“Worry” A word that has no meaning until an emotion is added to it. It is the feelings of anxiety or concern that gives the word its meaning.
If you find yourself faced with troubling times, instead of immediately attaching yourself to the emotion of the situation, take a STEP BACK and allow yourself to separate from what appears to be worry. This may sound silly, but if you have to physically take a big STEP BACKWARDS then do it as a conscious action to stop your emotions from absorbing your thoughts. Be aware of your intention, which is to remove yourself from the emotion of the situation so you can see it with clear eyes. You’ll find strength and courage to act upon the challenge instead of falling into the emotions of worry.
If you are so overwhelmed with a situation that all you are capable of doing is to scream or cry. Allow yourself the scream and give into the cry. At the end of your emotional release take a deep breath and then take your STEP BACK. Be conscious of your intention to separate your emotions from the situation. Your answers will appear clearly and accurately without the layers of emotions holding them back.
If you have trouble separating from your emotions think of a time when a loved one or friend came to you with a problem. They were upset and they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Their emotions clouded their clear direction, but you as an observer, and removed from the emotions, were able to offer words of encouragement and answers of hope. Because of your detachment from the emotion, you allowed yourself to listen to the answers that come from within. It is often said, others can solve our problems better than we can and the reason behind it is emotion. Likewise, it is always easier to tell someone else to make a change in his or her life, but we often struggle with making the same change in our own. When looking for the answers to life’s challenges, step back from your emotions and listen to what comes from within.
Another exercise I have found useful in challenging times is to observe new beginnings in all things. This has given me strength to step back from the emotions of worry. It has also helped me to believe with every challenge there is something new to be revealed. The following is one way I have put this method to practice using nature.
When all the leaves have fallen from a tree instead of seeing a tree with empty branches, I see a tree who has let go of its attachment to the beauty of a fully bloomed tree. New leaves will soon appear and with them a new beginning. Let go of attachment to discover new beginnings. When a rosebush is fully in bloom it reveals a richness in beauty and in scent. The petals will soon wilt and fall, but its branches, still alive and strong, will wait for the next bloom to be revealed. Through its patience a new beginning will surface. With patience the clarity of a new beginning can be revealed.
Let your awareness to a new beginning be your strength to see worry for what it really is, “a word”.
There is an exercise I call “Peeling the Onion” which I discovered during the time I was experiencing the void within. Because I didn’t understand what was causing the void, I dealt with it from an external place. I looked to others as the source to my disconnect and my family was no exception. Taking my frustration out on them proved to be an obvious mistake because I knew my family life was pretty darn good and in knowing it, I was forced to recognize I had taken up nitpicking to justify my uncomfortable feelings.
Once I took ownership of those feelings, I was able to begin the process of going within for the answers. I wanted to peel the layers of my skin to reveal what had been festering. Obviously, that wasn’t possible so I sat with a pen and paper and I began peeling the layers of years from my life through writing. I wanted to see, in my own words, what defined the person I had become.
I began with years 0-9 writing everything I could remember good and bad. I wrote in nine-year increments because for me every 10 years was a new chapter with big changes. I wrote of my childhood, of family and friends. I made sure to include any pivotal moments that may have contributed to the person I had become. I wrote until I arrived at my current age. When I was done I went back and read my words with fresh eyes and a mature observation. I was able to see the burdens of blame and guilt, I had believed were mine to harvest, clearly did not belong to me. Even though I had many happy and joyful times, it was these burdens that continued to live with me and cloud my truth.
A moment of revelation…a real awakening! With my onion peeled and an appreciation for what I uncovered, I began to re-create my true self. I used the same nine-year increments to build the new layers of my true self. I kept all the choices and experiences that belonged to me, and I released the beliefs that didn’t. I knew I didn’t own the circumstances that created them so they weren’t mine to hold onto. I am thankful I was able to discover the words that revealed my true self. Because of this exercise I am able to walk in my own shoes completely comfortable in knowing who I am. I’m sharing this exercise with you not as a means to drudge up your past, but as an way to release what doesn’t belong to you so you can live in alignment with your truth.
There is real magic that takes place when we commit ourselves to listening. More times than not, there are messages that come to us from various sources and because we weren’t paying attention we missed them. Make a conscious effort to pay attention and listen to what is being said to you and around you. Take time to quiet your thoughts and practice listening. You will know you are truly listening when you hear the most faint sounds from near and afar. Some of our most profound messages come from being aware and listening. It is not always the person you are speaking to who offers a clear answer. It may come from a conversation you happened to overhear, or be revealed from a sign in a window, a billboard, a television show or radio broadcast. There are so many ways messages are delivered to us, and it is only when we allow ourselves to be completely aware and commit to listening that we will begin to see this pattern of serendipity. Whether you are engaged in a conversation or sitting alone, commit yourself to the practice of listening by giving your full attention. Some people have a hard time being a listener, they want to be the voice rather than the ears. To connect to your inner self you’ll need to find a balance between talking and listening. The gifts within conscious listening are priceless.
Remember there are many sources that may bring the answer to you so be open to all of them. Being aware of your thoughts is the foundation for living your best days, and conscious listening is the clarity that nourishes it.