Archive for the ‘Fear and Anxiety’ Category
Is there someone in your life who you find intimidating or challenging? Perhaps it is time for a change in perspective.
Just imagine them:
- As a toddler having a tantrum
- Shrinking to a very small size and speaking in a mouse sized voice
- With words flashing on their forehead like sad, hurt, insecure, afraid, etc.
- As the sweet little infant they once were
- Morphing into a cartoon or fairy tale character
And, my favorite:
- See them for who they really are – a beautiful soul in a human body having a not so pretty life experience.
Don’t forget to leave a comment with your thoughts, ideas, or experiences using these tools.
I have heard it said that when someone loses their vision, their other senses grow stronger.
When people or things go away, it creates space for something new to come in.
When we get older and lose physical strength, our wisdom comes forward.
When a house burns down, people often say the fresh start was a true gift.
And, when it feels like all is lost, is exactly when we are most connected to our soul.
So, when we lose someone or something, we are always in a process of renewal. I think it will help to remember that when the losses come.
It’s always there on some level, lurking in the shadows or making a full frontal attack. Bad things happen. Tornados, hurricanes, divorce, people close to you get ill or die. It would be easy to become immobile with the sadness of it all, but that doesn’t serve anyone.
Here is what I have learned to do:
Check my perspective: I can see it all as tragic or I can trust that there are blessings too. I give myself permission not to understand and even if it feels yucky know that someone, maybe many, are growing from the experience. People support each other in tragedy, families come together when someone they love is dying, and from the ashes new dreams are born. It is not my place to decide what is good or bad, right or wrong, faith or love.
Do what I can: I read to my friend in hospice, support my clients through their challenges, and listen to a friend who just learned she has a life threatening condition. Volunteering and prayer are ways to help on a larger scale. There is always something I can do.
Focus on gratitude: I am a sensitive person and can easily take on the pain of others, but that does nothing to make things better. Instead, I acknowledge my feelings and let them come forward, but don’t let myself get stuck there. The way I do this is by recognizing the ways my life is blessed. When homes are destroyed by acts of nature I am thankful for the shelter I have and when my friend lost her mobility I was clear that my daily walks were a gift. The tragedies of others can bring into the light how lucky I am.
I am not saying that I have this down perfectly. I am human. What I can say is that this practice supports me and it gets easier each time. I wonder if it could support you, too.
- Focus in on a shorter period of time. Big or long term goals can feel complicated. Make smaller goals for this day, week, or month.
- Stay centered in the present and take one step at a time. Keep asking yourself, “What is the next small thing I can do that will move me forward?”
- Remember that there is no such thing as perfection and nothing has to be forever. You can always change your mind.
Hate – Love
Anger – Compassion
Fear – Courage
Pain – Joy
Stress – Peace
At some point in your life you will experience all of these, but you get to decide which ones you keep. You really do.
Which ones will you choose?
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Life is full of ups and downs and it is easy to get caught in the trap of letting your feelings and self worth rise and fall as things happen to you.
I remember once applying for a job and everything was going great until they gave me a test. I aced the personality questions, basic math, and word comprehension. And then, I came to a section on algebra. Now, algebra was never one of my strengths and it had been decades since I had even seen it. I was pretty sure it didn’t have anything to do with the job I was applying for.
But, it brought me to my knees.
I left that day feeling stupid. There was a dark cloud of toxic energy following me everywhere I went. Instead of surfing the wave of a small setback, my emotions were reacting and turning it into a catastrophe. I was making myself sea sick.
There are still moments in my life when I react to what happens outside of me instead of being grounded in the truth of who I am. When this happens, I ask myself these questions:
- Will it matter one month or one year from now?
- What is the truth in this situation?
- Does this define me?
- What is my soul telling me?
- What does God want me to know?
- What action can I take to move on?
- What am I grateful for?
Go ahead, try them. They might work for you, too.
Breathe in deeply – feel the air expand your diaphragm and watch your stomach rise.
Breathing in fully is saying YES to life.
Be grateful for your breath. Let it remind you what really matters and that your life is already filled with blessings.
Take a deep breath before you react to people or issues. Let it calm you and give you space to center yourself.
Breathe in love. Apply it to any emotional hurt, physical pain, upset, anger, or fear that is residing in your body. Let them ride on your breath and out of your body as you exhale.
Give yourself the gift of breathing breaks to maintain a sense of feeling grounded and calm as you move through any challenges in your days.
Breathe into your heart, connect with your soul, and remember who you really are.