Have you ever had the thought “This good feeling will never last?” Maybe you’ve just landed a new account, found a publisher for your book, or had a breakthrough in your relationship. You have this sense that all your hard work is finally paying off. You feel expanded, exhilarated and unstoppable. Yet underneath there’s this nagging voice that says “I wonder when the other shoe will drop?” And then………
The shoe drops.
Your client stalls, the publisher doesn’t return your emails, you start feeling distant from your partner – or you get the flu. Suddenly you find yourself spiraling into a funk. All you want to do is dive for the covers and give up. Perhaps you blame yourself for this turn of events – and that only makes you feel worse.
I invite you to consider the this: What if the ‘other shoe dropping’ is an natural part of your evolution? My teacher, Faisal Muqaddam, calls this process ‘Rebound.’
Here’s a recent – and personal – example:
Did you read the blog I wrote several weeks ago, Follow your Inner Compass? It describes a moment when I connected with the spirit of my mother and dissolved trauma I’ve carried for over 30 years. This transformative experience unleashed new levels of creativity. For weeks I felt inspired, revitalized, and on fire.
Then seemingly out of the blue, the traumatic stories I thought I’d let go of returned with a vengeance. At first I slid into the familiar comfort of believing these stories, and felt my energy start to drain away. Then….
I remembered to ask “Am I in a Rebound?” and something shifted inside me. I became able to observe my thoughts and feelings ricocheting around inside me WITHOUT taking them personally! I made a choice to feel the difficult feelings, while staying connected to my Inner Compass – the essential part of me that knows who I am, no matter what my thoughts or circumstances tell me. I reached out to my coach. And I pulled through. Now I feel more energized and alive – and am here to tell you that you can weather Rebound too.
(Stay tuned for my next blog: How to find your Inner Compass.)
Allow me to explain a bit more. Human beings, like everything in the natural world, go through periods of expansion and contraction. Remember the Simon and Garfunkel song “To everything there is a season?” There are times you expand and flourish. Then there are times you pull into yourself to rest and integrate the period of expansion. You breathe in, and you breathe out. Expansion can bring awareness of places you still need to heal. Contraction provides time for deepening into yourself and healing. Contraction is only a problem if you judge there’s something wrong – then it can be really tough.
You are NOT designed to be in a constant state of expansion! Despite what our ‘do, do, do’ culture tells us, expansion (without the opposing force of contraction) is a recipe for burnout. Maybe success isn’t measured by being faster, wealthier, healthier, bigger, more knowledgable, .… Maybe success is about how you gracefully navigate the ebb and flow of the natural evolution life offers. Okay, I’ve said my piece.
How do you recognize – and navigate – Rebound?
If you notice you’re suddenly feeling a drop in energy or…..tired, blah, ill, frustrated, angry, depressed, or like you want to give up… *
Ask yourself: What was happening before this drop occurred?
- Did something change in your circumstances: Did you get a job promotion, an offer on your house, go on vacation, get engaged, have a baby!?
- Did something change internally: You had an ‘ah ha’ moment in therapy, you became more vulnerable with your lover, you let go of a grudge you’ve been holding onto for years…..
- Did you feel a surge of energy, more open, loving, expanded, even joyful?
Explore: How does the shoe drop?
- Maybe something happens (like the buyer recants on their offer).
- Or maybe you just find yourself deflating like a balloon for NO apparent reason.
Here is a key: BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
Kindly ask yourself “Am I in Rebound?” Chances are, the answer is “yes.”
Then, don’t fight it!
Take refuge under the covers, have a good cry, soak in a hot tub, spend time with someone who loves you, talk to a professional – and allow the feelings to pass through.
My experience with hundreds of clients, and myself, has shown that recognizing and working with Rebound makes it a whole lot easier to navigate – and enjoy – the ebb and flow of life.