After seven months of posting an average of 3 We The Change articles per
week, many of you have noticed that I have not published new content since the beginning of April.
I have gotten several emails from blogger friends and concerned readers asking “is everything OK with you”? The sentiments have been heart-warming, and I appreciate your interest in my well being.
First off, the answer is ‘yes’, everything is OK with me. The reasons for my taking a break are very personal, but in honoring my mission for complete transparency concerning my journey in life I would like to share with you the experiences I have had over the last 6 weeks.
The goal: to help you garner a few nuggets of wisdom and start seeing that it is OK to have down cycles in your life. To help you see these times are very necessary and often set the stage for a greater ‘you’ to emerge. Let me explain:
Start of My Downward Cycle
Towards the end of March, my long-term girlfriend Irina and I decided to split up. After 3+ years of beautiful time together (and 2 years of living under the same roof) we mutually agreed that the best thing for us to do was go our separate ways.
I am not ready to get into the details of why we broke up, or my philosophy concerning relationships and ‘life partners’. I am sure I will have more to say on this in the future, but now is not the right time.
I will say that the split is very tough for me (and I imagine for her too) because we never fought and had no animosity between us. In a nutshell, we wanted different things and simply began to ‘grow apart’.
The morning after we made the official decision, my front tooth (which is a crown) cracked and broke off. This particular tooth has been my nemesis since I was 9 years old when my best friend (still to this day) inadvertently hit me in the face with a bag filled with silverware and broke my natural tooth to the base.
I haven’t had a problem with that tooth in 8 years, but the day after a traumatic and emotional decision was reached the thing decides to crack off. Funny the way life works. I believe that coincidences like this hold great meaning (as opposed to random, dis-connected occurrences) and I sought to understand what was going on.
In this case I believe my tooth breaking was a physical manifestation of the breakdown in my life that was underway. The universe was telling me ‘things are becoming undone’. I just didn’t know how far it was going to go…
The Downward Cycle Continues…
After going through the very uncomfortable process of getting a new front crown, I was traveling back from Los Angeles on a red eye after extensive and exhaustive business meetings regarding The SHIFT project I am working on.
I was excited to get home and just chill. Upon entering my apartment Sunday morning I immediately switched on The Masters golf tournament (one of my favorite sporting events of the year). As I began to unwind I felt a little twinge in my throat. I got up to make some tea, and it hit me all at once: I was sick. My body felt completely broke down.
The next several days, I chose to honor the intelligence of my body and slept late, drank plenty of fluids and relaxed as much as possible. This was tough, believe me. I had a lot of important things going on in my life, and I felt that it was the worst possible time for my body to break down.
For one, I was turning 35 that week. A BIG birthday mentally and I really had intentions of spending it with some good friends in light of my recent break up with Irina. Second, there was a ton of work that needed to be done for The SHIFT and some other projects I am working on.
But none of it happened—my body was speaking loud and clear. Although I was trying to listen, and was giving myself requisite time to heal, I did not fully realize the greater context of these congruent events. In fact, I think I am just starting to realize the life lessons inherent in the ebb and flow of the last 6 weeks.
Bottoming Out: Downward Cycle in Full Effect
About 6 days later, a newly single, very ill, new tooth wearing, and exhausted Todd went to his parent’s house for a family dinner and gathering. I walked into the house, my mother took one look at me and said “what in the hell is wrong with you…” and “do you have any idea to take care of yourself”! I guess I looked pretty terrible.
My sickness had progressed and I could barely hear out of my right ear. I definitely had a pretty strong sinus and ear infection…potentially worse! But I somehow made it through the dinner, and promised my mom I would go to a doctor immediately the next day.
As I went upstairs to my parent’s guest bedroom and prepared for a lengthy slumber, my newly crowned tooth (which cost me $1,800 by the way…I do not have dental insurance) cracked again. I sat there looking in the mirror at myself, and what I saw was this: a tired, sick, cheap auto repair one toothed, un-motivated, confused, scared, lonely, and sad little boy sitting at the edge of his parent’s guest bedroom bed in pajamas.
What in the hell was going on with me? How could all of these things be happening at once? I allowed myself to soak in the feelings of self-pity for a few moments, and I wallowed in the unfairness and pain of my present circumstances.
But a funny thing happened: right in the middle of my deepest despair I began laughing at myself.
I had a sudden realization that my mind had totally taken control of me, and was perpetuating a story of being a victim of all these occurrences. Although I was still ill, single, and with one tooth, this very awareness snapped me out of it. In a sense, I awakened for a moment. This was the start of the upward cycle…
Putting It In Perspective, And What It All Means!
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article concerning what happens when a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly. If you have not read this one, please take a moment to read it because I think it applies very mightily to the downward cycles I recently experienced.
I feel as if the last 6 weeks served as a very necessary and important stage of what needed to happen in my life at this time. In retrospect I experienced
a great clearing in a myriad of areas including intimate relationships (Irina) and physical health (infection), and was forced to deal with a variety of emotional, physical, and spiritual realities.
A big nemesis showed up again (tooth) and passed through the physical milestone of a ‘new age’ (35). I was forced to slow down and rest even though my mind wanted me to move, move, move and act, act, act!
Everything in the last few months has pointed to a clearing of the past and setting the stage for a greater future to emerge. I feel like the last 6 weeks of my life were similar to the Caterpillar’s time as a big blob of goo right before it takes form as a new realm of being: a Butterfly.
So where am I right now? In one word: re-emerged. I feel very clear headed and empowered. I am traveling out to Los Angeles next week for work and am crystal clear about what needs to get accomplished. It was also very apparent to me that now was the right time to publish a We The Change article again, and that I needed to share this specific story with you.
(In fact, I started writing this piece last week, but it just felt ‘off’. I wasn’t quite sure what I was trying to accomplish. The big blob of goo that was Todd was not ready yet).
I also know what I need to do to honor my wonderful relationship with Irina, and insure that we both are able to create the greatest future that wants to emerge for both of us.
TIPS For You
In all, my downward cycle was a necessary stage for the beautiful upward mojo that I now have. Here are some things that I hope you can take away from my story:
– Shed the light of awareness when you are in a down cycle. Don’t force yourself out of it, just be aware that these times exist for a reason and accept them. Have ultimate faith that you will inherently know when the time is right to re-emerge.
– Appreciate the uptime, but understand that it is also fleeing. No human being can sustain feelings of true contentment forever. Again, awareness of the cycles is the key.
– Notice coincidences and synchronicity: they are telling signs that clue you in to inner intelligence. Put value on them!
– Honor the intelligence of your body
– Never have your nest friend knock out your front tooth
– Realize that the sentiment ‘I have not been myself lately’ is foolish. You are always yourself, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, etc…
So I am BACK. Tune in for continuing We The Change pieces!
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