Ep. 177: Why We Revert Back to Old Ways

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We can often be concerned about “losing” the benefits and insights of a therapeutic process, whether that’s plant medicine, entheogens, entering into a long-term commitment with coaching or therapy. 


We start to fear, what if what I might gain fades? 


Or afterward, we think, “Wow, these insights are so potent…but what if it doesn’t last?” 


People often share this vulnerable fear in advance during the start of the Adventure Mastermind, for example. They’ll say, “One of my concerns is that I’ll make all this progress, and then forget it all once the retreat or program is over.” 

 I remember when I’ve been on a long retreat, and I’ll have had these powerful experiences and feel so serene and connected and calm… then as time passes back in the more common world, I’d feel this progress start to fade. 

 My serenity was less palpable, my patience was fading (that’s usually the first to go;) and I’d almost mourn this process. 


This is important to address, because if not, it can lead to depression, anxiety, or hopelessness about our capacit to heal and grow (hopelessness is one of the obstacles to our path that’s also mentioned in the sutras). 

The good news is it isn’t because we’re messed up or too broken. It’s actually a very normal process in ANY transformational process. 


It’s so important that we see it as such, and not start to catastrophize that we’re about to lose it all or that we can never grow. 


This is our Soul doing its thing, working out the kinks. It’s a reminder that we haven’t quite fully embodied the insights and transformation (and that’s to be expected). 


So while it may feel like the ecstasy of the experience starts to fade, it’s important to remember that the transformation is not (a mind once stretched can’t return to its former dimensions!), and that we are just needing more practice to embody it. 

 After the ecstasy, we often enter a stage of uncertainty, confusion, anxiety, as we realize we don’t know what comes next, and we don’t completely understand what’s going on. 


But instead of resisting this space of not-knowing – which often contributes to us running back to old patters – we can surrender into the fact that this is exactly how it’s supposed to feel. 


It’s the ego-identified Self that tends to cause all the regression. It’s those parts of us that don’t quite believe that we’ve got it yet, so they step in with shouting, “Revert revert, revert!” 


The reason they feel this way is because while the transformation is irreversible, the implementation is easier said than done. 


One of the things I recommend to my clients is to expect that this will happen. Then, when it does happen, instead of getting all self-critica thinking something is wrong with usl, we can say, ah yes! This is that dance that my ego is doing because I haven’y fully embodied this insight yet. 


And that will take time. 


When we notice we reverted to old ways, this is also the time where we need to remind ourselves of our new insights and redirect our mind to the knowing we have from the transformational experience. This is why I often recommend talismas to people that will help them stay connected to their truths – because this is to be expected;) 


We can remind ourselves…. 


How important self-love is.  


How we are 100% worthy and lovable as we are. 


How our purpose, our calling, is not our career, but how we show up in the world. 


How we are indeed safe. 

 The more we redirect back to our insights, the more it will be integrated into our consciousness and become fully embodied. And become our new default! 


And, of course, this takes time and practice, which – if you’re impatient like me – sucks to accept;) 


The more helpful step is to surrender to what is.  


And yall, we need to be patient with ourselves through all of this. If not, the ego gets louder and continues to resist instead of surrendering. We can get depressed or feel hopeless or anxious. 


While surrendering to reality is essential, it doesn’t need to happen right away. We can soften the edges around it and approach it slowly 😉 


A mindfulness practice can help with this so much because it keeps us in the present, not worried about the future or ruminating about the past. We can accept that we have no idea what’s next (in reality, NO ONE does). So there’s no need to create unnecessary suffering via our minds. 


How long does this dance between the old ways and new insights last? As long as it’s supposed to… and we can’t control it one bit. 


One key question we can ask is what do I know for sure is true about what is happening right now, in this moment – because more often than not, our old pattern is based on a story, not reality or truth. 


As you can probably guess, it’s so important that we have a lot of self-compassion after a powerful insight or transformational experience.If we find ourselves spiraling after we realize we’ve regressed into habitual behaviors, we can remember that it’s a natural part of the process. 


You will learn: 

// Why we regress or fall back whenever we experience any kind of growth 

// What regression really means and why we should stop fighting it 

// Steps we can take BEFORE we revert to help us through the process 

// Ways to practice surrendering to the present moment (wu wei). 



// Episode 100: How to Know You’re Making Progress 


// Episode 113: The One Thing 


// Episode 126: How to Know if Your Making Spiritual Progress 


// Episode 175: The Two Wings of Freedom 


// If you want to engage and commit to this path for a longer term experience, visit AdventureMastermind.com to get on the waitlist to be the first to hear about the next dates and locations. (P.S. If you’ve already done the mastermind, stay tuned for a special alumni retreat. We’ll pick up right where we left off and dive even deeper!) 


// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics. 


// Want something more self-paced with access to weekly group support and getting coached by yours truly? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out. Plus, we have entire months devoted to wisdom and compassion. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com. I can’t wait to see you there!