Navigating Life with Anxiety…

Those that know me know I’m not big on labels. I don’t like to take them on, because I don’t want to be defined by them and because I know we are more than just these bodies we chose as our vehicles on this plane. But in order to share about my challenges I have to name it. I am amongst the 40 million adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, that suffer from an Anxiety disorder. I have a low level of General anxiety, which through my healing journey I’ve learned how to mange but I also have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder), as well. I declined medication because I’m an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)…my sensitivity to synthetic drugs can be so severe that I end up with all the “warning side effects” and then some.

My anxiety developed…

from the traumas in my life, which I’ve been able to track back to early childhood, from trauma in the womb to being teased and bullied as an immigrant child, to more recently having gone through deep betrayal. And yes, we all have stories to de-story, but before you judge…remember that one person’s knife wound is but a paper cut to another and vice versa. We all have our demons. I’m told many times to “get out of my own way”, “get over yourself”, or “get out of your head”…even from family members. But living with anxiety, especially Social Anxiety, can be so severe at times that I become physically ill, it’s visceral. Though I know, as most sufferers do, that these fears that arise due to the Anxiety, are illogical and out of proportion, in the peak of the wave, we.can’t.rationalize.it. Our Anxiety functions more like an instinct or reflex sorta speak. Heck, it’s what helped us survive while growing up and experiencing what we perceived as a not so friendly world, because of that it makes it impossible for us to ignore or suppress. Some of us cope with it in not so healthy ways, like using drugs and alcohol among other thing. For me…I developed a strong masculine energy, pushing my way through, fueled by anger and rage. I’m not proud of it but it helped me survive and face the world as a single mom. But all that did was lead to more labels of physical ailments.

So what do I do now…

As I shine more and more light on my darkness, and seek healthier ways to rise above vs suppress it; I’ve come to these 3 important steps.

The first step is Awareness…if you aren’t aware of what’s happening, you can’t change or heal it.  Are you aware of your self talk? What stories are you telling yourself? Awareness is a powerful tool…it allows you to shed your skin, without judgement or blame…and to realize your power. In doing so, we getting a glimpse of all the possibilities available to us…we then realize we have a choice.

Second is Presence…stay in the present moment…replaying the past or worrying about the future isn’t productive for anyone, let alone someone with Anxiety Disorder. When we are in a state of presence…showing up for our lives…we are awake and aware of not only our actions but the energy we are tapping into. What I’ve come to learn is to be totally present to the way I’m showing up…AND…being okay with it. Reminding myself that I am an infinite being, having a human experience. Which is what we are here to do, but it also means sometimes I give into fear, sometimes I don’t get it right, sometimes I don’t use empowering language, etc. The important part is that I am aware and present to it all and that I am gentle with myself in the process.

Third…Mindset…when you practice awareness and presence you will come to realize how powerful our mind really is…and how mindset is at the core of all of it. I had a simple and almost comical experience…I’ve been struggling adjusting to my contacts. I notice if I “forget” I’m wearing them…I see fine. The moment I think about them…I see my world as a blurry mess. Likewise…one moment you’re moving forward with creating the experiences you want in life, and things start falling into place. Then the next minute…you’re giving into fear and everything starts falling apart around you. Our thoughts create our reality. Remember to allow yourself to be human…we are infinite beings having a human experience after all.

“What we resist persists”…ever heard that? I’ve been resisting a lot lately and I’m coming to understand that it’s our ego’s way of protecting us. Holding on to our stories which are sooo ingrained in us…and these stories cause us so many imbalances. So I’ve had to find better ways of coping by learning how to use tools to help me ride the waves.

So how do I ride the wave?

All transition periods in life can be stressful but for those navigating Anxiety, it can get the best of us. Even worse, when life throws us unexpected or unplanned transitions..it can leave us feeling unprepared for what is to come, which can be frightening, making us feel vulnerable. A week ago during his Monday staff meeting, my husband was informed he was being laid off. Needless to say, moving through this unexpected news when we so heavily depended on his income hasn’t been easy. What I’ve noticed is the tools in my medicine pouch help me find my center again…supporting me to bounce back faster…and that in itself is a great thing. Amongst my tools, these two are my daily go tos…

Aromatherapy…

In the 24 years of using Essential oils one of the many things that draws me to them is their ability to work energetically. There are oils that can assist in clearing emotional baggage from the cellular memory. Oils like Douglas fir ~ Oil of Generational Wisdom, Bergamot ~ Oil of Self-Acceptance and a few others. When we inhale Essential oils they send signals to the limbic system, which is linked to emotions, moods, memory, drive, breathing, blood circulation, and endocrine glands/hormones. They can initiate physiological responses affecting our Body AND Mind.

While there are a number of oils I use, Balance Blend is my go to during times of stress to combat feelings of anxiousness. I wear or diffuse it, as it can help promote feelings of peace and harmonizes the mind and body.

Engaging my Creative mind…

We are all creatives and when we get in the front seat and start creating we realize the unlimited possibilities available to us. Just like we get to choose an unlimited variety of colors for our palette when we paint, we also get to choose from the unlimited possibilities available to us in life. And just like life, when we face that blank canvas it can seem scary, chaotic, and even messy, but with each layer, each brush stroke we give birth to a new beginning. A new possibility to live into. Meeting myself at the canvas or the page has helped me ease my mind, brings me peace and opens me up to my inner guidance. Creativity comes in many forms…I invite you to engage your creativity, let you inner child come out and play.

Life can be hard, I’m not going to deny that…finding our own way to rise above it is as easy as reminding yourself everyday you have a choice…