Dublin, April 2014

Shaky. Lost. Face down. Rock bottom. Embarrassed. Dreams shattered. Identity stripped. Devastation. Disappointment. Vulnerable.

When things are falling apart, when it feels like perpetual gray skies, when we feel like a complete and utter failure, when everyone has seemed to turn their backs.  When we feel like the outcast, the only one who isn't doing it right, when everything we thought was false, when we put our trust, money, heart, soul in the wrong hands, when it all goes sideways. These are the moments when the negative voices in our heads take center stage. We become patient listeners and take all the self-imposed trash talk as gospel. We listen intently and embody all the fear, doubt, limited and lack thinking. We focus on our shortcomings and play the instant replay over and over again. We are masters at kicking ourselves when we are down. We breakdown then hate, blame and punish ourselves for every mistake, every misstep, every attempt gone wrong. We convince ourselves of the immensity of the overwhelm and that the current circumstance is due only to our incompetence.

We look back at our inevitable moments of breakdown, we take stock of our most recent and real breakdowns and cringe, cower, hide. We isolate. 

My breakdown, at least my most severe (they happen with relative frequency and flare), I can say without a doubt was my moment of greatest strength. I look back at that day with great pride, humility, gratitude and joy. My breakdown was ESSENTIAL for a breakthrough. It catapulted my life in a new direction that has brought me so much love and joy. I choose to love my breakdown. I choose to make my breakdown a pathway for continued breakthrough. I choose not to listen to the voices in my head. I choose to speak to myself instead. I choose to show up – to rely on my teachers, my coaches, my support network – I choose to breakthrough – to move forward with integrity and intention.  Having a breakdown is ok. A breakdown is great. A breakdown can be a blessing if we allow it to be. It all comes down to perspective.

Some questions I have used to work through moments of breakdown: 

What can I learn?

How can I grow?

What relationships can I build with others? With myself?

How would I counsel a friend?

How can I make this the best part of my story?

What can I let go of?

Breakdown is an essential part of growth. But we must be willing to stop, take a deep breath, rest and observe. Be still, silent, strong.  We train to break down the muscles, so that after proper rest we have become stronger. If we convince ourselves that it is always necessary to keep pushing through the pain, we rob ourselves of our full potential - we strip ourselves of a potential breakthrough.  When the voices in our head start chattering on about all the reasons we are not enough – we can choose not to listen. We can take a deep breath in and reconnect to what we are, our true strengths and move from that place. We are never stronger than in that moment of stillness, that moment of true power- that moment when we anchor into our soul - right before we explode with greatness.

Even under the thickest could cover, the sun shines -always bright- just waiting for the rain to run its course, serve its purpose. Relish each and every breakdown. Love them and allow them to love you back. They are leading to a breakthrough, your brilliant blue sky, your next peak – all you have to do is believe it to be so and choose to make it real.

Stable. Open. Still. Fresh. Authentic. New. Clean. Creative. Emerging. Courageous.

With just a few deep breaths and a few moments of stillness, you can make your breakdown a breakthrough.

Choose personal p. Own and love your breakdown so you can move through and get on with loving your breakthrough.