STEP 2 - TAKE STOCK
"Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around" Unknown
Step two is about taking stock. Looking at your life. Looking at yourself, your relationships and your health. Once you have your breath about you, from Step 1, you can begin to take stock of where you are now and what is going on around you and inside you. The alarm of a health crisis has woken you up! Perhaps it has shaken you out of the routines of life and the patterns to which you have become accustomed. If you have been dealing with a serious health issue for a long time now is the time to put it into focus. Now is the time to look around at your situation and your life and be brutally honest with where you are. Become curious. Why is this health crisis happening?
This is courageous work, where many fear to tread, so keep breathing. There is much support for you.
This is a vital step. Often we are in auto-pilot moving through our lives. Now more than ever there is so much to distract us from our own life and self. Computers, iPhones, Blackberries, YouTube, pinning, tweeting, texting...work, television....shopping, buying this and buying that, clutter, decluttering. A lot of buzzing and busyness. Then there is the food we eat, much of which is designed to numb us out or create an overbearing addiction to it, which in turn consumes our attention! To let that all go and take time to stay with yourself for long enough to take stock is vital. Some of us have been going around numb to our circumstances, or disconnected from our bodies so that we don't know what is going on. Many of us have been walking around for years with a pebble in our shoe and haven't got a clue, but we can tell you the hottest tweet of the day and can make sure we have plenty of sweet foods to make it all feel better. We think we can put on a smile and it's all alright. All we have to do is make sure we don't live too deep. Don't breathe too deep, don't think too deep, don't feel too deep or it may start to fall apart at the seams. But our body never lies. It is absolutely committed to truth.
'The body says what words cannot." Martha Graham
It may seem overwhelming to know where to start. So before plunging into an inventory of your life, take some time to get connected with yourself through a very simple, yet powerful writing exercise called "Free Writing". Free writing is designed to get beyond all the clutter and distractions in our life so we can listen to our deeper knowings about ourselves and what we need. All you have to do is take out a pen and paper, or get ready to write. Commit to writing for a minimum of 30 minutes nonstop, or for 3 full size 11x 8 pages. Write whatever comes to mind without censoring. You might begin with your grocery list or all other to do's that are floating around your head. You may start off staring at a black page, if so, write the first word that comes into your head and keep writing it until another thought appears. You may write "I don't know what to write" over and over until you do know what to write. Write whatever pops in your head. It doesn't have to make sense, nor does it have to be grammatically correct. Just follow your thoughts with your pen. Like you are trailing a very elusive escapee and your job is to follow them wherever they go. Not to comment on where they are going, just to track them. If you get stuck and don't know what to write, copy the last word you wrote until you have something else to write. Breathe. Remember, no censoring! Allow yourself to just write and know this a powerful tool for your journey. You are deepening your ability to be aware of yourself! Use this tool whenever you need to become clear, get grounded or check in with yourself. It is the process more than the content that has the greatest value. Your pen can lead you to the inner wisdom you forgot your had. This writing exercise can prepare you to take stock of where you are.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Once you have done some free writing, then your pen is warmed up and you are ready to launch into taking stock. Ruthlessly look at where you are in your life and ask yourself a lot of questions. Become curious. Why is this happening to me now? Why am I struggling with this now? Where is the pain in my life?
Write it down and get really clear. Now is the time to "tell it like it is." There is great relief to be had in looking directly at the truth of our lives. It takes far less energy than running from it! Click here to use our STEP 2 Worksheet which will prompt you with lots of rich questions so you can explore the following key areas of your life: Body and Health, Relationships and Family, Work, Finances and Spiritual Life.
Leave no stone unturned. It is important to know where you are, so you are clear about what you are working with and can figure out where you want to go. Think about what is working in your life, and what isn't. Be like a traveler taking in the surroundings of a place you are now visiting. Look around and be interested in why you are where you are. None of this defines you. Let go of your attachment to it. You are not your story. It is the story, the content of your life, but you are far more than that! The content of our lives is like the waves on the ocean. It may be stormy on the top, but it never stirs our depth.
Delve into resources that can support your exploration of step 2. We are here to support you through each step! If you feel like you have taken stock, do it again, and maybe one more time and then move along to Step 3.