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“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Mark Twain
I woke up feeling paralyzed with fear. After dragging myself to the kitchen for a glass of water I returned to bed. It was Sunday morning and I had nowhere to be.
I sat there trying to clear my head. The book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff lay beside me on the table. I looked away.
Sunshine through the curtains caught my eye and a lump rose in my throat.
I lost track of time, but eventually picked up the book and read 10 pages before putting it down. Fear burned in my core. I couldn’t concentrate. Sliding back down into bed I clutched a pillow and cried. They were empty tears.
What was I going to do? A year and a half after a job layoff here I sat, in the infant stages of business development, and in the middle of a worldwide financial crisis.
My savings were supposed to have lasted for two years after government assistance ceased. The decision to not take a part time job for the first year was a risk, but I was determined to give myself that time to focus.
During the last month my mutual funds had dropped $7,000. They had been dropping for months but not enough for concern. But, the last statement had ignited fire in the pit of my stomach. My calculator predicted that in another six months the money could be gone if the trend continued. I had a year less than planned and had to switch gears, fast!
It could be that sometimes your life needs a taste of drastic in order for you to get your act together.
I’d always been able to fall back on proofreading as an additional income stream but so far those contacts had fallen through. Messages were not returned. Replies that were received weren’t encouraging. I was making an effort but not getting results. I had to break the pattern of fear that was blocking things.
I love the above photo. It illustrates my feelings perfectly. I was shrouded in darkness and felt that there was no where to turn. The path was narrow and constricting and I felt trapped. There is a learning curve in all fearful states. But unless a person keeps moving they will never know what is around the next bend.
Bringing The Law Of Attraction Into Focus
After spending an evening working intently with the principles of the Law of Attraction, I received a message from a business associate the next day, asking me to help her out with a project. Faith was rekindled, but only briefly. I wasn’t trusting the process and my imagination had me on a dark, narrow road.
Positive thinking is a principle in the Law of Attraction. Days before this, I had made a list of things that made me feel happy and that I could appreciate; taking a long bath, reading, walking in nature and journalling.
This morning I had little hope these activities would help. Truth was, I didn’t want to do any of them.
I stayed in bed for another hour, turning away from the sunshine just outside my window. Then, after a deep breath, I was on my feet, running a bath. I still felt numb, but decided to have that bath and not expect it to help. Removing expectation made it easier.
I lingered in the bath. Things were still a bit foggy. It was lunch time. I had not eaten yet and all I wanted was oatmeal and coffee. Easy.
I kept moving. Laundry done. Floor swept. Dishes done. Each accomplishment was a step closer.
It was still sunny out and I decided to go for a walk. It was during this walk that I came alive! The fresh air, the sunshine and the connections I made through smiles from strangers along the way gave me the motivation to keep going. I walked away from the fear. This walk usually takes an hour but on this day it felt timeless. I was myself again by the time I returned home.
Inspired, I continued working on goals without fear clouding my vision. I sat down and ask myself, “What am I afraid of asking for because I don’t believe it’s possible?” I told myself to dream big.
Within a half hour I had completed a mind map. My vision resonated strongly.
Inspired action is another principle of the Law of Attraction. The test is to be able to hold this focus despite the ups and downs in the outer world. This makes it unconditional and free of attachment to outcome.
My path was clear again. I still had decisions to make and things were not certain, but I had my faith back. These are the steps I took:
I held my faith by practicing positive thinking and appreciation. I reaffirmed my intent and didn’t become attached to the outcome. This naturally allowed the space for inspired action that fed the cycle even further.
In Richard Carlson’s book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, he says “To combat fear, the best strategy is to learn to bring your attention back to the present.” That is easier said than done in some cases. My recommendation is that when you feel paralyzed by fear, take some action.
By practicing the things you know bring satisfaction and comfort, you will inadvertently bring your attention to the present. Don’t focus on the outcome even if these things feel hopeless. Do them anyway! If one doesn’t work don’t give up. Do another. Just keep moving. Stay in one place and the fear will hold you there.
Most importantly, by reconnecting through the foundation that supports and builds your trust despite the fear, you won’t be stuck in that perpetual cycle of being afraid of fear itself.
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Stay tuned for my next post Step Out Of Crisis And Into Power where this process is discussed in even greater detail. See you next Thursday.
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Photo Credit: Riisli
It was a beautiful day. The sun was poised in the western sky at that point right before sinking towards sunset; that brief and silent pause before changing direction.
Stepping in rhythm to the song on my mp3 player, I set the pace for another good power walk.
Five minutes later I was rudely cut off by a driver who was either in a bad mood or who simply refused to give pedestrians the right of way. I swore under my breath and scowled at him. This got me to thinking about other situations and people I’d come across that annoyed me.
I walked and wandered further, reflecting on this intrusion into my thoughts. I wandered past remembering these times to remembering how my reaction whether expressed or not, had bothered me.
I had regretted allowing myself to be caught off guard; for not “walking my talk”.
More walking. I remembered how after letting go of judgment and of what had annoyed me, I was able to see how differently the situation could have been handled.
I reminded myself that my path would most likely come across more idiots and obstacles. By expecting them I would be less likely to react.
With this, I felt less vulnerable. The power walk was back on.
I’ve always believed in the power of positive thinking. But isn’t it true that dwelling only on the positive doesn’t necessarily mean your life will always be rosy? Life happens and we never know why some experiences come across our paths. Some things can’t be controlled, but attitude certainly can be.
Wearing rose-coloured glasses doesn’t help anyone. Through meditation, I’ve focused on the positive and tried to ignore the negative. But the fact remains that it is there in many different forms and you can’t walk away from it.
When you simply notice negativity, in yourself and in others, you are not inviting it in. By noticing it and not judging it, you put yourself in the position to shift its path and let it go.
Noticing doesn’t mean you have to accept or put up with the situation. But, it can give you a moment to make up your mind how and if you will handle it.
Noticing keeps you flexible. It gives life a chance to flow as it needs to.
It takes practice though. But don’t worry…
There will be traffic delays.
You may be put on hold for too many minutes.
Sometimes you’ll wait in long lines.
People make mistakes.
You might miss the bus.
Just a few examples.
Is there a particular situation where you remember not having responded the way you would have liked to?
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Photo Credit: Prony