As I’ve gotten older, I’ve changed the way I “keep the patient comfortable” [as Geenen Roth calls spiritual self-care].
I wish I could tell you that I don’t have moments of panic, anger, sadness or insecurity, but I do. I have moments where I feel panicked. For example “if I don’t buy this one dress I’ll never look the right way for X event.” “If I don’t get to eat this one thing…” “If I don’t get this one email back right away”… and so on and so forth.
I’ve learned how to calm and quiet the little girl inside of me–the little girl who at times doesn’t feel safe.
And because I’ve learned to manage myself without pills or drugs or a large amount of credit card debt, I wanted to share some of these tools with you too.
If you are feeling anxious, sad, or upset, try asking yourself these questions. Write the answers down in a journal, or just contemplate them during a quiet meditation.
- What does the anxiety or fear look like?
- Is the anxiety in your throat? Is it in your belly?
- How does it feel moving around in your body? Like a tidal wave?
- Can you visualize this emotion?
- What does she look like?
Sometimes when I’m swimming [and/or meditating] I visualize this physical embodiment of my anxiety.
Similar to many other women, I have a warrior inside of me. She surfaces to protect me when she thinks I’m in harms way. However the warrior will sometimes get in the way of my train of thought. Often she doesn’t help me to clearly see my life–she hinders my view. When asked by someone else to visualize her, I realized she looks like a contestant on masterchef [you can laugh--it is rather funny/bizarre--but I promise this stuff works].
Rather than make her go away by taking anything, or drinking wine or shopping, or spending time with the wrong people, or eating chocolate, I take a good look at her. Then I give her a seat at my dining room table. We break bread. Lastly I visualize sending her to the most lavish, comforting spa I can imagine where she can relax.
When she surfaces I know I need to tell her I’m safe, I’m secure–and I send her on her way. This allows me to stay in my power without hurting anyone around me. It allows me to be a gentle wise warrior–with clarity, not clouded by anger.
This is the visual imagery I use to move forward, and triumph over a bad day. I do not have multiple personalities, or anything like that. I’m just a normal woman braving the world trying to be a better human being.
I share these incredibly honest thoughts with you because–while this blog might seem unnecessary or inane to some–if I can inspire one woman out there to take better care of herself, I’ll know I did my job.
Please take care of yourselves out there. Break bread with your anxieties.