It may feel like you have hit rock bottom from Day 1 when you first lose your business. Rarely is this the case. What you are experiencing at that time is simply the first stage loss.
Rock bottom is literally the furthest down you can go. There is no more down. Bottomed out.
If you are like most humans you may think you have arrived at this place multiple times before you actually arrive at this place.
Yep…this decent is a painful process.
There will be many times that you will beseech the heavens as to why? Why me? When is enough enough? Will this ever stop?
There will be foot stamping and tantrum throwing. There will be more paralysis. Foot stamping and tantrum throwing might happen immediately before and after paralysis, all in the course of 20 minutes, repeated one hundred times.
After each layer is shed there will be a place that you might say…surely this is it? This is the bottom? And then there is more….
‘How much more? I don’t think I can take any more.’
As sages have said through time immemorial, the only way out is through. The practice now becomes a continued process of letting go.
Holding tightly will only create more pain.
Loss is always counter intuitive. Let go…let go…let go…breath…let go some more.
Here are the signs of reaching rock bottom.
There will be an enormous sense of silence. Quiet. Stillness. There will be no more fight. No more hanging on. At the same time, there will be a sense of lightness, even if small. Simplicity will feel beautiful. The paradox of ease will be present, even though your external life might be a mess.
You will feel spaciousness for the first time in a very long time. And humility and compassion will be present. Compassion for self, and compassion for others.
Shame and guilt are evidence of the continued decent. They need to be shed on the downward journey. Any residue of them usually means you have not fully arrived at rock bottom. (Sorry to break that bad news)
At rock bottom shame and guilt have gone. It is as it is. This is what has happened. I am what I am. I am the decisions I have made that got me to this place. I accept that in all its scary glory. I can live with this.
For the first time you will be able to speak to others without any shame or guilt. No longer will there be the need to hide.
You may find healthy sleep returns for the first time in an age.
Most of the fear will be gone, and if it returns it will only be a whisper of its former loud self.
This stage is one of being present. Of resting and nourishing. It generally doesn’t last long as it opens the space for something new.
At this stage really nurture yourself. Sleep, eat healthy food, rest, be in nature, journal, contemplate, breath. Find your power place…the place you feel most at peace, and spend as much time there as you are able.
My power place is by the ocean. It is always the place I go to sink down into the intuitive knowing, to connect to what matters most. I try to spend time by the ocean at least 4 or 5 times a week. It is where my most creative thinking comes.
Rock bottom is also the stage to begin to acknowledge how far you have come. Many people in truth do not get to rock bottom. They spend their lives skating from paralysis to panic to shedding….recycling….always hiding their shame and guilt…the story they have of themselves that needs someone else’s approval….they live in loveless marriages and soulless careers….lurching from one disaster avoidance strategy to another. But the true rock bottom, the truthful letting go…this…this is too hard…so they live the half life of in between. For me this is the greatest human tragedy.