The Stagnant Cocooning of 2018
Hello my lovelies! It has been quite some time since I shared a blog and I decided it was time to make the space to share some of my energy with you.
I hope you all are having a fantastic 2019 so far! Can you believe it? 22.214.171.124.? I remember Y2K like it was yesterday! Yet here we are. 2018 came and went in what was the absolute fastest year of my life and with it, a rollercoaster of new experiences, emotions, obstacles, and lessons in spiritual growth. What I didn’t realize, until I was reflecting on 2018, was how much anxiety I actually had last year and the hardcore “cocooning” I had going on.
Funny right? The girl who preaches about mindfulness and self-care … the girl whose entire reputation has been built upon the fact that she destroyed her anxiety and depression with understanding energy and spirituality? Having anxiety?
I could step into the belief that I was a total hypocrite. I could judge the shit out of myself for allowing those experiences to re-enter my life. Or I could honor the fact that I’m just a human being who experiences life just like we all do … a series of ups and downs, ebbs and flows, deaths and rebirths. And last year was a year of significant and overwhelming shifts.
I’ve gone through those phases before where I felt like I was on the verge of some massive transformation. Do you know what I’m talking about? Where every day you wake up and feel like something HUGE is going to happen? This 2018 was not that type of transformative feeling.
And I’ve gone through those phases where you feel like all sorts of things are falling away … like parts of you are dying, with this deep knowing that it’s because you’re growing and transmuting. But 2018 didn’t bring that type of feeling either.
At first, or at least during the year, I thought everything was just stagnant. Nothing moving forward, nothing dying or changing. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. For a massive part of the year, I was doing something I now refer to as cocooning. Think: the Pupa or the Chrysalis stage when a caterpillar is turning into a butterfly. The caterpillar has already fed tremendously –– done its job to consume as much as it can and nourish itself before it rests inside the cocoon for anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. It may look and feel stagnant … but there is oh, so much happening. Stuff on a deep, deep cellular and spiritual level. Stuff I wasn’t even consciously aware of. I had spent so much time moving from caterpillar to butterfly over and over again at a rapid pace that I didn’t know how to recognize this cocooning when it came and lasted for what felt like a decade. Once I truly took the time to explore it I finally came to understand just what was going on – not just the cocooning, but what it was trying to show me.
Let’s have a little Brittany history lesson first. I experienced anxiety and depression for about 20 years. I had panic attacks regularly; I ruminated on my health and the belief that I was dying all the time; I was dizzy, nauseas, had headaches and migraines, my heart was always rapidly beating along with shallow breath; I was in a constant state of fear. Once I learned how connected we all are to energy – how the energy of the world and others affected me, how important protection, grounding, mindfulness and connecting to the universe was, that all came to a rapid halt (with active, VERY ACTIVE practice! It wasn’t just a knowing or an understanding. It takes quite a bit of work on our parts to work with the energy because we are so conditioned to think one way as opposed to looking at things energetically.) With that being said, I took a very present, and again active, approach to my personal healing. In a nutshell, my wellness was TOP priority. And nothing was going to interfere with that.
And it worked swimmingly. Until (let’s fast forward now) 2018. Almost 10 years had flown by. My life had become dedicated to the wellness and healing of others. I became the guide in facilitating people through their spiritual growth and development. I became the one helping them with their anxiety. And I loved it. (Still do). My days and nights got repetitive. Wake up, help others in healing, school work, life things, repeat. I would cram writing papers in between clients and work 9 am to 9 pm most days of the week. And free time was either me prepping stuff for clients, classes, marketing, taxes, that I was 4 months behind in, or me finally get around to putting my laundry away a week after it was done and a new load was ready to go in. I was spending so much time in that “left brained” world of writing, clinical assessments, scientific journals, and research that I completely and utterly lost touch of the spiritual side of myself. Notice in the “typical schedule” I just shared that meditation is nowhere to be seen, and I assure you, it wasn’t. Self-care was maybe taking a bubble bath once every six months or spending an entire day laying on the couch binge watching TV just to catch up on rest. My days were lived in autopilot and constantly thinking ahead to make sure that my schedule could fit in everything on my plate. And the moment that my schedule slowed down post-graduating from getting my Masters, my brain had no choice but to recognize the energy I had been carrying. The energy, that once I felt it, came slamming into my entire body like a sledgehammer –– almost like everything finally caught up, or I did. Yeah, that’s what it was. I finally caught up to my own reality.
A reality of completely ignoring my own self-care, because I was too busy making sure everyone else was caring for themselves. It’s no coincidence that the year my anxiety started to creep back in is the year I let down my guard; let down my protective barriers, and spent no time grounding, in Spirit, or being mindful.
And while I was feeling completely stagnant this year in terms of not feeling like anything was transforming or dying, everything was changing. My clientele was changing, my actual job was changing, the work I was doing was taking another launch in the direction I’d been heading all along … literally everything was changing. But I felt complacent. It’s amazing what you don’t feel when you’re not present to feel it.
But I wasn’t meant to feel it. No. I was meant to feel this stagnation because the Universe was forcing my hand into this cocoon. To absorb the knowledge, I had consumed over the last 10 years, to prepare for this next phase of my life in quiet contemplation, but most importantly, to come full cycle. And no, I don’t mean the Universe was wanting me to be anxiety riddled, but if the Universe knows me as well as I know me, it knows I need to be slapped in the face with stuff to recognize it sometimes because I just refuse to slow down (hey, I don’t know how long I have here; I have shit to do!) What I mean is I needed to come back to my roots. I needed to remember why it is I started off on this journey to begin with. I needed to feel what so many of my current clients and future clients feel on a daily basis. You see, talk is cheap. And sure I, at one point, could rattle off all kinds of skills and techniques that worked for me in the past for anxiety and depression, but I needed to truly recall what it was like so I could better cater to my people. Because I know that hearing things like “self-care is important” and “meditation is life changing” and “you should ground yourself” and “check in with yourself” sounds really great on paper, but in action, that shit is HARD when you’re actively experiencing anxiety symptoms. And this past year was my prompt to step back into that truth of who I am and the experiences I had to re-learn and understand on new levels how to help the people and the research I would be working with. Working with anxiety became such a norm that I feel like it was also great to get reacclimated to my empathy on a deeper level to those struggling with anxiety and depression.
I knew all along that a huge part of my anxiety was coming from this disconnection between myself and the energy around me. Once I started to take a tip from “Brittany 2.0” who wouldn’t let anything come between her healing and self-care, that pent up, static like feeling inside me and around me went away once again. I felt more in control, I felt grounded, I felt secure in my body and in my space. In a way, it was all a wonderful validation that the work myself and so many of my fellow healers do actually works and helps heal anxiety and depression symptoms. Not that I needed it, because I have always trusted in it, but what a great feeling to be re-validated in the work we do! This cycle began once again because of my own lack of mindfulness and hypocrisy but I always feel like these things happen for a reason and come with a greater lesson.
I wanted to share with you a bit of where I have been at over the past year and what I’ve learned because, as you know, I feel like we are all teachers and we are all students –– learning from one another. I also feel that it’s important to know that we all are human and have shared experiences and sharing our obstacles and what we’ve learned from them can be so helpful to others who need to hear it.
So to summarize? When you feel you need to disconnect from others and reconnect to yourself – do it. When you feel you need time for self-care –– stop waiting for permission from others to do it, because you’re not going to get it. So just do it. Meditation and mindfulness can and will help you with anxiety and depression if you give it the time. And when it feels like nothing is happening … everything is happening. There doesn’t have to be some significant recognizable death or tangible leaps and bounds we take to signify some sort of spiritual growth. Sometimes it’s the stagnation … that cocooning … that brings us the deeper healing and awareness we need. All it takes is a bit of deep and honest exploration.
Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts with you! And as always, if you need anything –– I am only a phone call, text or email away!