Before. After. The Magical Messy Middle

A picture is worth a 1000 words. It’s true. The brain processes imagery at an exceptional speed. Advertisers, marketers, and people selling results know the power punch a single image can produce.  The overweight body to toned and thin. Single and alone to an embracing love. Money pains to money gains. A cluttered mess to a “Feng Shui success”. A small unspoken spirit to a dazzling out-spoken soul. The list goes on and on. It’s the classic storyline of the “before and after”. Pictures, phrases and desires plastered everywhere attempting to motivate, sell or inspire.

We look at the “after” photos and think. Wow, aren’t they amazing? And yes, the transformational results are amazing! However, the real power started in the “before” picture with the brave soul who stepped forward. Made a new choice. Took the first step. Broke the silence. Began the program. Declined the drink. Went to the gym. Had the hard conversation. Made the amends. Formed a commitment. Said yes. Said no. Made a decision to set a new trajectory of self-transformation.

What is most often overlooked is the magical messy middle it took to become that “after” state. It’s where the true soul strength lives. It’s in that “before” picture believing in something, even before others can see it.

What isn’t captured in the “before” picture is how many times they doubted themselves but still went for the walk, still showed up at the gym, declined the sweet treats so lovingly offered, said no to that lump sum of money that would have brought a lot of immediate financial freedom while only selling their soul and said yes in a new way.

Most likely, the magical messy middle is happening for you in one or more areas of your life. Could be in health or body improvement. Relationship seeking or deepening. Career redefining. Family dynamics. Financial restoration or healing. Home stability. Business expansion. A divorce. Creative expression. Raising children. The range of the ways we can encounter the messy middle on life’s journey is endless. 

The unknowns in the messy middle can sweep in. Overtake us in frightening scary ways or with a subtle unraveling pressure. We could get stuck at these roadblocks that will show up on the path if we don’t know how to re-calibrate ourselves, and make meaningful momentum toward our own soul-inspired “becoming” that leads to the “after” snapshot.

I have found that most of real life is happening in the magical messy middle.

I was standing thirty-five feet above the ground on a telephone pole for an event called, “the perch”. Nothing but open space and a gushing breeze of air surrounded me. I stood completely confined, not being able to step to the left or right. Both feet perched on a twelve-inch disc attached to a pole thirty-five feet in the air.

As I stood on that perch, the pole would take on whatever kind of energy I was transferring to it. If I was shaky, the pole would tremble and shake back. It was a matching energy feedback system between myself and the pole. My inner state would transfer to my outer environment instantaneously. My fastest way to getting stable was to focus on the inspired action. Across from me six feet in the air was a trapeze representing the inspired vision ahead.

Still, to this day, I can say the most significant aspect of that impacted me most wasn’t the exhilaration I felt jumping thirty-five feet in the air to a trapeze and catching it. The most magical part of the entire experience was that uncertain, scary, timeless, expansive zone of the unknown that happened right in the middle. We have all experienced certain events where time slows down and the moment becomes so expansive we enter a new zone.

It is truly a courageous soul who stands before each of us in the “before” picture full of so much power, possibility and willingness to embrace self-love one day at a time.

It takes real soul strength and stamina to speak the future envisioned self into being. Staying true to it. Not letting ourselves get derailed from the path.

We can get stuck at these life roadblocks that will show up if we aren’t re-fueling ourselves. Re-calibrating our soul to stay true to our path and power.

Wherever you are right now in the magical messy middle of your life, can you put down the self-inflicting whip that wants to rush you? Are you harshly pushing yourself to make it happen? Do you berate yourself as not good enough yet! Are you allowing the collected voices from others to take over your inner dominion?

Eleven years ago, when I was way deep in a thick dense forest of an overwhelming massive, messy middle. My life was filled with red-hot messes all around me in my life, I was napping with my three-year-old son. At that time, so many parts of my life needed fixing. Changing. To make more sense. I paused the performance of the hurried hustle to fix it, to force it to happen, to make it all better. I let it be. 

I allowed authentic action to speak to me. I felt like the luckiest gal in the universe because in that moment, I knew something powerful and true was emerging. I understand even more fully the power that time held for me as I observed others close to me exhausting themselves trying to hustle their way out of the same messy middle only to return to a similar spot again years later.

I allowed myself to be okay exactly where I was. I stopped the suffering and agony of trying to make it different. Find the instant fix. You know, the eight-second abs. Who doesn’t want them? Gosh, I know I would love them.

I have found, it just doesn’t work that way. Those so-called eight-second abs being promoted. There are five more steps, five days a week for five months straight or more to get there. As much as I would love them too. Life happens in steps. Slow steady steps. 

Hopefully, we take the time and pause enough to know the direction of the steps we are taking. Directing our beloved self to the “after” moment in life that we truly desire.

And occasionally we get those magical lifts that will give us a quantum leap forward. What I have also discovered is that when they come, the foundation has to be rooted in authenticity. The real genuine roots that are connected to our soul-inspired self for sustainability in results.

For today, can you look at the person in the mirror with honor and reverence who is in process of “becoming” something remarkable? In the before. After. The magical messy middle. As we are all. She is. And he is. Together, connected on our own paths.

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