Sept. 9, 2017
When fear grips…
We often have very little idea when fear grips just how deep that goes into our psyche. Thinking about the hurricane encroaching upon the Turks and sneaking up on Florida where my family lives has me over washed with fear. I am not sure why or where this feeling comes from. I felt like dropping to my knees when I listened to the weather channel this morning. Tears formed in my eyes as I imagined the islands being over come with rushing water. They disappeared and all the people with it. Ah there is a clue - my imagination. I just created a full scenario in my mind of what was going to happen. Granted it is likely - the experts on The Weather Channel even said so. But my body reacted only when the picture and the story were there in my mind.
Can I control my emotions? Yes largely I can. Am I being fake or false if I do? I mean if I change my emotion of fear to something else pertaining to the impending disaster isn’t that lying? I feel fear. Well, I suppose one could see things that way. So what can we do about these debilitating emotions? I mean if the picture and story of the disaster stayed in my mind and fear kept me from doing anything productive or even healthy for myself that is no good. It doesn’t do me or anyone else any good.
How did I shift from standing there in fear wanting to drop to my knees to writing this blog? I changed my thoughts. I changed my pictures in my head. I began to think of the things I could do. I started thanking my lucky stars I was safe and that I could take positive action. I could help my loved ones in FL. I soon noticed the gripping fear was gone and that other emotions had surfaced. I was hopeful, grateful, thoughtful...fear is still here but I am not stopped by it . I am not overwhelmed by it. I have managed it and can actually use it to motivate me into action.
There is great power here. I can manage my emotions but the first step is recognizing them. I had the ability to see that fear was not only present but affecting my body, and mind. I had awareness. This is where anyone needs to start if they wish to make any changes in life.
Change, for many even if it is a positive change, creates fearful thoughts and stories. “What if I do this and…” “I am not sure what will happen” When these thoughts run in our heads largely on their own - they can even run subconsciously as old scripts that aren't even our own - they are the drivers of our bus. That can be very dangerous.
As responsible adults we must develop our awareness of what the stories are that are driving our bus. Only when we do this will we be able to develop the capacity to make any change. That change can be as small as lessening the degree or intensity of an emotion to taking action on injustice or deciding to make a major change in location.
We are truly the masters of our destiny I have always loved this quote that the origins of are unclear but some attribute to Lao Tzu:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your action, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, It becomes your destiny.
It all begins with awareness of your thoughts because if you are not aware of them you cannot change them.
My life’s mission is to, one day at a time, be aware of my human experience that includes my body, my mind, my emotions and see what is going on with those experiences. Once aware of what is happening I can change them by taking different actions to bring about changes in my body, changes in my thoughts, and changes in my emotions.
Our minds are located in our energy centers. Yes, I said minds. These minds are intelligence centers and associated with the gut, the heart, and the mind. They inform us of what is happening in and around us and from that information we decide how to respond. When these intelligences operate virtually undetected - like autopilot, we can allow or lives to be driven right over cliffs. Uh, I don’t know about you but that is a big no thanks for me!
If life is feeling out of control and you want that feeling to change the first step is awareness. What thoughts and pictures are creating that fear feeling? What old and hidden scripts might be there underneath the obvious and present day thoughts? Not sure how to bring into awareness what is there or hidden? Not sure what to do next if you are aware? I would love to help - that is what I do. Email me at [email protected] to set up a time to talk - no worries no cost for this call, but there might be a personal cost to you if you don’t.
Mary L. Smith, 4Q Smart Coach and Trainer
Life is change, Life is good, change is good.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Gandhi