Sometimes life gets intense – really intense.

The ex who just broke your heart is now sleeping with your 23-year old mentee. You drew boundaries with a pushy client and now she’s badmouthing you to important colleagues. You’re in the middle of a custody battle and your co-parent lies in court and manipulates your kids.

Whether the crisis involves your lover, your career, your reputation, your family or your health, this is no run-of-the-mill problem. You’re in the middle of an emotional tornado – one that’s hijacking every train of thought and sending you into adrenal overload. Even that first sleepy stretch of the day gets colored by a horrible pit-in-your-stomach feeling.

Well, know this: The dawn will break.

Light will come! There will be a day when the situation has passed, and you and everyone involved have moved on.

Even if you tried to keep things as they are, you couldn’t. Change is always a given.

The unknown part is how this experience will change YOU – and how your transformation may alter the outcome of everything from this day forward.

The Chinese word for “crisis” is made up of two characters, one of which means, “opportunity.” This situation doesn’t define you – you define it, for better or worse. See this crisis for the opportunity it is.

There are treasures here that are yours for the taking – as long as you’re committed to your own evolution and are willing to dive deep.

While the current crisis is undoubtedly stressful, it’s your old traumas and unconscious programming that add the extra fear, worry and negativity to send your nervous system into overload. Coming through this situation in an empowered, rather than a defeated state, means exploring some places you don’t normally access.

Become a Huntress

Become a huntress and stalk the shadows of your inner landscape. Every time you detect tension that has a lot of energy around it, or when you feel conflicted about how to move forward, pay attention! This is where old wounds and unconscious patterns have you ensnared. Each shadow you can illuminate will free you more and positively affect the way events unfold around you.

Listen acutely for when your inner child is scared and needs comfort, or when your worried mind plays worst-case scenarios on loop and needs a balanced perspective. Notice where you feel powerless and work to rediscover your sovereignty. Ask yourself honestly, “Who am I blaming for this situation?” Then take steps to claim responsibility for the consequences of your own decisions.

Some of this transformational work you can do on your own, but for much of it you may need the support of a therapist, co-counselor or wise friend.  

And while exploring your inner terrain, it can also be helpful to gain skills and information to help you navigate the outer situation as well. Seek relevant counsel, read books, enroll in a course or program.

You’re not alone.

And just like the Phoenix’s path through change is a process, your transformation will have its own course over time as well. Just breathe. You can’t possibly see the end result from where you are now. So just do your inner work; and as Oprah says, “determine what your next best step is,” one step at a time.

There are more riches at the end of this road than you can imagine. Keep going. Consistently raise your perspective to see from a higher vista, and you’ll turn this devastation into one of your most sacred and awesome transformations yet.