Washing Machine

Sometimes we can feel as if we’ve been spinning round in the washing machine. This can follow certain challenging events or times of change. After this ‘washing machine spin cycle’, we may feel unsettled, confused, disoriented, upside down and somewhat lost.

The pandemic, lockdowns, openings up, closing downs, radical changes in what work and life looks like – this is clearly seismic change that can produce this effect. Many of us have gone through, and are still going through, much inner and outer shift.

When we experience this inner turbulence, how about not trying to analyse, understand, solve and fix, but, rather, let’s bring ourselves much compassion. And let’s recognise that it is a perfectly valid human experience.

Regarding confusion, the position of ‘I don’t know’ can be a really powerful place. It may feel absolutely undesirable. We may judge it as something being ‘wrong’, but generally, it means that some inner shift is occurring.

We feel confused and unsettled because we are in new territory. We are changing or changed. We are taking baby steps to discovering what that change is; how that fits in our contexts, in our work, our daily habits, our friendships and relationships. We might find ourselves moving in new ways, making new choices and using language such as ‘I’m done with….’ Bit by bit, we find our way into the fuller articulation of these changes. We may ask ourselves, ‘What is trying to emerge from me here?’, ‘Who do I need to become?’. And we may identify beautiful new intentions for this particular stage of our life.

Like the snake, we are shedding skin and emerging anew. Confusion comes before clarity, the darkest hour before the dawn. And in our reemergence we are often blessed with new insights and a new energy.

So, recognising this bigger whole, perhaps we can reframe disorientation (or the‘washing machine’) as an exciting precursor to a fabulous new stage in our evolution. And perhaps when confusion is here, we can hold more steady and surrender to its transformative powers.