Confidence to Calm...A Self I Could Love

Heart palpitations...Puppy love? Or Anxiety. Shallow breathing…Exercise? Or Fear.

“What are you feeling, in this moment?” This was a question asked of me by a therapist many years ago. My answer: “What do you mean by feelings?” It took me years of therapy and ‘work’ to be able to break through, go in, explore, find and feel. The shellacked exterior was strong. It was glossy, beautiful to the eye, nearly perfect. “Oy, what’s my problem?” I asked myself repeatedly.

I became lethargic, gained weight, felt alone. I kept it together expertly well during the day on the job. At home, I resented a lot; I yelled a lot. Then I hated myself. And gave myself more excuses to eat and not do the ‘work.’ I’m so busy…I don’t have time for myself…What do you mean go to a gym…Sex? You’re kidding, right?

I’ll never forget the day I got on the scale and it tipped over 160 pounds. I ‘saw myself’ as weighing as much as my husband. But he worked out and ran and had lots of heavy muscles [it was just a baseless and thoughtless negative comparison]. Now, I know it was self-hate showing her ugly and sometimes mean face. During this time, my husband kept tell me something that I resisted until I had my breakthrough [AKA breakdown]: “It’s not ok to be nicer to ‘others’ than you are to your own family.” Ouch. I resisted and argued and cried False! But, it was True. And, I’ve never forgotten it.

Eventually, I broke. Ended up home in bed, seeing only gray in my peripheral vision; uncontrolled crying.  Meds helped, family support and love. I laid in bed thinking. Is this the life I wanted to live? Is this the modeling I wanted to show our daughters? What would I tell them in this situation? Now, I know what I would tell them: “Honey, love yourself more.”

Then, I rejected ‘self-love’ by saying it was ‘selfish.’ Really? Today, I know that it’s the most selfless thing you can do: just love yourself more. When you give yourself permission to love yourself, you can find clarity, strength, courage, meaning and pride! [Don’t you want these things for your daughter, niece, granddaughter, mentee? Why not for yourself?] When you find these things, you find Confidence—an ability to not get it right all the time, assurance that you are doing it right for now, that you’re on track; you find Purpose that is an astonishing driver.

I found it! I started with a Values Prioritization [this took me months—here’s a great resource, I encourage you to use it!], then I moved through purposeful literature and exercises [Tim Kelley’s True Purpose book! and thank you Napoleon Hill for teaching me the power of thought!], thenI learned about Affirmations from Louise Hay [thanks Sis for introducing me to Affirmations!] and started creating my own Affirmation Pix and Transformation Tips that I now share! Then, of all things, I began to figure out how to find a meditative space to ease my chaotic mind and now I write guided meditations for others. THAT was a miracle.

How? I got quiet inside. That took commitment, practice, time. Then, I went from just getting quiet to listening, to hearing, to speaking love language to my soul [the voice within]. I learned that tears are just your soul crying out to be heard; don’t be afraid of them, let them come, listen, converse.

Eventually, I said goodbye to my old personality [she still visits sometimes!], and hello to a new self. A self I could love.

Going from Confidence to Calm...Go There and Look Back

Being ‘present’ does not mean that you cannot imagine your future. Quite the contrary.

It is only if you are mindful of this moment-of how you feel, of what you are doing and thinking-that you can imagine the future you want to create. Mostly, we are mindless of moments passing. We think there will always be another moment. Those of us who have been faced with the cruel reality of a sudden death of a loved one know this is a myth. But you don’t have to have suffer a tragic loss to realize that time passes quickly. Today is already yesterday’s tomorrow. Did you do, today, what you wanted to do ‘tomorrow’?

When you live in a mindful way, you live in a conscious state of your existence-how do I feel right now? Am I enjoying my work, my relationship, my life? Do I feel fulfilled? If you find a positive response to your self-exploration, you know you are on the right track of life.  If you are perfectly happy living in this way-great!  Live! Be satisfyingly productive, move through life with intention and feel joy every day in knowing you are living ‘on purpose!’

If, however, you are wondering about a different future….Go There and Look Back.Go to the future that is on your mind. Is it one year? When you graduate? Get married? When your kids are gone from the house? When you turn 50? When you retire? Your old age? On your death bed? Whenever it is, Go There and Look Back.

What does that actually mean?! How do you do that? Make some quiet time. Get comfortable, breathe. Select that point that is on your mind and focus on it. Try to picture it in exactly the way you want it to be. What does it look like? How do you feel in it? What are you doing? Write it all out, be specific and highly detailed; draw the picture if art is your thing. Journal, pray, meditate, walk, hike, run-go wherever you can breathe and think, then write.

Then, work backwards in your mind from then to now. If that is your desired future, what do you need to do now to create that? What are the steps, the information, the resources? What permission do you need-from yourself-to be in that place? What can you do now to move in the direction you clearly want to go? Be specific and write it down. Then, when you get out of focus, you have the map to get back on track.

This is such a simple, but important exercise. Most people just worry or wish for a questionable future. When you Go There and Look Back and are clear on what you want that future to look like and be like, then you do things today consciously and even subconsciously to move you in the direction of your desired future. What if you change your mind? No problem! Life changes. Just go to the new place and look back.

Going from Confidence to Calm...Your Job is to Be

If you are one of the privileged people in the world who can take a breath upon awakening, open your eyes and see your bedside lamp, put your feet on the floor by yourself, stand and walk to the bathroom, afford a toothbrush to start your day in good health...your job is just to be. In awareness of your blessings. In awe of the miracle you awake to each morning.

What are the stops on the journey of your life that brought you to this miraculous day? Every stop, every moment shaped this ‘you.’ What is good in your life today, in this moment? It stems in part from overcoming the obstacles of your past. Your obstacles, the stones over which you stumbled or even fell, became the stepping stones to this moment. Turn around, look back; see the path you trod...Unsure? Insecure? Afraid? Yet here you are in this moment, breathing still; in growing awareness...AHHH...that’s why, That’s why, THAT’S WHY.

How do you choose to continue your journey? Perhaps with eyes open now, knowing there will be more stones, more gates to enter, more hills to climb, more oceans to cross—on the way to Where? Where are you going? What is so important ‘there’? Why not HERE. NOW. You will always be on your way somewhere. Honestly, friend, the place that you’re ‘going to’ is just death-the ultimate place to be, the final resting-a blessing! When you get there, will you have been patient? Kind? Compassionate? Generous? Loving? Productive? None of these costs money! Already you have everything you need to be exactly ‘there.’ If you are aware.

I want to encourage you to see the journey as this step now, and the next; being mindfully present in this moment. Being in awareness of the beauty of this moment, in awareness of being OK with the challenges, meeting each head on knowing they make you stronger, surer and that each leads you gently along. For a moment, now, leave the doing, breathe and just be.

Become aware of your breath, then your body, then your mind, then your thoughts. What are the thoughts you choose to think? Your thoughts are 100% in your control! Take control of your thoughts through breathing, through quiet, nature, art, prayer, meditation, journaling, visioning, spending time with animals, children, the elderly.... any of these methods will begin to bring clarity and joy to your life. Despite [or because of?] the stumbles, the obstacles, the chaos. If you are in awareness of your breath, your blessings, you will find clarity and light. This will  permit focus-a magic trick to pull out of your hat, no doubt with the chaos of life. If you Desire it, then you will Focus. If you Focus on it, you will See. If you See it, you can Experience it. 

The choice is yours, what are the thoughts you choose to think? Your job is to be.

Going from Confidence to Calm...Appreciating the Process

“Susan, how did you do it!? How did you become this new person, positive and calm all the time now?" These questions followed me for years after I made just one decision. A yearning thought led to a decision to change that sparked my journey of exploration into a new way of being. That thought was: "I want to feel better, than this."

In my thirties and early forties...married, career, house, dog, children, volunteering, religious observance [my chaos list]...I was harried, quick-tempered and dissatisfied most of the time. I over-extended to meet the voice in my head of what I was supposed to do, of the person I was supposed to be; life wasn’t fun, it was a burden. Even in therapy I felt chagrined that I was there for ‘first world problems.’

It was while supporting my younger sister on her own coached journey learning manifestation, that I began to Come to Consciousness [phase 1]. I started out by just listening to her, but I grew and changed when I started hearing her. Coming to awareness of my mind was profound! I learned that I could think an intentional thought, that I could control what I thought about, and that I could implant pleasant and positive thoughts into my brain, about what I wanted instead of what I felt I should think about! Wow, what a relief. Now, dear reader, take a moment to ponder this idea, breathe. What are the thoughts you choose?

Feeling better, rising incrementally to a place of feeling more in control gave me confidence! It was the feeling of being out of control, of being subject to everyone else’s needs/desires that made me unconfident and unbalanced -“Am I doing it right?? How do I know??” This feeling was self-imposed. It was what I saw in my mother! I thought it was my birthright, but as I changed my thoughts, I changed my actions and I grew Confident [phase 2]. Once my sister shared the affirmation ‘the creator creates the creation’ and I practiced and affirmed [repeatedly], my confidence increased. I found my truer self, I studied purposefulness and stayed in that space.

Feeling confident and in control is priceless. It took a period of selfishly going in, of drilling deep, of being all-about-me. My family suffered patiently while I expedited this part of the journey. I staked claim in myself [did you notice that self wasn’t on my chaos list?]. My husband didn’t like it, but still walked beside me. Thank goodness. Today we are stronger than ever. Now, dear reader, take a moment to ponder this idea, breathe. Can you let go and of the old and find strength in the new thoughts? 

Then, something wonderful and amazing happened. I realized that there was no ‘There’ to get to; there is only Here and Now...what others called ‘being present!’ I found Calm [phase 3]. Today, I am calm, living in the present, on purpose, in love with myself and others. Now, I help others go through the three phases themselves on the way to finding the impact they are intended to make in our world. What will your legacy be?

 

 

CONTRIBUTING WRITER TO LUMINOUS WISDOM....

Who am I?

Who am I to think my words can inspire or support or uplift others?

Just one. Just one person in this world with a deep desire to lovingly support others, meet them exactly where they are, see them, hear them, support them and uplift them.

It's you I'm speaking to: I see you. I hear your plea. I am here for you. I support your desire and goal to be your best self. I support that desire.  AND....our world needs you to excel at that goal.

Over the decade of my 40's, I found my own voice. And I started speaking. People listened, and heard me. Via LinkedIn, I was approached by someone from Sibella Publications asking if I was interested in applying to become a Contributing Writer for a new global magazine: Luminous Wisdom: SOPHIA. I was stunned. I asked myself: "Who am I?"

I did what I ask my coaching clients to do: I breathed. I reminded myself: people don't  usually hire or involve others for failure, right? If they're offering you an opportunity, they believe you can be successful and will bring them success, too [pay attention college grads and anyone in career transition].

I was elated. Then skeptical: oh, they must just want money. [They did]. But, before I simply dismissed it, I thought, I researched, and I evaluated: How much money do they want? How much do I have? What is the ratio of this spending to furthering my own goals/desires? Momentarily, I knew. The ratio was perfect. The amount they asked for-for advertising-was an amount I was willing to pay. A perfect match. I applied; waited; and was accepted.

"CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER FOR YOU TODAY!!! The EDITORS read your initial article submission and to put it quite simply ... THEY LOVED IT!!!"

I will be using my blog this year to share my articles with you-The theme is:

Going from Confidence to Calm

While the magazine is 'for women,' the articles I write are relevant to men and women, young and old. Please feel free to share this thoughtful content with others.

Let's commit, together, to supporting each other and uplifting others.