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Currently Browsing: Self-Discovery

Habit and Anxiety Makes Us Feel The Fear is Real

Our societal addiction to anxiety is epic at this point. Number one mental disorder of the world is anxiety and it’s companion, depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people ages 15 to 45. Undiagnosed and untreated, people are on autopilot in their everyday lives perpetually bridging the gaps between their fears and the dopamine, the hormone that the brain releases that would quell it. Our “chosen” method to deal with our anxious selves is to emotionally regulate with our personal chosen “binkys” of food or phones, alcohol or dope.

But what struck me recently was the realization that what we’re afraid of may not be there anymore. Let’s be compassionate and know that we adopt our coping mechanisms honestly. Each of us anxiety prone people initially used food or alcohol or whatever chosen pacifier because there was something not good happening that we needed to self-soothe ourselves for. A fear of abandonment is a fear of death. My personal coping choice has been to over-drink wine. As a child of an alcoholic, I’ve always been concerned for myself although I never became an alcoholic.Habit and Anxiety Makes Us Feel The Fear is Real on Shalavee.com

When I began to truly want to shed my extra weight, I knew that those empty calories of wine were my “one thing”. That one thing that I’d lose the weight if I gave up. I began to look at why it was that I thought I needed to overindulge and what I saw was a habit of treating myself for the anticipated worry and stress of my life. Except, I couldn’t see how my life was truly that horrible any more. Yes maybe back in my first marriage but this life I have now ain’t too bad.

What I realized was that the assumption that I had something to be worried about was also an addiction. I was addicted to anxiety. By reverse substantiation, I was assuming something was still wrong because I kept treating myself as if there was. And then I realized that the only way to truly prove that my life now isn’t all that horrible, was to take away that very element (wine) which by its use seemed to keep proving I had something to worry about.Habit and Anxiety Makes Us Feel The Fear is Real on Shalavee.com

Addictions are two-fold. They are adopted to regulate our emotions but the unseen element is our bodies production of the hormone dopamine when it anticipates the reward is coming. People who “cut” themselves or play with their phones have the same addiction in common. They are hooked on the happy hormonal release of dopamine they get just before engaging in these acts. The same for overeating or smoking. Read this brief post on our hormones.

 

 

brain produces dopamine when you accomplish stuff on Shalavee.com

My friend and fellow blogger Heather Serody, author and creator of the blog Thrive in Midlife, wrote a very interesting series on how she overcame her over-drinking. Find the worksheets and links to her three pieces on How to Overcome Over-drinking Here. She discovered that the first part of breaking the cycle was abstinence. Allowing ourselves to cope without the crutch can be just the thing to prove to ourselves that the need for the addiction isn’t really there as much. Mind you that before or simultaneously, you may also want to have a talk with yourself about which fears are your go-to Cognitive Distortions; lies you tell yourself about how disastrous it all is and how it will always be (my preferred cognitive distortions are  catastrophic ones). There are more than a few that we offer ourselves to perpetuate our anxieties.Habit and Anxiety Makes Us Feel The Fear is Real on Shalavee.com

I also feel like our addictions become our pink elephants which also run the circus. I wrote a piece called Our addictions take on a life of their own in which I discuss how our fears have us so convinced that we will die without our addictions, we have no other options in light of this absolute but to continue feeding the fear beast and it’s dopamine addicted keeper.

A shortcut and circle has been made.

Anxiety equals feed or die and repeat.

We are intelligent beings whose quest for knowledge has placed cell phones in our hands and a couple of guys on the moon. Yet, when it comes to our own inner workings, we are not encouraged to understand ourselves. We are in fact encouraged to continue to watch Television news in horror so that we can become anxious and then go buy whatever we deem necessary to regulate our emotions. There is no profitability in self-discovery unless you’re in the self-help industry I suppose.

I abhor the concept that I’m a lemming destined to do the same exact thing everyday for the rest of my life as everyone else is doing. Call me a punk but if I really do have a choice everyday on what I do and who I am, let me be fully aware of how far that freedom extends. I don’t intend to continue to let fear control me if I can outsmart it and graduate to a better way of living.

“Fear, anxiety, and the addictions they create keep you from living, from hoping, and from moving. You are standing on the shoulder of the road of life while people are passing you who owned their choices and chose life over death or misery. You wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone so why are we living this fear loop for years? Because we don’t recognize our choice to choose hope.” From a blog post Addiction Pimps Out Your anxieties to Feed it’s Need

If any of this brings you relief to read it, you are not alone and I urge you to follow your inquisitions down whatever rabbit hole you need that you may truly understand that you are in control of your life. That the behaviours that we exhibit do not define us and we have all the power we give ourselves permission to have to fight back for the control. We can choose to return ourselves to ourselves.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

What Are We Not Talking About ? Let’s Talk

(A little late coming to you today as I was sick this weekend and still am)

If you read me regularly, you’ll know there’s not much I’m not talking about. Not necessarily current events but I will discuss what they really mean to each of us. I will always tell my truth, I will offer perspective, and I will look for hope. So what am I not talking about that we should be talking about?

How about Women’s issues? It really wasn’t until recently that I realized that women were oppressing themselves.  That was a new topic for me. And perhaps I need to delve more into this subject? I love to talk about creativity and how it helps to diminish anxiety however all the articles I can find are about how anxious people are creative. What Are We Not Talking About ? Let's Talk on Shalavee.com

And my recent discovery of the Impostor Syndrome has my me recognizing that the reasons I can’t ask for money, or maybe you can’t seek better employment, is because of our fears of being singled out and shamed,… our fear that we won’t do it right. Every day that I own my part in my repression, I am freer. And it takes understanding and knowledge to gain the power to walk away.

So what is it that we aren’t talking about? Leave me a comment if you think there’s a particular subject that needs our attention. And let’s think about these ideas together.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Body Buddy

When my son was little, if I saw he was doing something that would hurt himself intentionally, I’d say, “Don’t hurt my friend”. I say this to my daughter as well.The idea being that I care about them as much as I would a friend seems to be not as obligatory but a choice to care about them. I love each as a buddy and friend and as children.

The more I learn about self-care and self-trust, the more I know I need to teach my daughter how to self-soothe and be there for herself instead of looking for the comfort and acceptance outside herself through drugs, food, or sex perhaps. Seems such a simple concept yet no one ever pointed out my duty to take care of myself in this way.

And then the other day, I was explaining the bracelet on m wrist was my friendship bracelet to myself. That before I could be a good friend to anyone else, I needed to be my own friend first. And Fiona thought about this and agreed and side, “We can have our own Body Buddy.” I gasped at the simple brilliance of this concept and asked if I could use the phrase. She agreed to let me.Body Buddy on Shalavee.com

Imagine if we were all allowed and encouraged to be our own friends from when we were small. That this friendship would allow more self-compassion and thus less self-hatred. What if we didn’t hate our bodies and accepted our differences as beautiful? That we could then have more love and compassion for our fellow humans and less judgement because we knew ourselves well enough. Imagine the rooting of self-trust that would allow us to take bigger and better better risks because we knew we always had our own backs in the end even if we failed. 

The opposites of anxiety and depression is love and trust and connection. It makes complete sense that in giving our next generation solid selse of self and tolerance for our humanity, we are raising people who can make better decisions on behalf of humanity. If this is my only contribution, let it be the best I can give. Let my children know themselves and have faith in their own body buddy. Let my daughter be visible to herself and need no one to give her what she can give herself.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

I Can Cards and Excerpts from my Journal

What could speak louder than the words I say to myself, in private. And it happens that some of those words are in written form in my journal, loud and clear for me to reread. I was struck by gratitude at rereading this excerpt and wanted to share my journal entry here so that you my reader could see what great self-talk sounds like.

I am on the precipice of seeing myself as who I truly am and how that is valuable to the world.”

Releasing my wholehearted story was/is magical. It is the story of creativity vs. anxiety. The magic of rediscovering hope. Of beginning again over and over. Of finding my own truths to live by. Of reparenting and reprioritizing my life and self-expression. Affirming, grounding, and cathartic.”

And I must remember in the end it was me saying yes to the opportunity to prove (or disprove) theories about self. That is an amazing gift that I have denied myself. Except this time. And what I found was that I can put myself to a hard writing task and complete it. I can be edited and not die. I can write well and be truthful. I can put myself to a task and complete it on time, even ahead.”Can Cards and Excerpts from my Journal on Shalavee.com

And armed with this feeling of goodwill toward myself and my abilities, I wrote out some “Can Cards”. Squares within which I wrote all the things I know I can do.

I can write well. I can write with a deadline. I can write, edit, and complete. I can design an event and a window well. I can speak from my heart. I can master computer knowledge. I can design graphics. I can connect with people authentically. I can take and make beautiful pictures. I can ask for help. I can tell my story. I can art anytime I want. I can make friends. I can take time for myself. I can make money. I can parent my children well.

I give you these truths from my heart and my journal so that you may benefit from the understanding that we are ever-changing for the better. And self-trust and self-esteem are within our power to increase for our happier lives. I created all of this from what seemed like an abyss.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

What I’m Really Afraid of: Clarity Despite the Carnage

I decided to dive into my clutter mind this morning and sort out all the notes and inspirational Ebooks I had laying around. I want to create some clarity, both mental and visual, out of my clutter and carnage.

Immediately I found I was overwhelmed of course. That would be the regular mode of my creative mind. I collect the ideas and the inspiration but not always knowing exactly how it will apply to my life, I deposit it into a folder for later. And the papers and laters pile up.

What I see going on is this: I drown in my possibilities rendering myself incapacitated and then I forget. This allows me to stay quiet and un-vulnerable because it all seems like too much stuff. And I never come up with a better sorting system so I keep perpetuating the well-intended chaos.What I'm Really Afraid of: Clarity Despite the Carnage on Shalavee.com

This is all surface stuff of course. Because I also found a very honest testament of my truest fear in a Lesson from Anna Lovind’s Creative Doer course titled True Clarity. She asked “What are you afraid would happen if you allowed yourself to go fully for what you truly want? What’s the worst-case scenario?” And this is what I answered:

If I allowed myself to create art, write a book wholeheartedly, I might fail at the one great dream and have no back up dream. I might find out I’m not as good as I think. Or that people are really not that interested. Recognition could be of my talent or my fraudulence. We’ll know if I have what it takes or I have nothing to show for myself and my angst all these years. Total flop. Embarrassment.”What I'm Really Afraid of: Clarity Despite the Carnage on Shalavee.com

Nothing like retro-reading your uncensored fears to see how sad they are. It’s not that I haven’t read and taken notes on all the right things to do to become a success. It’s my paralyzing fear of risking failure and then failing that has kept me tied in disorganized knots ( a shameful fate for a Virgo). I know and yet fear is paralyzing. You need permission to break the invisible barrier and take a step towards the goals.

So I’ve decided to keep these papers in front of me and keep mulling them over until I make sense of what they mean to me now. I want to wade through my overwhelm and sort through all my past thoughts and notations with a new eye from where I am now. And I have a feeling that I will begin to see a new path emerging. Because I really never want to see these papers resurface. I want to move on from my chaos into clarity.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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