QUESTION: I am feeling completely stuck. I moved back to the East Coast about two years ago. Before that, I was on a spiritual/healing journey for about six years. It wasn’t an easy road, had its ups and downs just like anything else. A tragic death in my family and a lack of funds forced me to come back east. I started a company that barely got off on its feet, had to sever ties with my business partner, put every ounce of myself into this company, and now I am closing up shop, I know it’s over. All the while I was grieving without truly understanding how to process it. I was in survival mode and just got myself out of it through therapy, friends, meditation, etc. My life completely changed, the dynamics in my family shifted, and currently my financial situation is nearing towards the red.

I can not seem to make a conscious move in finding a job. It’s funny because I have done so much, my resume is so long, and have accomplished a lot. I am simply afraid to make a move. A friend said to me the other night, “follow your gut”. I said in response “my gut isn’t saying shit to me”.

I do not want to live in this fear and be defeated, I know I can overcome it, but currently I feel afraid to make any kind of move. I just don’t know which direction to go. I am a smart woman, pretty, fit, strong, have friends, have done cool shit in my life, and yet I know none of this makes a difference at this moment. I don’t know how to get out of this. Can you help?

ANSWER: There is a lot of trauma I am reading here. There is the tragic death. Then the severing of ties with your business partner and closing up shop. There is much grieving that needs to be done. My question to you is how much grieving have you been able to do amidst all the chaos? Have you made room to just be and grieve? Or have you been stuck in the survival mode we all go through at times of financial crises? And if not, how can you make some room to do so? Sometimes ending a business and the partnership that goes with it is as difficult as ending a marriage. It has to be grieved.

Listening to our gut when we are stuck in our head, due to fear or trauma, is difficult. We need to gently climb back into our body to be able to do that. Start with the fear you are describing. Sit with it, just sit and feel. Not an easy exercise as every impulse in us is to do otherwise. But sit and feel we must. There will be layers to it, and other emotions such as the grief will be mixed in. Be present to it. No need to manipulate or intellectually understand. There is wisdom in the fact that you can’t just jump into something else. These emotions need to be dealt with; otherwise they will follow you into the next step of your life. This doesn’t mean you have to starve so you can figure something out in the meanwhile. It just doesn’t have to be a 10 or 20-year plan. Just anything to pay the bills, while you do some deep internal healing. Take this as an opportunity to dive into that task.

All the attributes about yourself as well as your experiences you describe, are wonderful. But as you are finding, they are useless in such times. We need to strip away all external identification for a period of time every day and go deep within ourselves. Even if for 10 minutes. These personalities we hold so dear are useful and necessary in navigating life. But we do need to go deeper and investigate what stirs beneath.

As always, the way out is in.

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