It’s hard to balance tense and triggered aspects of self with the softer more malleable bits.
My anxiety makes me tense and rigid but it also deeply influences the way I write. But my softer more malleable side deeply influences my writing too.
It is often through writing that my anxieties subside and I am able to go with the flow, follow the words and not worry about the order or things making perfect sense but to instead stay inflow allowing the words to pour.
To be able to follow the flow no matter how brief or specific is something worth cherishing. When you’re tense and rigid or feeling overwhelmed by life it seems impossible that there’s any other way, but there is.
The flow is always there whether you choose that path or not. You can go back to it at any point because the moment you realise that what you’re doing isn’t working or should be different is the moment the solution becomes available.
Around 8 months ago I went to see one of my favourite singers in a city a couple hours north from where I live.
I booked my ticket 6 months in advance because I didn’t want to miss out and knew the opportunity may not come around for a while.
But I also didn’t have anyone to go with which was caused some initial hesitation.
In the end, I went alone had a great time and bought a t-shirt from the merch stand.
Looking back it really was an act of spontaneity (albeit a pretty small-scale act one all the same).
I’m glad I didn’t get stuck overthinking, I’m glad I didn’t miss out and I’m glad I went alone.
There’s often a lot of judgement (both internally and externally) when it comes to doing things alone but when the alternative is missing out, ask yourself ‘Are those voices worth listening to?’.
The festive season is an interesting time of year. You might have a wonderful time with loved ones having dinners, going to parties, going for drinks and catching up with those that are town to spend Christmas with their families.
But you might also find yourself in places you don’t want to be or don’t want to be in for a long time but it’s okay.
I’m currently learning the lesson that if you find yourself somewhere that you don’t want to be, leave (and that applies to life in general, not just for the festive season).
You don’t have to keep up appearances for the sake of trying to appease or to please. And sure it might feel uncomfortable leaving early or turning down an invite but it’s useful to get into the habit of being able to do what feels right for you.
I recently found myself in a place that I didn’t want to be, I suppose in hindsight you could call it an intuitive feeling, I knew that I needed to leave.
I was in a particular place and felt a little off, I waited a few moments to discern whether I needed to leave or if I just felt anxious. But I realised it wasn’t anxiety because I felt calm, so I decided to leave.
As soon as I left, I realised that I shouldn’t have been there in the first place but I also held compassion for myself (something else I’m learning to do).
A few years ago even if I wanted to leave my anxiety would have stopped me. I’d have forced myself to feel uncomfortable because back then I felt like I had to find a way to feel good in those situations. It never occurred to me that maybe there were some places that I just didn’t need to be.
So the message for today is don’t get so caught up in the festive season and the idea of having fun to the point where you forget to do what’s best for you.
This isn’t about a movement for equality, it’s something personal.
Liberation is a beautiful thing.
I recently realised that I’m experiencing a period of liberation in my life and it feels amazing.
The best part is I liberated myself. It wasn’t from any single action but instead a collection of things like daily gratitude, monthly morning manifestos, having open conversations about how I feel and allowing myself to be vulnerable.
The liberation has only just begun but so far it has shown up as me just being myself. In the past, I’ve had a lot of situations where the worry and fear overpowered my ability to do the things I wanted to do and so I would hold back.
The art of being yourself should be like free flowing water, it doesn’t require worry, going back and forth until you’re mentally exhausted and leaving situations wishing that you’d allowed yourself to be seen.
I feel as though I am entering a new stage in my life which is quite fitting as 2019 is coming to a close and the new decade is on the horizon.
I’m sharing this major growth point in my life with you because it is exactly what this blog is about. You have the opportunity to overcome the challenges you face and explore the joy of life.
Mid-week musings on not embracing anxiety.
If you find yourself caught in the analysis paralysis of indecision it might be worth making a conscious effort to care-less.
Instead of allowing the thoughts to go on and on until breaking point, give yourself a deadline.
3 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days before you have to take action. Do it for at least a week and keep a dairy of the decisions you made and the outcome.
The ideal outcome would be that you find that whether you care or care-less things will still be alright which is a pretty good reason to stop being so afraid of making decisions.
You’ll have physical evidence that what you decide isn’t always the most important thing it’s how you feel and your attitude towards what you’ve decided.
And if you find you’ve picked something that didn’t result in the desired outcome , then it’ll be the perfect time to practice your bouncebackability.
At the end of trying out a different approach to decision making the beauty of it is, is that if it was just totally dreadful you can always go back to your old approach.
If that’s the the case at least you tried which is often more important than the actual result.
Do you remember when you were your most confident self?
Common advice in challenging situations when we’re afraid is to ask ‘what would [insert name of inspirational person] do?’
I think that’s a really helpful tool but it can also just emphasise the gap between where you’re at and where you want to be instead of bridging it.
So, what if you consult your past self at peak confidence instead. If you were confidence once you can be confident again.
When you find yourself facing a challenge think of a time you were confident or did something difficult in the past. Close your eyes, visualise it, feel that feeling and keep it with you for when you need it.
Maybe it’s the memory of the solo you did in a school play that you can apply to leading your first client meeting.
When you’re caught in fear or your confidence is low it can be easy to forget that you once felt otherwise and that it’s possible to overcome that thing that scares you and feel confident again.
They might seem the same but they’re not.
An anxious person will grow to become familiar with the feeling of anxiety and how it manifests in they’re day to day life.
And over time they may find that they knowing doing certain things will trigger there anxiety so they won’t do it.
But not because it’s dangerous or unsafe but because they’re afraid. And the thing with fear is that it’s a feeling and so even when in your mind you know it’s fine your body is sending signals that it’s not.
So just because you know yourself when you’re afraid it’s not the same as knowing yourself because you’re more than your fears.
Chances are there’s so many aspects of you that you’ve not given yourself space to explore.