I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been dealing with some low-level anxiety in recent weeks. I say “low level” because I have a history of severe panic attacks and generalized anxiety that was, at several points in my life, completely debilitating. What I’m experiencing now pales in comparison to the intensity of my symptoms when I was younger and much of that is due to the fact that, when I was younger, my anxiety was triggered by a constant abandonment of my body and spirit, through self destructive habits and trying desperately to be anyone other than myself. It was my body’s way of letting me know that I needed to come back home to myself and make some serious shifts in my lifestyle and self-care practices, which at that point were pretty much non-existent.

What’s been coming up for me lately has an entirely different tone to it and I think that’s because the tension I’m feeling is more of a growing pain of sorts. It’s the fear that comes when you find yourself standing on the precipice of major life shifts, preparing to confront the unknown, and choosing to have faith in yourself and in the universe so that you can take the leap.

It’s still uncomfortable in certain ways, but it’s also exciting, and for me right now, it feels necessary. I want to live a life full of growth and expansion, and sometimes that means a little butterfly medicine—breaking down to break through just as the caterpillar does on it’s way to emerging with wings.

I’ve learned to trust this process. To embrace the discomfort and to continually tune into, rather than out of, my body for guidance on what is truly right for me, and what is not. And in the moments where it gets really challenging, I dig more deeply into my self-care practices. Removing unnecessary stressors, keeping a clean and balanced diet, getting up and going to sleep on the earlier side, meditating, engaging in regular movement, and getting some sunlight on my face. What supports each of us is unique but these are the practices I’ve found most helpful for me.

If you’re moving through fear or anxiety right now, my wish for you is that you find a way to embrace it, as crazy as I know that might sound. That you make friends with it and open to being curious about what it might be trying to tell you. And that, through this process, you find a deeper connection to yourself, more tenderness, and maybe even some gifts that you didn’t even know were hiding in there.