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Don't let anxiety ruin the present moment.

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

A wise person once told me that we have 1 mouth and 2 ears for a reason. We need to listen more. I think I am going to be a lover of blogging because I can just freely speak without being interrupted.  This is a universal trigger for many of us - we hate being interrupted.  Do people realize that the minute we are interrupted, we pretty much stop listening and vice versa? 

I have to wonder how many magical, wonderful encounters are happening around the world where people are having courageous conversations and both people are in a good mindset at exactly the same time. (yes, sarcasm - you will get to know it well.)  And yes...I love courageous conversations which I will probably yap on about in another blog. I enjoy sharing my experiences, my likes and dislikes, and I usually have an opinion about everything, but I am smart enough to read my audience and know when to keep my big mouth shut.  Blogging might be difficult for me because I have to be mindful of what comes out of my mouth because I can’t see the facial expressions or body language of my readers.  I hope and pray that this audience appreciates my candor and snarkiness. 


I have been overthinking what this blog should be about it. I have been giving it way more thought than the average person.  My blog needs to really show my authentic self and not just tell people what they want to hear and say things that are nice and pretty.  This would not be my truth.  My truth is that I am someone who is not scared of speaking her mind, but is always TRYING to come from a place of good.  Most times my intention is coming from a place of good unless I have just been triggered and I am unable to quickly pivot in my head.


I am the girl in the room who will walk away from a group of women talking small talk because I love going beyond the surface level talk.  Sure if might make people feel uncomfortable for about 3 seconds, but before you know it...they are telling me their whole life story.


BE COMFORTABLE IN DISCOMFORT!


My first topic has to really catch someone's eye. My first topic has to be perfect. If it is not perfect, then I must not be perfect. What topic is always on my mind? What topic is always on everyone else's mind? STRESS! No better time than the present to delve into this word that everyone shies away from. How can we prevent stress? Prepare yourself each morning and get yourself in the right mindset because you never know the little surprises that might come your way. The way you react in the initial seconds or minutes can determine if the situation elevates to a level of absolute craziness. Learning from these experiences will help you develop a more positive growth mindset. If we never feel stress, it means we really don't care about anything - right? I guess there are apathetic people out there, but I am sure it is obvious to you by now that I don't care to spend too much time with people that don't want to show up!


I was always that type of woman who handled her "stuff" and I used to watch Oprah everyday at 4 p.m. Remember those days when we would all rush home to sit in front of the television? She would always talk about deep breathing, mindset, mediation, and all that hippy dippy stuff. Phrases like "let it go," "stay in the moment," "be calm," and "namaste" made me giggle out loud. It seemed that everyone was jumping on the yoga train and I would laugh hysterically at how a bunch of tree hugging women could be silent in a room moving so slowly that it didn't even look like they were perspiring a bead of sweat. I couldn't really judge because I used to be that girl who hated exercise and would join a membership, show up for the the first 3 months, and then would eventually cancel after months of not using it. Yes, I was a little judgmental back then, but who wasn't in their 20's, 30's, and early 40's? Take responsibility and own it!! Let this be my formal apology to every woman I have judged.

I was going through life thinking that I was happier than most of my friends, everything was going good and I was content. Out of nowhere, I was hit with a panic attack that knocked me on my butt. Reflecting on it now, it really didn't come from nowhere. I was dealing with a lot of stress and my answer at the tine was to just put it all to the side in a pretty little box with a big red bow and not think about it. This was a perfect storm waiting to happen and the storm came with a vengeance. My incredibly healthy grandmother's health took a turn for the worse, work had been increasingly more demanding, and I was noticing some hormonal changes. I call it a trifecta because I absolutely love the word.


TRIFECTA. TRIFECTA. TRIFECTA


Since I thought I was handling my stuff, I thought it was a heart attack. I ran to the ER like a and I was met with medical providers that tried to reassure me that I was having a panic attack.  Silly medical providers - what did they know?  They don't know me and it was St. Patrick’s Day evening and they probably just wanted me out of their waiting room because it was bursting at the seams.  A few days later I hesitantly went to my primary physician and was diagnosed with anxiety. I had it in my screwed up mind that panic attacks and anxiety were for the weak.  Not me.  I am a funny, cool, smart girl. Sure I might be a little high maintenance, a control freak, and type A, but definitely not a girl who falls apart when she can’t handle a little bit of stress or discomfort.


I had been working in the counseling field for over 25 years and I had loved giving advice and brainstorming with my clients about solutions, but I never in a million years thought that I would need to listen to myself and take my own advice.  My life has dramatically changed and I am so grateful for that panic attack and that diagnosis because...


I AM NOW LIVING MY BEST LIFE EVER!!

If you could all view my google search, you would be cracking up right now. I was listening to podcasts, I subscribed to Audible and I was getting my hands on every book I could find in the self-improvement section of the library. I was vomiting all of this new found knowledge and information to friends, family members and colleagues but no one really wanted to listen to me.


When the student is ready...the teacher will appear. I became a major fan of Gabrielle Bernstein and read every one of her books, taking notes and journaling with her beautifully created journals.  I then became introduced to Brene Brown and studied up on her every free minute that I had.  Brene came into my life at the perfect time because I had always been the woman who was courageous and brave.  I just felt that sometimes these attributes came off as too confident, but she allowed me to own it and teach my clients how wonderful it feels to show up and speak your  truth.  I had always been having courageous conversations and now it was becoming an acceptable practice. Thanks, Brene!


I began to listen, like seriously listen, on a much larger scale to my clients who were experiencing anxiety and stress.  I knew that while helping them with strategies, I was also helping myself.  My diagnosis allowed me to be a better, more informed counselor and really, really show up for my clients.  I became a more empathic counselor and life coach, supporting them on the journey of accepting their anxiety and finding ways to not let it interfere with their work and relationships.  They are not perfect and neither the hell am I, but we are all definitely a work in progress and for me - that is what really counts. 

And guess who has become a yogi? I am doing all the silly stuff Oprah talks about and I do it every frickin’ day.  Just like my morning coffee, my day can’t really begin until my morning routine of yoga, journaling, reading, and mediation is done. 


Who am I? Who have I become?  


Read my next blog on other crazy crap I started doing that I said I would never do. Yes, my tail is wagging between my legs.  


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