A most empowering thing happened today!
A nagging sense of anxiousness had been bubbling up all morning and the anxiety was making it hard for me to focus. That unto itself was creating it’s own anxiety because I'm in the middle a big project with a deadline. When I started feeling overwhelmed by it, I decided to be nice to me and just clock out early so that I could more easily align with how I was feeling and what I was needing. A big part of me needed to pull inward and simply be.
So I closed my laptop and immediately headed toward what can tend to be my default setting if I’m not careful: go lie on the couch and watch TV. Yes, I’m still evolving, I’m still healing, and I’m still susceptible to falling back on old patterns.
As I turned on the TV, my thoughts were running down a familiar track: “I’ll just lie down, watch a show, and turtle inward“. As I heard these words rolling across my thoughts, I immediately pulled myself up short. I realized that I really didn’t WANT to be lying on the couch, watching TV. I reminded myself it wasn’t going to help me feel better. In fact, it usually makes things worse.
So I put one hand on my heart and one hand on my belly and gently asked myself ”What do you need right now sweetie?”
My being quietly whispered back to me "reconnect".
It was a lovely day outside. The sun was warm yet the air was still cool enough that the A/C units below my balcony weren’t whirring and whining. I chose my apartment for the live oak trees that provide some privacy while still granting me a nice view of the greenbelt below.
So I decided to go sit outside.
The sun was peeking through the trees just enough to create a sunbeam for me to turn my face towards it with my eyes closed. As I basked in the warmth of the sun on my face, I opened my curiosity and began to explore what it was that I was actually feeling and why my thoughts were so scattered.
Scanning my body, I asked myself “where do I feel open?”, then “where do I feel closed?”.
Asking these questions helped me get out of my head and reconnect with my intuitive heart, or heart center. Remember, my being said “reconnect”? Bouyed by the gentle nudge of my curiosity, I was able to shut out my thoughts and connect with that bigger, deeper part of me - what the Toltecs call “The Big Soul”.
I was able to get really quiet and ask myself “What I am feeling?”
What I found there was fear. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, and there are some financial factors weighing on me. Yet the longer I sat with my fear, witnessing it instead engaging with it or running away from it, the more I got the feeling sense that this fear was not from the current and immediate situation, but rather a secondary fear.
I know the current world situation is presenting the possibility of destabilization for many, and has been completely disruptive for others. Yet the Warrior Goddess in me is much better at staying in flow instead of causing myself undue stress by resisting reality. I was, at least consciously, not freaking out about it all. So why was I feeling so much anxiety despite all the outward cool?
It was time to go excavating in my mind to see what I might find beneath the surface. Like an archeologist looking for artifacts, I went digging through layers of rational thoughts such as “focus on what you can control and surrender to the rest”, “worrying won’t help”, and my mantra: “align with life”. I was looking for the words I was weaving together unconsciously that were creating the anxiety and inability to focus.
What story was my Little Soul subconsciously whispering to me?
What I found was this: “I don’t want to have to start all over AGAIN. I don’t want to be in that place again, that space again. I’ve come so far. Every time the rug gets pulled out from under me, everything falls apart, I fall apart, and I make things worse for myself by making bad decisions and beating up on myself.”
It was clear to me in that moment how the global pandemic had triggered a limiting belief, or what we Toltecs call an agreement. Digging a little deeper, I went looking for that agreement, and I found it:
I am not able to take care of me.
Now, that statement is well informed by past experience. More than 30 years of a life full of upheaval, turmoil, even trauma. You might even say that each time I just continued to make more poor choices and become even more unraveled. Even though I no longer judge or criticize myself for my choices on a conscious level, my Little Soul was still clinging to this limiting belief and dragging me down.
But I’m not her anymore. The way I navigated my experience and my emotions today should be indication enough, right?
But my ego mind (Little Soul) was having nothing of it. The ego mind wants to be right. My Little Soul was lying to me, clinging to it’s false sense of security and the panic was still bubbling right below the surface.
So I went searching for The Truth. I started with something really simple and absolute: “I am breathing” then moved into more mundane and obvious truths such as: “I have a job”, “I have the means to generate additional income, if necessary”, and “I am resourceful”. Those truths reminded of a more powerful truth: “I am not that girl anymore”, which led to:
”I will be okay”
In that moment, everything both opened up and settled down at the same time. I felt a warm calm wash over me. I felt held, and loved, and supported.
I was strengthened by the knowledge it was all because of me!
But I wasn’t done yet...
Knowing that simply identifying an old agreement is oft-times not enough to clear it out, I asked myself “what do I need, what quality or energy will best support me during these uncertain times?”. I was looking for a single word, what's called My Intent.
The word that came to me was “EXPANSION”.
With my Intent as an ally in one hand and my Truth in the other, I used them as lens through which I could view the current situation in a new healing light. I asked asked myself “what new story will I write around this situation?”.
The gist of it was this:
"I don’t know for sure what will happen, but I trust myself to stay present and hold myself with love and compassion in order to successfully navigate any change that comes my way."
It felt GOOD!
I checked in with my body once again to see how it was “feeling”. The places that felt open before now felt expansive. The places that were closed no longer felt so tight and some were no longer closed at all.
The anxiety was gone.
As I sat there with my eyes closed, face turned to the sun, my mind went quiet and I HEARD.
I heard the sound of the leaves as the breeze brushed past them.
I heard the songs of the birds as they went about their bird business.
I listened for how many different car engines I could identify, then sent my awareness further out, seeing how many sounds I could collect with my mind. I delighted in the gleeful sounds of the children on their roller skates on the path below me, doing what kids to best: live life connected to the Big Soul.
Mostly, I just sat, with my eyes closed, reconnecting with my intuitive heart.
When I finally opened my eyes, I decided to peek at my phone. I was curious how long I’d managed to be fully mindful and present: 45 mins! I’d guess that the process I went through to settle my anxiety and corral my mind took about 15 mins (that’s typical).
I basically meditated for 30 minutes and I delighted in it.
And I got inspired to write my first blog post in 8 months.
I have not always been so good at any of what I’ve shared with you here. For most of my life I’ve struggled to understand what I’m feeling. When I could identify my emotions, they’d scare me and send me into a panic mode. Or I’d judge myself for them, deeming them "bad". Either way, I’d shove them down and find a way to distract myself by keeping busy.
A coping strategy I’ve come to call “shove ‘em down and soldier on”.
A survival skill that ultimately took its toll on me, but that's a story for another time.
But not anymore. My feelings no longer scare me because feeling them no longer causes me to suffer. I've learned how to let go of the burden of my past and stop punishing myself or feeling ashamed for things that no longer exist. It hasn't been easy to clear the ghosts of my past, but little by little, I've been able to release the hurt and the struggles and let them finally be laid to rest.
The secret to my return to emotional freedom and inner peace is the self-inquiry practice I shared with you here; the process I used to gain clarity on why I was feeling anxious so that I could create some peace for myself by reconnecting with the Truth.
It is a practice developed over many years by my mentor, HeatherAsh Amara, which she brought to the world earlier this year through her book by the same name.
It’s called The Warrior Heart Practice.
If you’d like to explore this practice for yourself, you can download the first 2 chapters of the book here.
If you’d like to experience this practice first hand, I invite you to book a Warrior Heart session with me. You too can discover the freedom that happens when you separate your stories from your feelings and go looking for the truth. Schedule your session here.
About Me: I am a certified Warrior Heart Coach, and Warrior Goddess Facilitator, trained by HeatherAsh herself. I am also a certified Spiritual & Energetic Life Coach through her Artist of the Spirit coach training program.
I'm on a mission to help women step out of self-judgement, comparison, and self-criticism and return to right-relationship with their beautiful, authentic self.