Whether you opened your doors last week or you’ve been running your business for many years, it can be really challenging to keep up with your business when life takes you through personal heartbreak and every cell in your body wants to shut down. When we think of heartbreak, personal relationships come to mind, but heartbreak includes loss both in and out of your business. Perhaps you lost a treasured client or business partner, or your beloved pet got sick, or you made a huge life change and are moving to a new neighborhood or city.
Our natural tendency is to see these changes as a burden or something to push away or push through. Rather than seeing this as an obstacle or a hindrance, I encourage you to embrace it as a gift. The act of embracing the loss smoothes life’s rough edges and softens the heart, and can have a positive impact on your business and personal relationships. Your vulnerability may deepen your connection with yourself and expand your capacity to hold space for others when they are challenged.
Soothing a broken heart is a tender and personal journey, so I refuse to play “Dear Abby”. However, I truly believe we can benefit from sharing experiences, so I offer you some practices that have served me well over the years. It is my hope that what I have learned can help you transform a broken heart into an open heart.
• Get support. When I need self-care and nurturing, I turn to healing practitioners. Massage and acupuncture both offer gentle rebalancing that may help move the heartbreak through the body. If hands-on healing support isn’t available to you, a phone or Skype session with a coach can work in a pinch.
• Take a deep breath, embrace it. Take a moment to breathe, to feel the heartbreak and all the emotions that come with it. In When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chödrön reminds us “if we commit to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes very vivid…our understanding goes deeper.” This simple decision to notice what is happening, to slow down and to stay with your experience, is the first step toward healing.
• Embrace your vulnerability. You forgot to put an important client meeting on your calendar. Your brain checked out when you wanted to be listening. Instead of trying to impress someone with how well you’re holding everything together, drop your professional mask, own up to your stumble, and maybe, just maybe, you will find that you can laugh about it, breathe a little bit deeper, and accept the vulnerability in yourself and others.
• Call in a snow day. When all else fails, take a day off. The world will not fall apart if you turn your phone off for a few hours and go inward. I promise. And if it does, perhaps the falling away is making room for something new. Instead of trying to fight your way to what you need, take a day off and trust that you will get back up and try again tomorrow.
• Connect with Nature. The earth has a great capacity to hold both our sorrows and our rebirths. Leaves fall from the trees and are reabsorbed into the soil, seeds incubate until they are ready to bloom, tiny buds appear on branches that looked barren only weeks earlier. Let the cycle of life teach you about both loss and creation. Find a patch of grass and let Mother Earth hold you for a moment.
I’d love to hear from you about how you move through loss, especially when that loss impacts your role as a business owner and entrepreneur. How do you support a broken heart as it transforms into an open heart? What you are your practices? How have you moved through your heartbreak?
Join me next month for more on Deep Business. In the meantime, may your heart be open and may you move through your challenges with ease and grace.