In this journey of self-discovery, healing, inner awareness, consciousness, or whatever you call it, there are these moments. After you put in a lot of hard work, you emerge feeling super clear, strong and ready to take on the world.
In these moments, it feels like you are done.
Life feels wonderful and clear. These amazing moments can last from a few minutes, to a few months, to a few years.
It feels like you have worked so hard all these years, and finally, you can breathe, relax and enjoy this inner peace and smooth life. Finally!
Complacency can set in when you are in between cycles.
When life goes smoothly and falls into place, it is very easy to believe that you are done. And you can finally sit back on your laurels and relax.
Yet, life has a way of reminding you that you are not done.
Something happens that tells you that there is a next layer or level to manage and work through. It is as though you take a break in your journey, and it is time to set off on the next set of discoveries.
Life’s reminders come in different ways. You might notice things change and shift. Gradually, the old pains and wounds you thought you had managed and finished dealing with… reappear. And here you are, at the beginning of another cycle of managing this all over again!
Here is an example. If you have a history with difficult people, you might once again meet difficult people in your path. They can be your colleagues, your business partners, your clients or even your own friends and family.
This time, you might need to do it differently, You might have learnt some tactics that worked in the previous cycle, and try it out again.
For me, complacency sets in after major milestones. After my first major healing programme, I was clear-minded, energetic and migraine-free for 2 years. It felt so amazing, like I could conquer anything as long as I put my mind to it. Then, the migraines came back, the moments of lostness and confusion came back, the tiredness came back. No matter how much healing I did (using the techniques learnt initially), it had limited short term effects.
So I went on to take a second major transformation programme that involved going back to face my past unconcious trauma. Once again, I emerged clear-minded, energetic and migraine-free for 2 years. I could work for 16 to 20 hours a day without getting tired. It felt amazing to be in the flow of abundant energy, ideas and drive. Then, the migraines came back, the self-doubt, fear and underlying issues resurfaced. Again, employing the previous methods of more deeply transformative and healing programmes had limited short term effects.
I went into a third cycle of change. This time, it was different. I was still under the illusion that I had the same flow of abundant energy and rosy view that everything is well. Even when I was dead tired, I tried to push through projects. I picked the wrong people to work with who ended up being abusive. Eventually, I worked until I ran out of resources – energy, drive, money, inner spirit. Finally, at this point, I learnt the lesson of what happens when I work for short term gains, ignore sustainability and long term management.
Exhaustion of all resources started the third cycle of change, where I re-learnt relationships. I re-examined and re-learnt how to love myself and my family. A major decision was to bring acceptance, kindness and compassion back into my life. Things started to fall in place with my relationships, career, and healing and meditation practice. I felt a sense of inner joy, contentment and acceptance. It has been wonderful.
Throughout this period, through times of clarity and muddled thoughts, somehow, it seems that my migraines, which could range anywhere from a mild throb to a nauseating pain, are an indicator. When the skies are clear in my mind, there is no pain. Conversely, when the skies begin to get cloudy in my mind, before I am aware of the mess in thoughts, my body first starts indicating the beginnings of pain. If I continue to push without stopping, it reaches of point of ultimate pain where I am forced to stop and reflect, check and adjust.
Here was another lesson on life’s indicators: when I get complacent and take my energy and momentum for granted for too long, migraine pains begin to set in like a reminder.
How does life tell you have been complacent, or that something needs to change?
These signs and signals may come in differently. Some face challenges in their jobs or relationships, while others face bodily pain or dysfunctions.
One important lesson I am learning: We are never really done.
There are multiple layers to work through, for each challenge that we are trying to heal, to evolve or to overcome. Each layer might be a bit different. By realising that you are on the next layer, and by making a conscious choice to work on it, you begin the process of healing and improving.
It is a journey.
If you find yourself going through cycles like this, it is a part of the process. Enjoy the journey. Face the challenge, work on yourself, see improvements and enjoy the moments of peace and calm. And then, face the next set of challenges again.
While it is easy to feel complacent in between cycles, you can enjoy the calmness. Be mindful of complacency and prepare for what might come next.