Shift After a Difficult Breakup

Shift After a Difficult Breakup


Hi there, let's take a long deep breath.

And come fully into this moment — into presence — by intentionally focusing 100% of your attention into what you’re reading or listening to at this moment.


I came across a young man last night — in his 20s.

He was telling me that he had just had a breakup with his girlfriend of six years.

He was two weeks out of the breakup and is now trying to get back to meeting people, and starting a new life — because he'd moved to a new place.

It made me reflect on breakups.

And what we go through when we are struggling to make a major change to our life, and our lifestyle.

Facing the reality that — especially when you break up with someone who you've been really close to for a long time — the cells and the cellular networks within your brain and body that represent your attachment to that person don't just go away because the breakup happens one day.

They can take a long time to shift.

It takes time to find a new style of attachment — to find a new kind of feeling associated with the experience of bringing your person (your former person) into your inner world, and to change how thinking of that person affects you.

Those are some of the thoughts I had as I sat with my new friend and chatted a little bit. So I wanted to talk about that today.

I also want to wish everyone who's going through a breakup — especially if you’re fresh with it — I wish you well.

Know that it's normal to have very difficult feelings for a long time, both for the physical reasons that I just described and also for all of the emotional reasons that are more self-evident.

If that's something you're going through right now, hang in there.

Why don’t we come into presence further to continue.

Then I'll share one other idea that I think is worth thinking about if you're going through difficulty — a breakup of a relationship, or something similar.

Let’s first scan the space we're each in.

Place all your attention — 100% focused wherever you are.

This is a good exercise for bringing your attention into the present moment.

It's one thing to close your eyes, to go internal and listen deeply to your thoughts, and to explore your inner world to see where you're at.

But if you're like my friend from last night, maybe you're wanting to come back into the outer world in a new way. Scanning your environment is a beautiful way to intentionally experience the outer world.

So bring your attention outward now to get deeply connected to the unfathomable beauty that surrounds you constantly.

See the forms and shapes and colors and lights that the outer world takes.

Coming into appreciation of all that is a way of reconnecting with the outer world, which you may be looking to reconnect with in some new and very personal way if you're going through a breakup.

Take 30 seconds to look around your space.

See where your eyes decide to stop.

Enjoy the experience that seeing brings to you.

You can bring yourself into it by noticing changing light that reflects anywhere.

Or just notice the little details you don't usually notice — the shadows, or the layers of background.

Looking around your environment now — taking it in.

And keeping that intention of coming 100% into full presence.


Keep up with that if you're enjoying it.

Or shift to listening to life too, if you want to switch something up…

Try listening to life as you pay attention to your environment visually.

And I’ll say a little bit more about what I tried to share with this friend last night.

Without necessarily speaking advice to him, I just tried to share the experience of the outer world with him, and the awareness that what you are putting into the world is coming back to you.

If you’re wanting to come back into the world, or even just to change your relationship to life generally, rest assured that being positive and expecting life to give you love back is the way to approach the world — to re-engage with the world.

Because it is true that life loves you back.

One of my favorite sayings is…

Love life. It loves you back.

Those words powerfully encapsulate the true power of how you bring yourself to the world — and the influence that has on your life experience.

If you're ready to go back into the world, intend that for yourself.

Intend to love life.

And allow it to love you back.

Smile when you see people.

They will smile back at you, mostly.

Just authentically smile because you love life.

Life won't always love you back in that moment.

But if you are oriented to seeing love in the world, you're going to see it a lot.

And that's a great way to step back onto your journey.

Go out and smile. Say hello to people.

Love life. It loves you back.

That's what I wanted my new friend to experience and see.

We had a fun time actually.

So it did work out in that way, which was great.

Why don't we do one minute of a deep dive before we get back to our outer lives for the day?

Let’s continue where we left off — listening to life.

Close your eyes now if you want.

I’m going to close my eyes.

Let’s listen to life for one minute — to the sounds of life that you otherwise wouldn't hear.

Listen to the buzzing silence all around you.

Just listen.

That's perfect.

Keep listening as long as you want.

I’ll sign off now.

But first I’ll wish you — if you're struggling with having to move away from somebody in any kind of way — good luck with your journey.

Know that the world is out there waiting.

It’s ready to love you back when you're ready to jump back in.

Alright, have a great day.


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OnePerfect Shift is an audio letter from a psychologist that shifts you into a better state of mind anytime. Each post gives you a fresh look at your relationship to your mind and reminds you how much control you can have over your life experience.