Hello, Gorgeous Soul.

It is officially fall here in Colorado.

Fall is without a doubt the BEST season everywhere. The horrible summer with the incessant heat is ending, the mornings feel crisp, and all is right with the world again.

You might disagree about fall being the best but that’s ok. I won’t judge you for being so so wrong. I WILL judge you if you think summer is the best season, though. What kind of maniac likes to just be smothered in heat?

I was noticing when I pulled in to my driveway the other day that the trees are starting to lose their leaves, AND the gorgeous Aspens are starting to turn BRIGHT yellow.

IF we can get through without an early blizzard this year, MAYBE we’ll be able to enjoy those yellow beauties for more than a week.

But it just reminds me always of this universal truth that everything is always changing.

Always.

It can’t be fall forever, sadly.

The trees MUST go through the cycles of the season.

In the fall, the fruits are ripe for us to eat or they fall off and hopefully set the stage for new growth in the spring. The tree starts knowing that winter is coming, so the leaves start dying and falling off to preserve energy for the winter, where the tree basically hibernates.

Just like me.

And then in the spring when the conditions start becoming more favorable for a tree again, the leaves start budding, fruit starts growing, and the tree goes through rapid growth. There’s PLENTY of water from melting snow and rain that help the tree through this.

In the summer, it’s hot and horrible and the tree gets sick of the heat and stops growing and just sits probably complaining to it’s tree friends, but really it’s there just WAITING hoping and praying for the wonderful fall to come again.

And the truth of these seasons is that they are ALL important.

There is a reason for every season.

To have ripe fruit, we need heat.

To have new life, we need death.

We even need stupid hot summer. At least it’s not humid here. I always thought the whole “it’s a dry heat” was a thing people said to try and make themselves feel better about the heat. And MAYBE that’s what they do in Arizona but after spending 40 summers in Illinois and 4 in Colorado I can tell you with CERTAINTY that dry heat is better.

And it’s ok if you disagree. I won’t judge you for being wrong.

The universal truth is that every thing is always changing.

And it’s SUPPOSED to.

You, because you are a living organism, are meant to go through seasons JUST like trees.

The ONLY reason why you think you shouldn’t or you think that something has gone WRONG when you are experiencing struggle is because you are a living organism with a complex human brain.

This is why humans suffer.

Because of the THOUGHTS we are thinking about the season we are in.

There are many different seasons we go through as humans, but if you narrow it down to the simplest bite sized nugget, you are either FLOWING or you’re growing.

You are either feeling positive emotions or negative emotions.

Life is going smoothly or you’re going through a rough patch.

But because of your human brain, that likes to look for danger, instead of just allowing this truth, instead of surrendering to whatever season you’re in….you like to overthink it.

This is TRUE whether you’re flowing or growing.

Here’s what your BRAIN does when you are growing…aka when there are obstacles, when bad things happen, when life is hard, when people are jerks….

Your brain first tells you that it shouldn’t be happening.

“This shouldn’t be so hard. I always try to do the right hting, WHY do bad things keep happening to me?”

We resist the very normal season of growing BECAUSE no one teaches us that negative emotions are nothing to fear.

We aren’t taught when we’re young that ALL emotions are just normal. We’re taught that if we’re feeling sad, if we’re feeling angry, if we’re feeling down, if we’re feeling basically anything other than POSITIVE, that something is WRONG and we need to figure it out and fix it.

FRIENDS: FEELINGS AREN’T FOR FIXING. They’re for FEELING. And when you resist simply feeling them, allowing them, understanding that they’re there FOR you, for information, you will suffer WAY less when you’re growing or going through something hard.

I have many podcast epsisodes about how to navigate struggle without suffering, how to feel your feelings without drowning. Go back and find those.. I’ll try to link them up in the show notes below… THIS, learning how to stop letting the fear of negative feelings keep you from becoming your realest version of yourself is going to be a MAJOR theme in Rewired AF, my 6 month group program that just launched. It’s so fun! Make sure that you are on the waitlist for the next round. Get your self together, get yourself ready so that when doors open again in December, you’re not confused, you’re ready to GO. Just pause, go the the link below OR head to kristenfinch.com/rewiredAF to join the waitlist.

Ok, so first the brain tells you that when things are hard is that something has gone wrong because that’s the only reason why bad things happen.

It’s not. It’s life. Like the song Turn turn turn

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

There is no human experience without PAIN. There is no human experience without struggle. There is no human experience without a pretty even distribution of negative and positive feelings.

Sadness, anger, grief, despair, disappointment, frustration are not WRONG. The sign of a well lived life is NOT simply being happy all the time.

A well lived life is feeling good half the time, feeling not so good half the time and not suffering over any of it.

NOTHING has gone wrong when you are growing. And THAT is what you need to remind yourself of when you find yourself in the middle of a tough season or a tricky situaiton.

The next thing your brain will tell you when you are growing is that you can’t handle it.

Your brain will tell you that you don’t know how to do this, you don’t know the right thing to do, you don’t know HOW to get through this hard time.

But think about it: literally every obstacle you’ve ever come across in your path, you’ve handled.

Every time your money situation has been dire, you’ve figured out SOME sort of solution.

Every loss you’ve grieved, be it from a death or breakup or move…you’ve LEARNED how to manage it.

Every transition in your life, you have experienced the pain and then learned a new normal.

I’m often reminded of this when I talk to moms with kids younger than me. I’m reminded of how whenever my kids were going through something, it felt like an EMERGENCY to fix. In my case “I’m NEVER going to have time to myself again if I can’t get this girl to NAP. I can’t figure this out.”

At the time it felt URGENT. When I was telling myself “I can’t figure this out, I don’t know what to do I felt DESPERATE. And when I feel desperate I scatteredly try and find solutions. Buy all the books, watch all the videos, always in a high alert state. Try things once, “THIS doesn’t work” and give up.

And, of course, hindsight is 20/20 but now I see, oh yeah THAT felt awful AND I figured something out. She NEVER was a great napper, but I figured it out. And I was able to see my kiddo for who she was: this amazing little nugget whose brain was SUPER engaged in the world, a fiercely observant mini-human who was more interested in what people were up to than her own sleep.

Growing might be uncomfortable but THIS is when you learn.

And if you don’t spend all your time telling yourself you can’t do it – that it shouldn’t be happening – you will learn those lessons with grace and compassion instead of shame and self judgement.

So when your brain starts telling you “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how” you can remind yourself that you have survived and handled 100% of the shit you’ve been through so far.

GROWING may include pain, but when you learn how to go through without suffering, you learn resilience, THIS is when you gain confidence, AND THIS is when you learn how to LIVE BETTER when things are FLOWING.

So ideally, HALF of your life is growing and half is flowing.

But HERE’
S why that doesn’t always feel true.

Because like I just talked about when you’re SUFFERING in the growing season, it lasts longer. When you spend your time indulging in the thoughts of “why does this happen to me or this shouldn’t be happening or I’m never gonna feel better” you stop moving. You BLOCK the lessons when you don’t simply allow yourself to feel ALL your feelings.

But here’s the other reason why it doesn’t feel like half is growing and half is flowing.

Because when you DO get in the flow, things are coming together, it feels like life is lining up for you, your human brain STILL likes to show you the danger.

“Hey. You know it’s just a matter of time before the other shoe drops. You KNOW that every time something good happens, something bad is right behind it. Hey…don’t get TOO happy here in this flow season because when it gets ripped away, you’re going to feel AWFUL again.

And so we dull our happiness.

We underplay success.

As Brene Brown says, we forebode our joy.

Being in the flow state, where ideas are flowing and feelings are positive feels AMAZING, but allowing ourselves to enjoy the flow requires vulnerability.

It requires us to dive in KNOWING that life IS always changing, that there WILL be painful moments ahead.

But dulling down the feelings you experience in the FLOW state do NOT actually make the pain worse.

It just makes the JOY shorter.

It makes the FLOW less fun.

So here’s what to tell your brain about that.

It is SO safe for me to feel GOOD in this moment.

I do not need to protect my future self from pain right now, my future self will HANDLE it.

The more I allow this FLOW, the more I fill my reserve tank which will come in handy when the growing season starts again.

The key to a happy well-lived life is not to feel only positive feelings all the time.

It’s to suffer as little as possible.

To experience pain without suffering.

To experience joy without suffering.

To experience difficult times without letting them drown you.

To experience good times without worrying about what’s coming next.

You are ALWAYS either growing or flowing.

One is not better than the other.

There’s a reason for every season.

Except summer.

Summer can fuck off.

– AND –

If you love this show, you can help spread the love by leaving a review online, wherever you listen to it. I read all of them and it just makes my day. Just click your favorite icon and share what you enjoy about Calm AF!

Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadio

And if you want to dig deeper and work with a coach who’s GOT YOU, contact me to set up a free consult. I love working with people who are hard on themselves, the over-thinkers, people pleasers, perfectionists, and overachievers. Any of this ringing your bell? I’d love to hear from you!