Breakdown leads to breakthrough.
There is always a source of the breakdown.
Moving through a breakdown into a whole new realm of leadership, possibility, and freedom is about getting to the source.
A week after my move to Denver, I’m living in temporary housing, with 2 weeks to find a permanent place. The housing market is quite competitive – like applying for a job – something I’ve clearly chosen not to do again.
I’m running a business, launching a program, returning from a big event, while also adding a new member to my team doing my best to get her on board.
And, lucky me, I knew my clients were all gearing up to fly in for 3 days with me at a local hotel for our quarterly retreat. Which, if you know me, you know that retreat is stirring up all kinds of old crap and breakdowns for my clients that THEY are ready to break through! Yippee.
So there’s a lot going on.
And I suddenly remembered that I have a dog, and that he can’t come to our retreat with us! My friends in Denver are all dog people, but this particular week they are all either out of town or watching other people’s dogs. I needed to find a home for Monty fast.
And I couldn’t just drop him off at a kennel because he needs to pass a test. (Which is not always a sure thing with Monty). I also needed his shot records, which are in a filing cabinet in a storage unit somewhere.
A friend recommended a kennel that was too far from home for me to able to drop him off when they opened and make it back in time for my client calls, as I’m still operating on eastern time and starting at 7 am.
I could dive further into the complications of my week, but you get the picture – I had a LOT of circumstances I could blame for my breakdown.
I found a kennel via google that was closer to my home and arranged to drop Monty off for his test day at day care.
As I walked in to the kennel I had an overwhelming feeling of dread, darkness, heaviness. An intuitive gut vibe that screamed, “NO.” There were some visual cues – these poor little dogs in a small kennel in the parking lot that barked at us when we walked up. The parking lot was really small and the building was a bit run down. But I pushed past it.
The owner was very friendly. I’d had the shot papers faxed over, but they didn’t come through correctly and so technically Monty wasn’t ‘legal’ but she let him in anyway. While convenient for me, this did not make me feel good about his safety.
I toured the place and felt sicker and sicker. My body was literally wanting to shut down, my stomach contracting. I was not resonating with the Rover Resort. But I swallowed my panic and tried to remain composed. I asked a few questions, hoping for her to give me a reason to leave. I was secretly hoping Monty would fail the test.
I knew in that moment that this would not be his long term home, but I FELT BAD telling her I couldn’t leave him there. So I decided that I would give him the day there, and then never come back again.
And I walked to the car in the parking lot – I could hear all the dogs barking on the other side of the fence, and the woman yelling at Monty (which I’m sure he deserved). And I got in the car and started to cry.
I felt like a TOTAL VICTIM.
I felt like I had no option but to leave him there because I was running out of time and needed a solution and had to settle.
But more than that, I felt like I had to leave him to spend the day there, because I FELT BAD to tell her straight to her face that it was not a fit for us. See, I had a made a decision that Monty was too good for this kennel (yes, I said it), but I was willing to go out of my way to leave him there, come back and pick him up, and pay for him to be there, to avoid looking like a snob. (My mother made sure I knew this was not acceptable growing up). I felt completely powerless.
As I sat in the car in the parking lot, knowing I couldn’t succumb to the victim, I had an honest conversation with myself – I exercised breakthrough thinking.
I realized that I needed to honor how I felt and I needed to decide based on what I wanted, and not let the circumstances (in this case, how I thought the woman would feel) run the show.
So I went back and told her it was not going to work, and I rescued Monty and off I went.
So the lessons I saw and the breakthroughs I claimed in the parking lot are as follows:
1. Honoring your intuition in our society takes commitment.
There was no logical reason not to leave Monty at daycare – I needed a solution, and there it was. I could reason with myself all day long about how silly it was to not just push it forward, but my gut was NOT in alignment with that decision.
As I’ve run my business for a while now, I KNOW I have to honor that gut, regardless of whether it makes sense. I can’t know why I wasn’t supposed to leave him there – I may never know – but that signal was loud and clear.
Yet people look for reasons, and they want explanations for why we act (we want to justify decisions to ourselves, too!), and sometimes it’s just a gut thing. And you’ll feel crazy (I did), but it’s also exhilarating to follow where the gut leads.
2. As you uplevel your life, you will judge yourself in big and small ways.
Universal Law states that where the desire is present, the way to fulfill it is also present. I’ve built my business by honoring this idea, and I’ve used it to uplevel my life. This breakdown was about way more than the kennel.
I found a rental house in Denver and chose to look for what I want without consideration to the cost, trusting my faith in the Law (and Source). The place I fell in love with is not at all the highest in rent, but it is also not the lowest. I feel GREAT about making the decision that way.
At the same time, the old voices of the girl who was raised initially on food stamps want to SCREAM – But, can you really? Who are you to…?
As I took Monty out of the ghetto daycare I thought to myself, “What a snob you are! He’s just a dog.” (Yes, for my clients, those low energy thoughts DO creep in every now and then).
BUT, it wasn’t about the dog. This experience was simply a chance for me to reflect on how I was really feeling about renting a place I absolutely LOVE rather than settling for less. It’s disconcerting. Uncomfortable. Unfamiliar. Frightening. AND DAMN EXCITING TOO!
3. It is never about the circumstances.
I could have blamed all of the changes in my life for my breakdown, and I could have talked to 6 friends about how crappy that day care was, or “poor me” that I had to deal with that. But I went within. “Why I am choosing to have this experience? What is there for me to learn here?” And I saw that I need great courage to live the life I love – greater than living the “just enough” life. And I got the chance to embrace that – if you’re not careful it will sneak away.
I’m sharing all of the details here because it is important for you to see – this is how it shows up…as little circumstances that just bug you. “I got sick and I couldn’t do it.” “My babysitter fell through.” “The vet didn’t fax that right papers and it put me over the edge.”
These seemingly innocent circumstances are ALWAYS conspiring for our growth. Next time you break down ask yourself – “What is there for me to see in this that will take me to the next level?”
I was shaky about my decision to uplevel my life again and keep living in “a certain way.” I solidified this decision at a new level in the parking lot that day. What’s your version of this story?