Updated: Dec 22, 2018
The other day I noticed I was feeling anxious. A couple years ago, this wouldn't have caught me off guard. In fact, back then, I often described myself as someone who's default setting was anxiousness and worry. It sounds sad now, but worry and anxiety were these two naysayers, ever clutching to my shoulders, whispering doubt and fear in to my ears.
I'm grateful to report that the practice of mindfulness has changed that entirely for me and it can for you too ♥︎
I now know that emotions like that are indulgent - they do not serve or empower me and it is my choice whether I choose to think them over and over again.
I see them for what they are - 'compassionate alarm clocks from my subconscious' as Byron Katie so wisely calls them, alerting me to the fact that I am not thinking like who I truly am or aspire to be.
I believe deeply in this wisdom:
What we think, we become.
What we feel, we attract.
What we imagine, we create.
It is important to me that I tend to what I am feeling, thinking and imagining. I want these things to empower me and to be intentional, as I am pursuing a life of empowered consciousness.
So now, when I feel anxiety, that compassionate alarm clock, I use the following exercise to pivot my thoughts and align myself with who I want to be and where I believe I am going:
Inhale Appreciation | Exhale Relief
On the inhale, appreciate anything you can think of: your children, your spouse, their health, your health, the flowers, the sky today, the rain, Christmas music, fresh snow, your vehicle, your mind for thinking, the jeans you're wearing. Appreciate literally anything you are grateful for in this moment. Nothing is too small or 'frivolous'. Appreciation is appreciation.
On the exhale, let out a sigh of relief. Relief that you know you can choose different emotions. Relief that what you are working on is as good as done, if you stay aligned. Relief that you are safe. Relief that you are loved. Relief that you are worthy. Relief that we have choice over the emotions we feel, and in this moment you are choosing gratitude and trust.
I encourage you to spend 5 minutes breathing and thinking in this cycle the next time you feel anxiousness, confusion, worry, doubt, etc.
Worst case scenario: you spend 5 minutes filling your body up with precious oxygen and filling your mind with the nourishing thoughts of gratitude & trust.
Best case scenario: you enjoy that oxygen, those nourishing thoughts AND you tune your subconscious to get back on course toward what you are pursuing. From that new space of clarity and gratitude, you are more likely to see opportunities, trust in outcomes and say yes to possibility.
Friend, this is a win/win. I hope it helps calm you the next time one of those negative emotions threatens to derail your day.
With much love,