed inwards and seemingly disappeared. What was left was a vast emptiness where there was no hook for my mind to grab onto. It was scary and disorienting. Since then, I've gone through so many internal ups and downs. I've felt exhausted, depressed, nauseous and wobbly for extended periods, and had doubted myself and what I went through for more times than I could count. But amazingly, looking back I'm still the same person yet at the same time totally different than when I started. I have more confidence and trust in the unfolding of my own destiny. I feel more loving and free than ever, and have never been more comfortable in embodying the being that I am. It has not been an easy process. I'm writing a book about it. And for now, here're some of the things I learned that may help you ride the waves of your own mysterious unfolding.
1. You're doing just fine, so calm down.
Some of the "transformational symptoms" may be hard for your logical mind to grasp. There were days when I couldn't get out of bed and when I felt so emptied out that I simply wanted to scream. Although deep in my heart I knew that all was well, my mind couldn't stop worrying over these strange happenings, which only made whatever I was experiencing felt worse. Other times, it seemed my life was simply stagnating and nothing was happening. The feeling of stuckness agitated the mind and made me question all my experiences. But the truth is that despite the appearance, you are always growing and never stuck. And the calmer you are, the easier it is to navigate through the uncomfortable structural shifts in your system.
2. Don't spin stories around what you're experiencing.
Whatever sensations your body is processing, they remain sensations as long as you do not interpret them with your mind. Your friends and families, out of their innocent intention to help, may try to understand what you're experiencing as signs of depression, anxiety disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, or any other fancy labels the medical community invented to explain away these complex phenomena. But labels are the last thing you need right now. Do a physical exam if you're worried and listen to the doctors. But by all means, listen to the small, still voice inside you more than anybody else. Staying away from the conventional narratives is especially helpful as old energetic imprints are released from your system, which could on its own trigger physical and emotional reactions. Sometimes I'd experience the releases as flashbacks of old traumas, sensations of nausea, and uncontrollable tears. Deep down I knew that these reactions were merely signs of deep healing. Still, they were disturbing to the mind. But as long as I stayed away from trying to psychoanalyze these strange phenomena or interpret them with "commonsense", they would disappear in due time when the release was complete.
3. Make space for yourself.
Most people, by the time we reach adulthood, have built layers of walls around ourselves. Desensitizing and tuning out are common ways to self protect. But when you start shifting energetically, you may find that your old protection mechanism doesn't work for you anymore. Your walls subtly dissolve and you're left feeling sensitive and vulnerable to anything and everything. I became so much more sensitive to light, sound, touch, and other people's energy over the past few years, that I found myself constantly needing alone time to unload and unwind. You will eventually come out of this vulnerable state stronger and more in touch with all beings. But until that happens, give yourself plenty of time and space to be alone.
4. Slow down and rest more.
Over the course of your energy shift, your system is busily multitasking -- building new structures while carrying out daily functions at the same time -- even though you may not be consciously aware of what's going on. On top of that, you're becoming more sensitive to stimuli because of your increased openness. This is a period when you are prone to being overwhelmed, physically and energetically. You may feel tired all the time without doing much, or always sleepy. This is a sign that it's time to give your inner doer some rest. Slow down in everything you do so that you could process the external stimuli at a reasonable pace, while leaving enough internal space for your system to adjust and integrate.
5. Respect your process.
Your ego wants to be in the driver's seat for your change process. Mine, too. But this season of inner transformation is no time to be a go-getter. Just like the change of seasons in nature, your transformation blossoms on its own timeline. No amount of force, willpower, coaxing, or kicking and screaming is going to make it happen faster (or slower). The more frustrated and restless I am over things not happening fast enough, the more stuck I feel. Know that even when nothing seems happening in your life right now, a sea of change is happening beneath your conscious awareness. Rather than trying to control the change, honor the innate intelligence of your own process. Trust that it knows what it's doing and your ego is just a passenger being taken on a beautiful ride.
6. Embrace the emptiness.
After a period of release of old, freedom-constraining imprints and before your new energetic wiring takes root, you'd sometimes find yourself in a place of emptiness devoid of common thoughts and emotions. Since your ego relies on thoughts and feelings to identify itself as an individual, the lack of either is likely to feel very unsettling to you. To most people emptiness feels like death, because it is, in a certain sense. But without death there will be no rebirth. In this case, a rebirth of you. Emptiness is in fact the source of all creation. Instead of running away from it and distracting yourself with activities, stay with the emptiness. Settle into it and be open to whatever it has to teach you.
7. Self love is your only responsibility.
If you can do anything to make this change process easier, it is to love yourself. Whatever inner demons you've wrestled with before, this is a time when that inner conflict may be reaching climax in order for you to realize their true nature and surrender whatever limiting concepts you have held onto about yourself. Growing up, I had always felt inadequate for not being able to fit in or be "normal". Going through the energy shift and its inexplicable symptoms made me feel even more isolated from society at large. I kept wondering "what's wrong with me" and blamed myself for my incapability of living life like a functioning adult. I made myself so unhappy until I realized that I'd never have any true freedom until I loved and accepted myself for who I was. If you couldn't love your weirdness or dysfunctions, then love your loathing of your weirdness and dysfunctions. If it's too hard to love your perceived inadequacies, then love your endless grudges against your inadequacies. Whatever you do or not do, love is your only responsibility for yourself.
No two transformational process is the same. But what's always true is that you are growing in a perfect way at a perfect pace for you. When you're engrossed in self doubt, remember to trust your journey. And if you're unable to trust, then at least love and embrace your doubts. Know that at the end of the day, your higher destiny is guaranteed. Your attitude right now would only affect how you experience this journey toward your destiny, but would not change the fact that you're already on your way to grow wings and become your most radiant, free, and expansive self.
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Natasha Che is a personal growth teacher and writer living in Washington DC. She writes about relationship, career, spirituality and creative process on natashache.com, where you can sign up to receive monthly inspirations. Natasha is working on a memoir titled Wizardry: One Woman's Quest for Meaning, Mission, and Magic.