Anxiety

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Anxious – no, not me – not at all!

I never considered myself an anxious person – I’d get butterflies & have nervous excitement, but if someone asked me if I was prone to anxiety – I’d say no, not at all.  Anxiety was something I noticed in others and felt compassion towards them for or I’d read about it in a book while doing some research for my courses.  It wasn’t me.

As I transverse this path of living more consciously, I’m learning more and more about myself and my patterns.  I’m learning that I would not label myself as anxious or any other emotion that would make me look vulnerable or weak.  I’d put on my mask and harden my exterior to move forward with confidence.

Do you think I’m weak because I have anxiety?

For me, the realization that I cannot get rid of it like an unwanted sweater is both a relief and source of anxiety.

My ‘go to’ behaviour when I’m anxious is control.  I try to micro-manage the little things or other people and situations when I’m anxious.  I try to control every detail of my life that I can to give myself some feeling of being in control. Lately, the knowing that I have absolutely no control in any way as my mom ages and gets confused or dizzy frightens & saddens me.  When I don’t want to face these emotions & suppress them, it creates anxiety and I move into ‘control’ mode to avoid the reality of what is in front of me.

Navigating this area of my life is definitely teaching me about being fully present and letting go of expectations while offering me opportunities to face my anger, sadness, upset and frustration instead of burying it and producing more anxiety.

When controlling behaviours arise & I recognize them, I have a chance to reflect upon why or what is making me anxious.  Once I grasp that the underlying emotion is anxiety, I can then ask for what I need to calm me or diffuse the grip that limits me.  What a joyful and challenging dance & I’m working to hold both without pushing away what I don’t want.

Do you have anxiety?  How do you deal with yours?  What’s your ‘go to’?

Opening up – being vulnerable – living more and more wholeheartedly requires a commitment to dive inside and excavate all the hidden ‘gems’.  As these jewels emerge – they hold the key to expansive, limitless living through the heart.  I’m IN – and yes, that stirs a bit of anxiety for me.

 

Triggers

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Triggers

What triggers you?  What can take you from zero to 100 in a split second?

I’m fascinated at times by how quickly I can be propelled from a relatively calm state into a firey rage at seemingly nothing at all.

I have been driving along minding my own business playing tunes on the radio and someone can cut me off or slow me down and all of a sudden I’m yelling at them from my car in a heated anger that is totally out of proportion with the action.  I have been walking down a beach and been filled with fear and defensiveness seeing someone coming toward me that I’ve never met before.  In the middle of a conversation with someone about life and things, I can find myself grasping for calm and reasoning at something they’ve said that has set me afire.

What is it that triggers me?  For most of my younger life I assumed that my behaviour was totally justified by the actions of someone else being wrong.  Interesting to look a bit deeper and see what actually is at the root of this wild ride in emotions.

We all have patterns and beliefs that we gain as we live and grow in life.  Some of these we have picked up from our parents and families, while others from friends, school or society at large.  These conditioning patterns and beliefs have served our lives in some way to help us fit in, learn, grow and belong to something bigger.

If these beliefs and patterns don’t shift and change as we evolve, then there becomes a disonance within us between what we are carrying and what is true for us in the moment.  It is NOW that our deeper work begins in a challenging and rewarding way.

As our behaviour and relationships change, we will be triggered by people and things that don’t align with the old ways of being.  We are being awakened to review our past beliefs to see if they are resonate and true for us in the moment.  It can feel like we are walking in a land mine theme park of emotions.

If we can be aware and compassionate to ourselves and others, we can begin to peel back the layers.  These layers of protection, playing small, obligations and holding ourselves back  have all served us in a way but no longer feed our heart and soul.  We will recognize these by how they make us feel.

I find as I grow and learn more about myself and what I’m prepared to face, that I recognize things and behaviours that trigger me.  I now take these signs as a guide post to deeper personal work that is awaiting my attention.  I realize that when I am triggered, it has nothing to do with the other person or situation (other then they have been a messenger).   It is now my responsibility to dive in deeper and excavate those old patterns so I can feel it and heal it.  These opportunities are my life’s work to develop into the fullest expression of love, healthy boundaries and compassion that I can be.

What is triggering you?  Can you love yourself through the exploration to find yourself?

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Changes

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Make a conscious choice to take a chance to make a desired change –   It’s within you to do it.

Change isn’t an easy wave to ride – yet, ALL things change.  Nothing remains the same forever – seasons, days, moods, people and relationships – everything & everyone changes.

Sometimes we make the choice to change the people, things or situations in our lives and other times, change is thrust upon us, with or without warning.

When I’m faced with big choices, I find it interesting to re-visit the decisions I’ve made in my life that caused the greatest changes.  I work with an understanding that I did the best I could in the moment (sometimes this is easy for me to accept and other times not), and with an intention of learning from the missteps of old ingrained patterns.

Life is a continuous journey of unraveling the ‘truths’ we’ve been told – to feel what is actually right for us as it aligns with our hearts and our soul purpose.  When we bump up against an old paradigm and it ruffles our feathers – we have a golden opportunity to make a different choice – to take a chance and take a step forward or sideways to create a potentially different outcome.  As we become more aware – as we know ourselves better, we can confidently feel our connection to the whole and our choices can become clearer.

Sometimes, even faced with a bristling, nagging undertone, where we can feel we need to choose more authentically, perhaps we’re too scared or not emotionally ready to make that change.  And so, we may procrastinate.  We may lie to ourselves.  We can make excuses, then at some point, the Universe circles back around to encourage us to take another look and per chance – to make a different choice to effect a unique change.

When I was deciding to close my yoga studio in St. Thomas, it was a very hard decision to leave the community of students that I’d grown to love.  The choice to let it go came around a couple of times before it was obvious to me that it was time to transition. The choices I made in that moment scared me and yet they opened the door to expansive learning and gave me the next steps to devoting time and energy to developing workshops, courses and trainings to specialize like my heart desired.

I believe, each of us needs to follow our own calling – our own timing and step when we feel called.  It takes courage to choose a new way and take the next right step for you.

Knowing that the ocean (life) is so much bigger and wiser than us, we can learn to surf – to ride the waves and go with the flow as best we can.  When the waves knock us off our boards, we can swim, cling to the side for awhile and catch our breath or climb back up and find a better rhythm for our lives.  It’s an individual journey and when we realize that we’ll never ‘nail it’ or ‘master it’, we can relax into it and live as we learn and ride more effectively the waves of our lives.

Get your life jacket on – it’s time to turn your surf board into the waves and claim your life – cut a path that makes your heart smile – a path that is uniquely yours.

Love & Light,

Brenda

I’m in Total Control… well, not really!

I’m in Total Control … well, not really!

I have felt in total control of my life for brief periods of time and I have felt totally out of control most of the time!

There’s been a comfort for me in my life – believing I was in control of all things pertaining to my way of living, my family, my work and my way of being present in the world. I’ve worked tirelessly to put things in place, to organize every detail; to slot in time to get things done – in effect to control every possible detail so that nothing went ‘awry’. I’ve planned for anything and everything I could possibly imagine going right and going wrong!

Wow, that takes a lot of energy – even just thinking about it now! Thank goodness I’m a detail person who can multi-task but even then, life happens!

My obsession with feeling safe and in charge has served me very well in my life – has offered me so many opportunities and has given me so many insights. I manage my own business, I travel a lot, I spend time with close family & friends and I teach what I love as often as I can. Through this process of living, I also continue to study, learn and grow as a teacher and especially as a person.

But, this false sense of control has also taken me to my knees! My inability to control my life has created anger, suffering and much anxiety.

If any of you have travelled (especially with children), you know exactly how much control you really have in any situation! Just try to clear security or Immigration while being in control! How about the weather or mechanical difficulties for the plane – absolutely no control in any of these circumstances. Travelling is a humbling experience for me in letting go and going with the flow in order to not stress myself out, worry to no end and create health challenges in the process.

Over the years of learning to let go and be more fluid in how I approach my life and living, I’ve come to realize that my only true means of control lies within my reactions to what is showing up in my life.

When I can slow down, take a breath and ask myself, “Is this something I can do anything about in this moment – am I in control?”; “Is this something that truly matters to me in this moment?” If this is something I have absolutely no control over, then “How can I flow more gracefully with this situation for myself, my health and for those involved?” What I’m finding is an opportunity to respond with clarity, compassion and calm thus creating a more loving and fluid experience.

I still fall, I still tilt at windmills and ultimately, I learn more about myself in the process. It’s an ongoing journey – one in which I cannot fully control – except how I deal with it from the inside out.

How do you deal with things out of your control? How do you manage situations that push you to let go? Do you continue to rail against the inevitable? How is that working for you in your life? Are you ready to change your relationship with control? Perhaps, something to ponder.

Love and Light,
Brenda