By Tele Darden
It wasn’t my steadiest moment. Covid had shut the world down, and I was faced with the prospect of losing my business and vocation. Offering bodywork during a pandemic was literally impossible. The classes I planned to teach needed to be canceled, and the rental contracts for the studio I owned, put on hold. The work I was devoted to, the business I built over 13 years, was suddenly unavailable. And, the most uncomfortable thing to recognize was that woven in with the shock and instability and impending doom, there was a part of me that was relieved.
Before Covid, I followed the rules of what a successful practice should look like. It was working, but I wasn’t thriving. I was tired, striving, my nervous system was overwhelmed. And when it all stopped, I didn’t want to just pivot my business. I wanted it to be different—all of it.
I didn’t have a roadmap for where my heart was guiding me, and the picture wasn’t complete, so I had to repurpose the listening and somatic skills I used in my practice. I went to the earth, my constant in times of crisis, remembering that you become more stable when you orient to stability. I planted sunflowers and too many cantaloupes, listened to stones and streams and remembered that my body was nature. I took long naps in the hammock in the middle of the day and gave myself permission to rest. I learned that imagination, like intuition, emerged more clearly when my body wasn’t depleted.
I did loads of inner work with trusted guides and friends. I attuned to the divine feminine. I deepened my relationship with my ancestors because I had inherited their bodies, and their blessings were needed to navigate this time. I tracked my nervous system through familiar patterns as I differentiated myself from the places where I had embodied oppressive systems. I let go of my credentials and the studio space and stopped looking outside of myself for permission or validation for my work to be the full expression of my medicine, magic, and purpose.
What emerged over time and continues to refine itself is a deeper, more aligned, potent, and enjoyable way of working than I could have expected. I’ll share with you some of the steps I took along the way to support my body and spirit. I offer them as a foundation; you may be curious about one or many. They are places to begin the exploration of any heart longing in a well-regulated way. I hope that these moments of reimagining open delicious portals of new possibilities for you.
1. Honor The Thresholds
As you prepare to begin a new way of working, layers of lived and inherited history can show up, especially if your vision exists outside of the constraints of oppressive systems. Nervous system patterns of fight, flight, freeze, appease and collapse can be over-coupled with preparations, beginnings, middles, endings, and integrations.
What nervous system patterns do you have around times of preparation?
What patterns do you have around beginning new things?
How are you with middles and endings?
Are you allowing yourself time for integration?
2. Call In Layers Of Support
Aligned support can allow for layers of protective somatic patterns to soften.
Who’s on your spiritual team?
Do you have a relationship with your elevated and well ancestors?
Who are the kind enough humans and trusted practitioners who can be present and deeply listen and reflect?
3. Listen Deeply
Your body speaks in image and sensation and moves at a slower pace than your mind. It is possible to grow your capacity to listen to the deepest parts of yourself. Your heart is the portal to your most creative and abundant gifts and the deepest core of your knowing.
Can you feel your heartbeat?
Over time, can you notice the deeper dynamic stillness that exists there?
Can you notice when the voice of your intuition arises from the heart instead of the mind?
Once you can hear the subtle language of your body, there’s a shift in attention needed to listen to the earth – plants, stones, water, and more. Both sacred and mundane outdoor spaces can be portals to stability.
Where do you feel most at home in nature?
What does that place or those elements have to share with you about the essence of your work?
4. Sift Through The History
Both the wisdom you’ve gained and the nervous system imprints you’ve embodied from your history, ancestral experiences, and collective programming can show up to be met, witnessed, and integrated on the path to a new way of working.
What is the survival wisdom that you’ve learned?
How does it inform your medicine for the world?
What are the blessings and burdens that you’ve inherited from your ancestral lineage?
5. Receive Accurate Reflection
Divination tools – pendulums, oracles cards, tarot, intuitive readings, astrology reports, and human design sessions from skilled practitioners all work because they can drop in below the radar of your body’s security system (nervous system) and illuminate the blueprint of the gifts you have waiting in blind spots and shadow. Some helpful questions can include:
What do I need to know about my vocational purpose?
What do I need to know about the essence of my work?
6. Prepare To Let Go
Some things are going to be ripe and ready to be released with ease. Some things will need more time. Letting go of some things is a necessary heartbreak. Take care with the ones that carry a lot of history, finding support for the patterns that arise.
What needs to be released or let go of in order to make space for the new way to arrive?
What are the boundaries that need to be set to make sure that the space you’ve created stays sacred?
7. Remember Choice
It’s this simple. You could do all of it, but you don’t have to do any of it. Choice is at the heart of liberation.
Now we’d love to hear from you. Which of these steps feels the easiest for you right now? Share with us in the comments below. Start where you are and allow yourself the grace to expand over time.
Tele Darden (she/her) is an intuitive, coach and bodyworker who guides visionary healers, teachers, and practitioners through their shadow and somatic territories as they become more empowered and embodied forces for change in the world. She is a faculty member of the Origin Membership where she offers monthly Central Nervous System Healing sessions.