The magical art of reentry (Part 4 of the “Transformation” Series)

I was a caterpillar getting liquefied in a chrysalis. I turned into a butterfly. I felt like a baby that just had been birthed: vulnerable and exposed. These feelings caused me to be very protective of myself.

I had suffered a complete shut down of my adrenal system. I had overtaxed it with near-constant anxiety over long periods of time. My doctor told me I needed to take a sabbatical from stress. At first, I didn’t listen and kept doing what I was doing. Soon I found myself unable to get out of bed. My body had ultimately made the choice for me.

During this time, I had faced my deepest fear. This fear was my belief that I wasn’t enough. That I was unworthy and needed to be fixed. When I faced this fear head-on, something magical happened. The spell was broken, and I was able to grasp my worthiness. The knowledge of this truth transformed me.

This all happened in a small, safe place. By necessity, my world had shrunk to the four walls of my house, my husband, and my three dogs. On a practical level, this environment was easy to manage.

For many months and I reveled in this space. I got to know myself in this space. After several years, I knew it was time. I needed to expand my world. I needed to plan, then execute my reentry.

I slowly started to emerge from my cocoon. From the safe space that I had created for myself. I started to reach out to people I felt I could trust. I added select friends and family to my world, one by one. First I reached out with phone calls, then I started to venture out into the world to connect with them in person.

Each time I would venture out, I would retreat back into my safe space and run a full diagnostic on my stress systems. How did I feel? How depleted was I? Did that feel good? Would I do that again? If so, when? I would sit in my safe space and gather information. I was conducting an experiment of one.

Even these mini-excursions took me a few days to recover from. I needed to replenish my expended energy. I had come to believe that my energy was a commodity that needed to be guarded. As I started to have more energy I was very careful how I spent it. I wasn’t exactly sure if I would be able to get it back, or if I would find myself in bed again for months on end.

The main reason I was able to venture out and maintain my energy levels was due to my mindfulness practice. I had been developing it for several years at this point. It was with me at all times, wherever I was, whatever I was doing, and regardless of who I was with.

I knew that at any point I could take a deep breath and find release from stress. At any point, I could take a deep breath and say to myself, “You are safe.” At any point, I could take a deep breath and find space between me and my thoughts. This mindfulness practice was my constant companion. My mindfulness practice allowed me to reenter the world.

It has now been three years since my reentry. My mindfulness practice is vibrant. Most days I am connected to the present moment a majority of the time. I am no longer a perfectionist, I no longer experience symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, or have OCD of persistent negative thoughts. I no longer do things to prove that I am worthy. I do things because I want to. I do things because they are fulfilling and fun.

The incredible result of this new way of being is that have no stress, I work less and I am making more money now than I ever have. I have more free time, and I am having way more fun!

I was also able to achieve one of my biggest dreams: to become a published author. Over the past six months, I have been all over social media, doing podcasts and interviews and sharing about my new book. I have definitely reentered the world. And I am loving it.

I still set aside days to replenish myself. I call them my “reset days”. I also carry my mindfulness practice with me always, whenever I go, and whatever I am doing. It keeps me connected to myself, the present moment and allows me to maintain my energy levels. I now call this Energy Management.

Recently, my husband of 29 years said to me, “You’re happier now than you ever have been, aren’t you?”

I looked at him and smiled.

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Emilie Rawlings

Emilie Rawlings

My burning desire is to spark Self-Love in fellow souls, through the power and magic of the present moment, igniting a Movement of Rapturous Love.