This morning, even before I was awake I could feel panic swelling in my chest. Right now, if I focus on it, even for a minute I can feel it surging in my arms, making my fingers shake.
As I woke up I wondered where it was coming from. I often feel some low-level of worry or guilt, but outright panic is very rare… and to come on even before I was conscious and having thoughts I feel could create it, seems even odder.
There is a concept I’ve come across in various places about being able to pick up on other people thoughts. Tuning into and experiencing a ‘common consciousness’ if you will. I know we all do it… like when you enter a room you can feel the energy of it, when someone’s mood changes over the phone, you can feel it shift, even though you can’t see them.
So, I asked myself if the panic was mine – the answer – no. Maybe a tiny bit, as I definitely have my worries about things, money in particular – it doesn’t seem to matter how much is flowing in my life, there is often a lurking concern over there being enough, more coming in etc.
This panic was definitely about money, but my circumstances haven’t changed much in the last 24 hours – actually, if anything, they seem better. So, what the heck is going on?
Well, I just had a chat with a dear friend, Patty Lennon, and she reminded me that I had a similar panic experience at this same time last year… and she waited to see if I could figure out what it was about. I was clueless.
Finally, she said, “It’s tax day.” Oh, yes. Of course.
People are freaking out about getting their taxes done, paying, if they haven’t, getting ticked off about how much they’ve paid and how little their getting back. All around me people are freaking out about money. If that is the overall ‘collective’ experience, then it seems a likely explanation for why I feel it too, even though I can’t identify a specific reason in my own life.
No wonder panic was rippling through me even before my eyes opened! Now, I know, and next year, when tax day hits, a reminder will pop up in my calendar letting me know that if I experience something similar, it’s not mine and I can choose to let it go.
And, it may help you to notice that when you are suddenly struck with emotion or feeling, and you can’t quite figure out where it is coming from, you may be having a similar experience. Ask yourself if it’s yours, if it’s not, you can choose to release it and let it go.
This came in a fortune cookie the other day and I just couldn’t help but share…
“The man on top of the mountain did not fall there.”
I loved this because it was a reminder that to get to our goals we will need to, at the very least, walk. Most likely uphill part of the time.
If your goals and dreams are big, then your mountain is probably a pretty tall one, so some of your climbing may be a bit steep. But, if you take your time and just put one foot in front of the other, no matter now small of a step, you will move toward the summit. Eventually, you will reach your destination.
And, remember… a walk or climb to the top of the mountain can be absolutely invigorating, refreshing and breathtakingly beautiful. So can your journey. Appreciate where you are, take time to enjoy the view, rest and replenish so that the next part of your journey can be enjoyable too.
Here’s to taking the steps, even if they are baby steps, toward your dreams.
When I left my consulting job some years ago, my mother sent me a card that said, “Leap!… And the net will appear.” I thought I was leaping. It felt super scary, like I was abandoning everything I knew would keep me safe.
Honestly, looking back at it now, I can see it wasn’t much of a leap. More like a stumble off the bottom step because it was an inch shorter than I expected.
I had a big chunk of change in the bank, a roof over my head with many of the expenses covered and the world at my doorstep to explore. Yet, even with all those pieces in place and all my needs met, I was freaked the heck out. And being freaked out, I wasn’t able to really connect to what I wanted… it’s taken me a long time.
In fact, it’s taken me the better part of the last 7+ years to finally come to doing what I truly WANT to be doing. The thing that would have been ‘taking a leap’. Writing a book.
It’s exciting to finally feel truly on purpose. To know that what I’m doing, no matter the outcome, is what I am meant to be doing right now, at this time. All throughout the last 7+ years I’ve been busy, working super hard at times, but all the while it never felt 100% right. While I enjoyed a lot of it, and still do, I have never felt like I was doing the thing I was truly meant to be doing.
Now, I finally am.
So, please, take heart. If you are still searching for your passion, for the thing you are meant to be doing, know that you can and will find it.
Also know, that if you are a bit of a coward, like me, it’s probably there, right in front of your nose, but you may be too scared to see it…
The last day of my job some friends took me out for a few drinks to celebrate. When they asked me what I was going to do I said, “I think I’ll write a book.”
I never even started – not one single word. That idea was swept under the rug like little broken pieces of a mother’s favorite vase. It was far too scary to admit to, so I hid it away.
If I’d only listened, paid attention to myself. When I said that, there was a thrill that ran through me. Perhaps it could have led me here a bit sooner…
But, it’s likely that everything happens for a reason. Apparently, I needed to discover some things and do some things before I was really ready to start writing about what matters most to me and is close to my heart.
So, let’s take a few deep breaths, relax and trust the Universe. Know that, like me, you are in the right place at the right time. Everything is unfolding beautifully. Enjoy where you are, relish this moment and know that you can’t help but do what you are meant to do, you simply can’t get it wrong.
Trust. We can take a leap and the net will appear… even if it takes a few years to find the cliff. We are doing it just right.
Turns out smiling really CAN make you feel better.
I’ve been researching smiling for my upcoming book, Walking Maggie, and thought I’d share a tiny bit about what I’ve found here.
When you smile, you change your physiology, which actually changes your body and your mood. Even a fake smile will have a positive impact, but the best kind of smile to impact your well-being is what’s known as a Duchenne smile. (Duchenne de Boulogne, a 19th-century french neuroscientist, identified the muscles in spontaneous smiling, including those around the eyes, in 1862, so that big, happy-faced smile has born his name since.)
What happens when you smile?
Your heart-rate goes down along with your blood pressure. Your body releases stress-fighting neuropeptides as well as the feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins making you feel good. Not too shabby…
To top that off, research has found that you are better looking and more attractive when you smile.
Finally, when you smile – particularly that big, whole-faced grin, it has a ripple effect on those around you, causing others to unconsciously mimic your smile, giving them the same wonderful impact your smile is having on you.
Want to read more about it and see some of the research?
Welcome to 2014!
It’s a new year, full of new and exciting possibilities…
It’s funny, because, really, it’s just another week, another month… nothing has really changed, and yet it feels like we can start anew…
So, let’s take advantage of that and set ourselves up for success!
For me, part of creating a new feeling and new opportunity for success is to choose a ‘word’ for the year. Last year’s word was ‘Receive’ – it’s something I really wanted to practice and learn to do more. In many ways, I succeeded… and, there is much more I can learn in that department, so it’s something I’ll continue to place some focus on.
This year’s word is LOVE.
I didn’t even have to think about it – I just knew that is what I want to focus my full attention on this year. Everything about love… including self-love, finding love where I might otherwise find challenges, learning to lean into love in moments where I might want to choose something else.
This is not about denying myself certain feelings, in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s about understanding that, through loving myself and others enough, I can find ways to express my feelings that are healthy and healing – both for me and for anyone around me.
And, seeing as I struggle on a regular basis with remembering to be kind and loving to myself, and sometimes with others , this seems like a great place to put my energy.
What is your word for 2014? What do you want to focus on so that in the next 12 months you can take a few more significant strides toward being and experiencing a more joyful, abundant and wonderful life?
With much love,