Those icky, old familiar feelings. Panicky. Barely breathing because your lungs feel so tight.
“Not enough money.”
“Not enough time.”
“Not doing enough.”
“Maybe I’m just not enough…”
Yuck. From there it can be a slippery slope to feeling discouraged, then overwhelmed, then hopeless. Have you been there? I certainly have. Anxiously taking some kind of action in the hope of making things better, then feeling depressed that those actions aren’t having the intended effect. Yuck again.
However, there is a “fix” for getting out of this yucky space. It’s very simple, but it does require shifting gears.
Two simple steps. (One is really all you need though.)
Step 1. It can be very helpful to do something to shift physically, like taking a walk or even just stopping and taking a few focused, deep breaths. Then you’re in a more receptive place for Step 2. But even without Step 1, Step 2 can still work. Just proceed.
Step 2. Take a quick inventory of what is humming along, of what is in place, of what you do have, even if you don’t think there is anything right now. It can be very helpful to write this inventory down. It does not need to be all formal and pretty. Just grab a piece of paper or type it out on your computer. Do a quick brainstorm of what you do have and what is going well. I find it very helpful to begin with very basic things, which usually helps me identify other things that are humming along or for which I am grateful. Here’s the kind of list I’m talking about.
- this computer
- my bed (especially good to notice at night when I’m in this space)
- my pillow
- plenty of food in my fridge and pantry
- my health (I have to be careful here not to digress to what needs attention or is irritating about my body. Stay focused on the list!)
- my family’s health
- the opportunities and blessings of my business
- my writing
- my office
- the trails in Columbia so close to my home
- the strength of my connection with my husband
- resources to help us parent our teenage daughter
- my ballet classes
- spring and all that is blooming
- my daughter’s talents
- a car that I like that still runs well
- a mechanic I trust
This is a powerful practice. The more you practice it, the better you get at it and the easier it comes. The more you can make the shift from “It is not enough” to “It is enough,” or even “There is plenty!” the more you will experience the power of gratitude. It also helps to identify what is going well because when we get in that yucky space, we begin to notice almost everything that is not going well. It’s like it’s all breaking down in front of our very eyes!
By creating a “what’s going well” or a gratitude list, you put your brain on an entirely different track. You open the way for new possibilities and for new ideas. You become more receptive to your intuition and creativity, which is often the very thing that you need to get you out of that yucky space and to set the stage for creating a plan that does work better.
“Are you noticing and using the resources you already have?”
We tend to notice what is missing, what is not enough, what is out of place. Whether it’s human nature or whatever, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you turn your head and notice something else, something that is enough, something that is working or is beautiful or even funny!
Get your paper out. Write your list. Or open up Word and type out a quick list. It doesn’t need to take more than 5 minutes, unless you really get into it. Just write or type as quickly as you can without over thinking it. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with.
Post about what you discover, or email me. The more energy you give this, the more it will give back to you. And you’ll discover that