Persistent worries do not come from nowhere. Our imaginations can take a fleeting thought and quickly blow it up into concern for a reason – the concern our imaginations tap into is already in us, waiting for a vulnerable moment to make itself known. This is one of the things that makes it so difficult to manage every day fears and concerns…while they are not objective, or even based in fact (because worry is focused on something that may happen in the future) worry does arise from the deepest part of us, and that gives it a level of credibility that carries it further into our lives then we intend.
If you have ever taken your worry out for a cup of coffee, explored it as a companion sitting beside you (rather than an invisible force inside you) then you may have learned that worry has it roots in deep caring. We worry about work because we have a deep commitment to what we each do. We worry about loved ones because we care for them so very much. This deep knowing lives inside of each of us, but it also makes us feel powerless because we also know that we only control ourselves (not the wider world around us); it is a state of humanness that at times is overwhelming.
When we are overwhelmed the control we do have kicks in, and we find ways to disconnect ourselves from these persistent, invasive emotions; to give ourselves a break, sometimes by numbing out with TV, food, alcohol, etc. This is how (as beautiful human beings) we get disconnected from ourselves, our bodies, our best intentions and our loved ones. "The symptoms of this disconnect are familiar: lack of self-trust, emotional and intellectual rigidity, fear of change, perfectionism, narcissism, addictions, and free-floating anxiety...This dis-ease is commonplace in our society, regardless of age or sex, race or class, education or income. The world we live in is a breeding ground."(from: Writing The Mind Alive, page 91; Linda Trichter Metcalf, PH. D. and Tobin Simon, PH. D. Ballantine Books, 2002).
The antidote? It is mindfulness. Mindfulness is about connection... re-connection to be specific. Mindfulness is innate, which means each of us is born with the ability to be mindful; that is to be in the moment. This moment right here. Not reactive or overwhelmed, but fully present occupying no other thoughts or actions other then to see this moment just as it is. It is a powerful way to re-connect to our lives, our loved ones and ourselves. Its free and ever-present; something you can practice anywhere. While mindfulness is innate, it is also a choice; it is up to each of us to engage it. Mindfulness asks you to do nothing... with intention. Just sit. Listen to yourself. Really listen to yourself without getting attached to what you are thinking. Take some time for yourself to do this because mindfulness only gives, it never takes from you; it gives you more connection to yourself, to your body, to your loved ones, to your work. You will be better able to face your fears, to see the “story” in what your worry is telling you. With this truth you can be discerning about what is real and what is not and compassionately address your fears. You will be more fully connected, a gift that only gives and is always there for you. Be present in your life, you are worthy of this gift.
Find resources to support mindfulness at http://www.loveyourworkinglife.com/mindfulness.html (in addition to the practice, there are smart device apps and other options listed at the bottom of the page).
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I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Facebook or Linked In.