going through something hard?

read this, I wrote it for you

The founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, said “Today is cruel. Tomorrow is crueller. And, the day after tomorrow is beautiful.”

There’s no doubt, life can be hard. 

It’s up to us to navigate the hard days, knowing the beautiful days are just around the corner.

This weekend, I facilitated a workshop for a collective of remarkable entrepreneurs on how to cultivate resilience in work and in life. Resilience, I believe, is the most important psychological quality we can cultivate these days.

If you’re navigating a challenge, going through hard times, or facing a major change, this love letter is for you.

Dear Resilient One,

This time will pass, the heavy will lift, your heart will feel light again.

Until then, remember a beautiful day is coming.

When I was in the middle of the hardest moments of my life, when I was watching everything I had built burn, a single tethered thought kept me grounded.

This is the price of transformation.

Transformation is different from change.

Change is a subtle shift.

We change the color of paint on our walls or the sheets on our bed.

We change the type of toothpaste we use or the style of our hair.

Is it important we make changes, ones that are more aligned with who we want to be and how we want to live? Yes. For sure.

Does change have a meaningful impact?

Nah.

Does change last?

Not usually.

The essence of change is change.

Change is transient.

It’s always shifting.

But transformation is the process of being re-formed.

It’s about becoming stronger, smarter, or wiser than we were before.

It’s about allowing ourselves to be molded by life, for the good.

When you are in the fire of transformation, remember the phoenix.

The one who surrenders to the transformation.

The one who disintegrates into a pile of ash.

The one who rises to be born again.

The phoenix is a powerful archetypal reminder that none of us can avoid the life-death-life cycle of being human.

How can you make friends with the fire?

What would it feel like to trust the transformation?

When you embody the answers to these questions, you will emerge stronger than you were before.

If you are in the death phase of transformation – the death of an identity, a role, a relationship, a career, a fantasy, a survival strategy – remember that when one thing dies, another is born. This is the nature of life.

When a seed descends into the darkness of soil, it gives up its life as it knows it. It breaks open the tiny container that kept it safe. The small version dies so it can bloom into something more, something it is destined to become. When the essence of that seed pushes into the light. Something bigger emerges … a new life.

I remember when the Suns were in my belly, nestled into my heartbeat – safe, warm, and content in the darkness of their tiny womb world. When it got too small for them, they surrendered to their instinct and the pressure to be born. They moved through the dark and challenging tunnel and into the light. Something bigger emerged … a new life.

I’m sure you’ve heard the tale of the caterpillar too – the creature who dissolves into a goopy soup inside the small chrysalis. When the cells reorganize themselves into a butterfly, it is too big for the papery world. The butterfly must rip open the cocoon that kept it safe. It emerges into …  a new life.

Endings are beginnings.

If you are in the ending, the darkness, the unknown … remember, something beautiful is just around the corner.

We must ebb to flow.

We must inhale to exhale.

We must release to receive.

We must rest to regenerate.

We must contract to expand.

We are all in the process with you.

It’s the nature of life.  

You are not alone.

We are all living, dying, and living again.

Just like the seeds and the stars.

Just like the phoenix, we are all surrendering and becoming again.  

Just like the babies, we are all feeling the squeeze of life pushing us into a new world.  

The feelings you’re experiencing – the fear, the uncertainty, the disorientation, the overwhelm – this is what it feels like to dissolve. It’s part of the process of becoming the soup that somehow becomes the butterfly.

Welcome the transformation.

Breathe into it.

Trust it.

Explore what wants to be born.

Who do you want to be?

How do you want to feel?

What matters most to you now?

I just know, you will break through into the light of a new life.

Make it one you love.