You're Invited:Do You Want To Live In Fear Or Flow? You Can't Have Both...
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Usually, the things that scare us, and tickle our tummies with butterflies, often point us in the direction we ought to be going. We avoid being uncomfortable. And sometimes we should! Especially if we are abandoning ourselves for other people, or situations. But what about the things that make us excited, curious, and a little scared or nervous?
Trying new activities, learning a new skill, moving to a new city or town, all of these options lead to self-learning if we let it.
Recently I had a conversation with someone very dear to me. She was so nervous about making some tough decisions about her future. There were so many decisions to make that she found herself paralyzed, afraid of making the wrong one. This is so common. The options are endless, and that in itself is overwhelming. Overwhelmed can manifest as anxiety. And anxiety shuts down the expansive mind and directs us into a contracted state where our hearts pound and we spin into a panic. It feels impossible to embody a confident knowing in this uncomfortable state of being. We long for a clear answer where our intuition is bang on and we trust the steps we are taking.
The advice I gave my dear one, was to chunk it down. Start small. And another interesting way to approach decision-making, my favourite approach to take is to work backward.
I asked my dear friend to imagine herself six years from now. Where would she see herself working? What would she hope to be doing in her career? Where does she want to live? What would six years from now her, be doing for fun? My hope, as I spoke to her, was to engage with her imagination. I wanted to guide her into a big-picture mindset where she could get a clear view of what steps need to be taken now to meet what she sees for herself, six years from now. For her, one clear answer was that she needed to go to school. This had been on her mind for some time, but when she thought about committing to learning for the next four years, she kept being meant with the fear and the what-if questioning. What if she went to school for all that time and then was bored in her new job? What if she didn't like it? I intervened and asked her to imagine her life 6 years from now if she reminds stuck in fear? The outcome was not good. She saw and accepted that she was going to have to face her fear about committing to school. She could see that learning and being a full-time student, was the first step towards more options.
When we get stuck, we lose sight of possibility. When we focus on the fear, and how much effort it will take to navigate new uncharted waters in our lives, we fail to accept that by engaging long term in these patterns of thought, we cut off all our options.
When we meet our edges, we expand and mature. Pushing ourselves towards what we fear, can free us in so many ways. I find that most people have big and beautiful dreams for themselves, but are often plagued with fear and self-doubt. It backs them into a corner and they convince themselves they are better off not going for their dreams because meeting the fear head-on is just too much.
We meet our dreams step by step. Failure by failure, and success by success. We need to work backward and give ourselves a birds-eye view of our life. I work backward from my 87-year-old self. I imagine my little old lady self and ask her what she sees for my life. I trust her opinion and often take my worries to her. Working backward simplifies things. Life is long and life is short. It goes by so fast. And we can spend a long time avoiding what we want because we are too afraid, we fear the road of learning and possibility. What if it doesn't work out? Well, what if it does!And how is your life going to unfold if you keep avoiding the fear? Life will continue to contract. Fear feeds fear. If we choose not to feed it, new pathways open right in front of our eyes! If we continue to hide, hiding will become our go-to reaction in this big beautiful world. We are here for a good time, not a long time as the song goes, do you really want to spend your time here hiding with fear ruling your life? I am going to guess no.
The Mind likes what it knows. It avoids what it doesn't know and what it can not control. But that's not YOU! That is just your mind. If you let your mind make all your decisions, you may end up at the end of your life feeling like you lived groundhog day again and again. The best decisions are made from the heart and intuition. These two, when they work together will push us onto the life we want to live. They will lead us to our desires, and our purpose. We need only train the mind to get out of the way. Our imagination, unites our Subconscious mind, our intuition, and our heart song. This active dreaming state allows us to get great insight into what is there, just under the surface. We can dream with our imaginations, lifting ourselves out of scarcity and fear into the abundant flow of possibilities. One of the ways I get out of anxiety, should it arrive, is to go outside in my backyard and start dreaming about the future I'd like to have. I get excited about possibilities!