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Wading Through the Wasteland: What in Your Life is Simply Not Working?

Lately, we have been talking quite a bit about embracing the call to own your essence, but how can we learn to listen to that deep inner voice if we have no idea what it sounds like? How will you know when you’re being called to walk a different path, to identify and live from your own personal truth? Join Lizanne Corbit, Denver therapist for women, in an exploration of this topic. 

As you begin to read Lizanne’s latest book, Notorious: Poetic Travels of the Fierce Feminine, you’ll inevitably wonder. We (her team of fierce women) certainly did, which is why we are back for another installment here on the blog. We asked Lizanne to talk to us about the first chapter, Embracing the Call: Listening for the Deep Abiding Truth in the Cacophony of Chaos, and how that may be applied to the daily lives of other women like ourselves.

The phrase, cacophony of chaos, is very attention-grabbing, especially because it’s so relatable. Can you tell us what led you to choose that title?

Lizanne: It truly is relatable; in one way or another, we all live in what feels like a cacophony of chaos. It’s so easy for us – both men and women – to be swallowed up by the busy demands of modern society. We feel compelled to adhere to social norms and constantly meet (or exceed) the expectations of others. What’s worse is that our society rewards that behavior, which often exists under the guise of ambition. We love to praise over-achievers.

For others, the chaos exists within. It is more of a coping strategy or survival tactic that we have developed over time: I need to do more, I should be more, I have to give more – always more.

Some will even cling to their suffering, because they have become so dependent upon it as an adaptive strategy. This is the kind of inner chaos that sounds more like, “I am defective, I don’t belong,” and so on.

You should ask yourself exactly how committed are you to the healing process.

In the midst of all that chaos, how do we know it’s finally time for a change? What does it look or feel like?

Lizanne: It looks and feels like what I call “the wasteland”. What in your life is not working? The wasteland is what comes before we embrace the call, and most often, it’s a feeling that we struggle to identify or label. It’s that internal nagging feeling that something just doesn’t fit, or you’re out of place. It can lead you to feel exhausted – mentally, physically, emotionally. You may become overworked, depressed, or anxious. Those feelings absolutely will persist (and even get worse) until you surrender to what your inner essence is trying to tell you.

Essentially, what happens is that in the wasteland, we get stripped down because we try the same thing over and over again until we realize it’s broken. That’s why we feel so drained during these times in our lives, but it’s a necessary kind of exhaustion. This inspires us to look at new ways of doing things, and as I often say, you have to break down before you can break through.

Say we feel the kind of discomfort you described as “the wasteland”. What happens if we just accept that as a way of life? What if we fail to answer the call?

Lizanne: Well, what happens in these situations is that the universe just gets meaner. By that, I mean that your exhaustion becomes more severe. Your low-grade unhappiness expands into things like job loss, broken relationships, or worse. Your mild dissatisfaction evolves into true depression and anxiety.

Until we open our hearts and minds to the call, it will simply continue to grow louder and more unbearable. That’s why, when something in our lives just isn’t working for us, we have to ask ourselves important questions about why and what it all means.

When we remove these negative influences and feelings from our lives, we are making space for more of our authentic selves. We can fill that space with personal growth, some part of our truth, or something positive – like gratitude, hope, and appreciation.

Lizanne Corbit is a Denver therapist for women and anyone suffering from grief, depression, anxiety or codependency.

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