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Leaning Into Our Mess: A Spiritual Practice

Updated: Jul 6

Ultimately, the cure for numbing is developing tools and practices that allow you to lean into discomfort and renew your spirit.

~ Brené Brown

As I sit at a desk in my daughter's apartment, amidst feelings of being stuck, with my plans to move out of the mainland put momentarily on hold, my beloved dogs back in boarding, and all my belongings already donated to Goodwill or claimed by eager responders to my Marketplace ads; I contemplate my journey.

What can I do? I lean in and admit that this is my message today.

My Mess

Movement and action are my usual modes. Standstills? Not exactly my cup of tea. Yet here I am, embracing one nonetheless.

Despite my usual penchant for thorough research and deliberate decision-making, I unexpectedly parked at my daughter's place for what I thought would be a brief pit stop—a couple of days. Two months later, here I still am. The reasons are rooted both in logistics and spiritual unrest. I have lived in California for two decades, two of my dogs belong to breeds with travel restrictions, and my grandchildren live here. Complications are everywhere, yet the decision feels right.

Perhaps, in this standstill, there are lessons to be learned, insights to be gained, and a deeper understanding waiting to emerge.

As I sit amidst six boxes and three suitcases—the remnants of my belongings—I find myself pondering this moment, asking:

  • What message does it hold for me?

  • What lessons remain to be unveiled before I can forge ahead?

  • What spiritual evolution is taking shape amidst this seemingly stagnant phase?

  • Could unexplored realms of grief and loss be contributing to the inertia?

Even if you cannot relate directly to my circumstances, perhaps you can resonate with these questions. Let's delve deeper into this exploration.

The Mess As a Vehicle for Spiritual Integration

Experiencing a spiritual mess is not merely a stumble in the journey but an invitation to profound transformation and spiritual awakening. Within the chaos lies the potential for growth and enlightenment.

Here are four critical avenues through which embracing the mess becomes a sacred pathway:

Lean Into Vulnerability

Leaning into vulnerability involves recognizing the inherent value and significance of opening oneself to authenticity and emotional honesty. It's about acknowledging that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but a courageous act of self-discovery and connection with others. Through it, we can uncover deeper truths about ourselves and our experiences, creating greater fulfillment. Practicing vulnerability involves overcoming discomfort and uncertainty.

Small and Meaningful Action in Service of Vulnerability

When feeling vulnerable as a result of experiencing a standstill or spiritual unrest, we can:

  • Practice Authentic Communication: Share our thoughts and feelings openly with trusted friends or family members, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in expressing our inner struggles and uncertainties.

  • Journal: Dedicate a few minutes each day to journaling about our emotions, fears, and hopes, allowing ourselves to explore and process our vulnerabilities in a safe and private space.

  • Self-Compassion: Treat ourselves with kindness and understanding during moments of vulnerability, acknowledge that it is okay to feel uncertain or exposed, and offer ourselves the compassion we would to a friend in need.

Lean Into Cultivating Resilience

Leaning into cultivating resilience entails recognizing the transformative power of adversity and setbacks. It is about understanding that resilience is about becoming more robust. In those moments, we can find more profound meaning and purpose in our experiences, discovering our inner strength and capacity for growth. Practicing resilience involves reframing setbacks as opportunities for learning and personal development, knowing that it is through challenges that we uncover our true potential and find greater meaning and purpose in our lives.

Small and Meaningful Action in Service of Resilience

When feeling weakened by our circumstances, unforeseen delays, and unrest, we can:

  • Practice Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments each day to practice mindful breathing, focusing on the present moment and cultivating a sense of calm and clarity amidst uncertainty.

  • Set Daily Intentions: Start our day by setting a positive intention or affirmation, guiding our mindset and actions towards calmness, positive yet clear actions, and inner strength.

  • Seek Support: Reach out to supportive friends, family members, or communities for encouragement and guidance, recognizing that we do not have to navigate the standstill alone and that asking for help is a sign of strength.

Lean Into Deepening Self-Understanding

Leaning into deepening self-understanding is recognizing that true fulfillment comes from knowing ourselves profoundly and living authentically aligning with our values and aspirations. We uncover our unique strengths, passions, and desires through the process, leading to a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment. As we embark on a journey within, we gain clarity about who we are and what matters most to us, allowing us to make choices that align with our true selves.

Small and Meaningful Action in Deepening Self-Understanding

As we continue our journey through the process of preparing for the moment when external action is called for, we can:

  • Reflect: Set aside quiet time each day for self-reflection, allowing ourselves to explore our thoughts, emotions, and experiences with curiosity and openness.

  • Seek Knowledge: Engage in learning activities such as reading books, listening to podcasts, or attending workshops that align with our interests and spiritual growth, expanding our understanding and perspective.

  • Connect with Nature: Spend time in nature, whether going for a walk in the park, sitting by a river, or simply observing the beauty of the outdoors. Nature can provide peace and connection, fostering deeper insights and understanding during spiritual unrest.

The Power of Tiny Actions

Tiny actions may seem small individually, but collectively, they can cultivate peace, positivity, and alignment in your life. By consistently practicing small acts of self-care, gratitude, mindfulness, and kindness, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond ourselves. The key is to focus on what we can control while the universe takes care of the details beyond our awareness.

We can identify one small, actionable step we can take each day towards a goal or task, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Or break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps and focus on completing one daily. We can also celebrate our progress, no matter how small, and trust that each tiny step forward brings us closer to overcoming the challenges of the standstill.


In conclusion, navigating through the messy parts of our lives can be seen as a profound spiritual practice—embracing vulnerability, cultivating resilience, and deepening self-understanding. It is about leaning into the discomfort and uncertainty, recognizing that the potential for growth and transformation lies within the chaos. Amid a standstill or moment of spiritual unrest, we can take small, intentional actions that help us stay grounded, connected, and aligned with our true essence.

By embracing vulnerability, we open ourselves up to authentic connection and self-discovery. Cultivating resilience allows us to navigate challenges with strength and perseverance while deepening self-understanding leads to greater clarity and purpose.

Moreover, embracing the stillness called for now is not about a lack of movement but rather a way to tap into pure universal potentiality. It is about finding peace and clarity amidst the chaos, allowing ourselves to surrender to the flow of life, and trusting in the inherent wisdom of the universe.

Embrace the mess, dear friends, for within it lies the essence of our humanity and the key to our ultimate liberation.

Stay safe, dear sojourner, until we meet again on these pages or a complimentary discovery call.

Neidy Lozada, MATP, ATCC, CSIC, is an adaptive integrative and spiritual integration coach. She brings over twenty years of experience in transpersonal practices, coaching, and business to her work with individuals from all over the globe. She founded Soulful Sojourners following her long-held dream of building a company to provide top-notch coaching services to women, men, and organizations undergoing a profound transformational process. Neidy continues to serve non-profit organizations in the Bay Area through her work as a board member. She is a proud mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and devoted caretaker of furry companions.

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