Nurturing the Breakthroughs: From Aha! to Action in Our Need to Heal

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images


The angels sing. The skies open up and shine down a light of clarity. Suddenly, the thing that was hidden in that dense forest of your vast emotional spectrum has been made irreversibly clear.

You are coaxed, either by dialogue or devastation, into the space that calls for you to leave that relationship, have that heavy conversation, start that business, omit those foods from your diet. To write that letter, buy that ticket, remove yourself from that environment, to move on with your life.

Whatever the necessary action, it calls for radical, if not immediate, change. And you get that now.

But what happens after the angels’ voices come to a halt, the skies close back up, and that once warm beam of light finally starts to cool down?

After the Aha! moment, how do you take the realization from radical idea to concrete action?

The truth is that we often lean in so deeply in that Aha! space that we fall short in the planning of the after party.

If you’ve ever had a moment of crystal clarity around what you need to start or stop doing, but couldn’t quite lay out the plan to make the shift, here are three things you can do today to get out of purgatory and en route to your new heaven.

1. Share the Breakthrough with Someone You Trust

Because accountability often moves energy from potential to kinetic.

You know good and well that you can mull it over in your mind for days, weeks, or even months without actually moving forward.

If you put the words and the intention in the hands of someone that you trust, they can help you carry it and snap you out of the fears that may run alongside your need to shift.

This is not about expecting them to carry the energy of the intention for you, but more so to remind you of what you said you needed to do, and if necessary, help you to get it done.

When you tell them about your Aha!, be sure to give details about why you need to do it, and let them know you are sharing it with them because you welcome their support and accountability.

It doesn’t matter whether they agree with your reasons for doing the thing, just that they are willing to keep your ass to the fire in efforts to counter potential stagnation.

2. Write Out Your Life on the Other Side of the Breakthrough

Because we often get so stuck in the fear and the strategy that we forget about the power of sending a bit of ourselves to the end of the climb.

I once read a quote about sending a bit of yourself to the end of the journey somewhere, and that thing charged me up like a shot of wheatgrass!

When you make time to envision the result, instead of focusing on the climb itself, you infuse your cells with the vibration of success, and you lower the volume of the very voices that kept you in that stale space to begin with.

Get a notebook, or start an e-folder, specifically for this transition.

On the first page, write out three detailed paragraphs about the You you will be on the other side of this choice.

Write out your name, so you can see it on the paper or the screen, and be sure to call upon as many of your senses as you can access: Will you look any different? Will your environment look any different? How will the flow of your day change? What else comes with the decision to make this change?

Get all up in that energy!

Not because you are attaching yourself to a specific outcome, but because you are committed to the shift, and because your ability to see yourself clearly on the other side of the shift is like fuel for that flight.

Those two steps are all about mindset. It’s the soul work before the strategy, and both parts are vital.

Now that your soul work stations have been set up, both in your accountability partner and in the power of your visualizations and words (both written and spoken), you have the foundation upon which your strategy can be built.

3. Map Out Your Route by Finding at Least One Opportunity Each Day to Take in the Actual Change

Because it will sit on your (mental) top shelf with all the other grand aspirations and hopes you have, unless you create a plan to implement.

This is the “how” part, and let me make clear that “not knowing how it can possibly happen” is an excuse you can no longer afford to accept.

Words like impossible, insurmountable, unlikely, and far-fetched are just fear-steeped words that hold no more weight than their positive counterparts.

Actually, that’s not quite true.

Professionals who study under the science of Positive Psychology have noted and proven that our brains require an average of three positive thoughts to counter one negative thought. Iit’s this 3-to-1 ratio that could be keeping you from moving past the Aha!.

Essentially, it’s usually less about “how will I get this done?” and more about “what if I can’t do this?”

So, what can you do to resolve this?

One Positive Psychology pioneer and researcher, Barbara L. Frederickson, Ph.D., offers a gem from her book, Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3-to-1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life, that might feed you in this space:

“The beauty of the 3-to-1 positivity ratio is that it’s large enough to encompass the full range of human emotions. There’s no emotion that needs to be forever shunned or repressed.”

The takeaway is to feel however you feel.

Let yourself feel afraid, sad, uncertain, and utterly confused. There is no shame or defeat in accepting your emotions, only in letting your life be determined by the ones that work in opposition to the way you want to feel.

When the work of “how” becomes overwhelming, start by asking yourself what I consider the most powerful question any woman can ask herself…

But How Do You Want to Feel?

Yes, the road may be wrought with uncertainty. And yes, this shift may require you to act more on faith than clearly defined steps. But you would not have been able to access that Aha! unless the reasons for change weren’t evident.

Focus on the reasons you need to change, and let the way you want to feel take precedence over the fleeting spectrum of emotions that you currently feel.

How do you currently feel about being in that relationship? How do you currently feel about those ideas you have yet to implement? How do you currently feel about being stuck in that physical or emotional space?

You may not be clear on what to do, but how do you want to feel? What do you need now, in order to feel the way you want to feel?

Explore those questions daily – several times per day, perhaps – and as you continue to focus your attention and intention on those questions, your What I Need Now (WINN) will come.

And when you see and hear that WINN, obey it. Marinate in it by testing the waters with little steps and big steps in the direction of how you want to feel.

Ultimately, you and that Self will converge. It is Universal Law.

And the resources you need will show themselves, just as the Aha! showed you those once obscured reasons for why change is no longer a luxury, but a vital component of your survival.

Let Zora Neale Hurston offer you one last bit of life juice for your journey…

“I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions.”

So, go on ahead.

Create your own reality, one conscious decision, followed by direct action, at a time. Let your past be the illusion from which you distance yourself, and let the way you want to feel be the Queen you serve, until you can fully recognize that she is in fact, the Queen you are already becoming.


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Akilah S. Richards is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. She is a six-time author, digital content writer, and lifestyle coach who writes passionately about self-expression, womanhood, modern feminism, location independence and the unschooling lifestyle. Connect with Akilah on InstagramTumblr, or her #radicalselfie e-home, radicalselfie.comRead her articles.