Will this matter five years from now?
Will this matter five minutes from now?
Am I doing this because I WANT to, or because I feel like I HAVE to?
Am I reading too much into this?
Is it possible for me to get away for a few minutes to drop into stillness, so I can make this decision with more clarity? Can I take the time to journal about it to see what’s really underneath this anxiety?
Will anyone truly be disappointed in me, or am I just projecting? If someone IS disappointed in me, why does that matter so much?
Am I considering this route because the world tells me to, because a relative tells me to, because the media tells me to? Because it’s what everyone else seems to be doing? Because it’s what has worked for other people? Or because my soul says YES?
Am I holding back out of insecurity? Fear of failure? Fear of being seen? Of being different?
What is happening beneath my excuses? Can I muster up the courage to look at it, even if only for a couple of minutes?
Is this a waste of my time? Does this have ANYthing to do with the activities or people I love, or with my purpose? (If not, can I reconsider the importance of this?)
Am I selling myself out? (My self-worth does not have a price tag.)
What am I tolerating that is simply unhealthy?
What can I simplify?
What would I be doing right now if I were guaranteed to be fully supported by the Universe and the people I love? Would I be doing this? Would I be worried about this?
What is happening in my body? Do I feel sick, weak, tired, jubilant, excited, joyful? Where are these feelings located? What is my body trying to tell me?
Am I avoiding or procrastinating? How would it feel to just get it over with? How would it feel to just begin?
What is the absolute WORST case scenario? If this happens, I will probably still fundamentally be okay. Can I find a place of faith, so I can get moving?
Is this anxiety coming from an unhealed wound? How can I acknowledge my pain, thank my psyche for trying to protect me, and go forward to start a new, healthier pattern?
Are there people in my life who trigger my anxiety? Can I lessen my time with them, or their hold over me? Can I see where they might be coming from, so I can understand that their behavior may have nothing at all to do with me?
What is most important to me? What lights me up? What holds me in timeless suspension? Can I carve time out NOW or SOON to reconnect to that?
Where is my dog? I need to hug her. 😉
Am I trying to control another person, or affect an outcome? (HINT: STOP.)
Who can I talk to about this? Who might be able to offer me another perspective? Will it feel good to voice this panic, and let go of it?
What can I do right now that will connect me to joy? That won’t be another avoidance tactic, but will truly remind me of why I am here?
What is this anxiety trying to tell me? How can I be of service to it? How can I listen better so it doesn’t have to keep nagging at my attention?
—I am learning that anxiety is NOT my enemy. Rather, it shows up to ring a bell in my ear that tells me I am not currently connected to love. Anxiety is something I have dealt with, more or less, all my life, although at certain times (when I am happiest and surrounding myself with amazing people and positive experiences and purposeful activities) it dissipates.
Recently, it kicked into high gear and I wound up sick for a month with the flu, bronchitis, and a sinus infection. My body had truly had enough of my stress. The funny thing is, often I don’t realize how stressed I AM until my body starts reacting. (Sound familiar?) I think, How is it possible that I’m stressed? What do I have to be stressed about? And guilt makes the panic worse. Round and round I go until I’m incapacitated, and even THEN I don’t listen to my body’s plea for rest.
So, here I am. Imperfect. Learning things. Daring to look at what’s underneath (which is another post). I hope you, too, can find the courage to ask the questions that you already know the answers to. Those answers set us free, so we can get to the stuff that REALLY MATTERS—like love, and our children, and our art, and our purpose. And we all have one!
(NOTE: your purpose is YOUR purpose. Don’t stress about someone else’s dream for your life. The only dream that matters is your own. And your dream is beautiful.)