Sometimes there comes a time in life when everything seems to fall apart. Crisis can hit hard and suddenly: the totally unexpected loss of a loved one, a home, a job, your health; your wealth. Perhaps all of these are upon you at once in one brutal tsunami.
Living through such devastation can be depressing, alienating, and frightening. It might feel as if your very survival is at stake, and you might entertain thoughts of giving up completely.
It is during such times that we can call on what I refer to as ‘slug power’. Slugs are amazing creatures with many symbolic lessons to teach us. Here are some of the notable capabilities of slugs:
If a slug enters your home, garage, or garden, be very happy. It is a sign of encouragement from the universe, a message saying, “Do not give up, keep going!”
The Process of Transitioning
Times of devastation, when our external world seems to be falling apart at the seams usher in the beginning of a time of transition. The late William Bridges identified three stages of transitioning: ending, neutral zone, and new beginning. From a high level, this is also the process of personal inner transformation. Something ends in your life, and moving forward into transition involves accepting loss. Something is over. We have to let it go otherwise we get stuck, like Artax in 'The Never Ending Story', in the dreaded Swamps of Sadness.
As soon as the door is closed on all that was (a relationship, job, environment, dream, friendships and so on), we move naturally into the period Bridges calls the neutral zone. This is a sort of no man’s land where we experience uncertainty and heightened emotions. Through trial and error, going forwards a bit, sideways a bit, even backwards for a while before once again going forward, we find the path through the maze of the unknown. One day we are up and the next down and we cannot make any decisions. It's all good. This is your process. Your strength, sense of purpose and faith are all on display and the vulnerability of making do without the shell of all that we took as given, can be painful and shocking.
Despite this chaos, we must hold on to our visions and goals, trusting that we will eventually get there, wherever 'there' is! During this phase we face various tests, of our character, our values, our integrity, and our willingness to let go and be open to new possibilities. The key to a successful outcome during this phase is to let go any fear, anxiety and self-doubt that might arise, because these block the flow of energy and cause us to stall. Any action driven by fear is doomed to failure.
Like emerging from a thick fog into the sunshine, at the right time a new beginning evolves. We have survived and are now enriched with a wealth of new knowledge, experience and wisdom, In a real sense, we are reborn with new ways of thinking, acting and being. Hell, we might even look different!
The Process of Personal Transformation
The direction our transition takes which results in changes in our life, is largely dependent on our internal state. What we think and the way we talk to ourselves determines what we feel, which in turn dictates our actions and what happens in our life. Words are incredibly powerful energetic forces with an electric charge to them. Negative words have an immediate destructive effect. "I can't do this", "it's hopeless", "life's a bitch", go out into the world and then circle back to you with predictable results. They must be eradicated. They fuel anxiety, hopelessness and a feeling of dread catapulting us into a downward spiral that will be hard to come back from.
The ego loves this negativity because it fuels its false identity: It's me against the world! You have to fight to survive! You have to be tough! Such thinking is a mistake. The way to stop it is not to try to do anything about it. Simply ignore it. Focus instead on returning to or developing higher values like connection, compassion, kindness, respect, humility, integrity and resilience. The words become, "I can do this", "be unconcerned all is well", "you are not alone", "my vision is manifesting". Spirituality is something we might not bother with when everything is going well for us materially. During challenging transitions when a lot is at stake, we can connect with and draw on the intelligence and guidance of a higher knowing within us. We can transform our thoughts and words, lift our energetic vibration and feel immediately better. We feel stronger, connected, guided, more optimistic, more capable, more worthy.
Spirituality is about meaning and purpose, being fully alive in the moment, present to life rather than lost in thought. The trance of our constant thinking and analysis stops when we encounter crisis, and in such moments we are actually acutely alive. Perhaps for the first time in your life, all thought stops. Without that internal noise we can appreciate something deeper, something bigger, something better. Fully aware, experiencing embodied presence, we come alive to our senses and have a whole new experience of life. There is peace inside us. Our deepest values are now driving forces within us. All the things we used to put off we now do easily, procrastination is gone. All negativity has dissolved and dispersed. It feels good, it feels easy and simple. Like the beautiful slug, we just go about our business with goodwill in our heart, and what we want starts happening.
Embrace Your Own Learning and Growth
Being under intense pressure can therefore be an ideal opportunity to learn and grow. Here are some lessons from the slug to help you on your way:
In conclusion, when facing overwhelming odds and your goals seem unattainable, never give up. This is your chance to develop resilience and faith. Do not fight, rather slow down, knowing in your bones that you are not alone and all is well despite outward appearances. There is a larger agenda here that you might not be able to see. Let go the need for any specific outcomes while holding your vision for the future firmly in mind. Feel that meaningful, purposeful future lovingly inside you, knowing that the fact that you can imagine it and feel it now means it already exists within you. With that unrelenting, quiet determination that is completely free of anxiety and doubt, trust the universe to manifest it for you, in its own way, in its own time. It will.
This is slug power.
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