Tag Archives: new year

Think of Your Fear Like a Wet Suit

2013-2014As I go into the new year I’ve committed myself to an attitude of gratitude. However, that also means that there is a transitional phase from negative attitudes and mindsets that have to be managed. It’s a little like a corporate takeover. A lot of sorting out to do before it all settles down again. Oh how nice it would be to have my very own “Easy Button”!!

Today I noticed that I was feeling really tight in my chest and down in mood. I tried telling myself to stop it, but that didn’t work. Then, I tried closing my eyes and breathing, that didn’t work either. What gives??

As I searched for answers, I remembered what I wrote yesterday about using “LAG” as my new conflict management style and I thought, maybe this will work for conflict within me as well.

LAG is an acronym for a conflict management style I created to help me create the life I want to be living. It stands for these three steps in the process: “Lean-in”, “Accept”, “Go on”. I’ve started applying it to situations where I am in conflict with others and today I learned it could also be applied to internal conflict.

LAG: Step 1: When I “Leaned-in” to the feeling, my mind fought very hard to run away. It did not want to focus on the ill-feeling at all. I kept saying to myself, “Stay with it”. “You are safe”. I kept breathing in and out to stay calm. When I breathed in I said, “breathe in”. When I exhaled, I said, “breathe out”. That kept me better focused.

When I felt less flooded, I asked myself, “What are you feeling?” “How would you describe it in one word?” The answer came – “I feel rejected”.

I thought, ok. Now we’re on to something. The feeling has been identified. I had no idea until this moment how often I actually never knew what I was specifically feeling. It was just “bad” and I wanted to avoid it and get as quickly as possible to good. That’s all I knew.

It makes sense now why my internal conflict never got resolved as it arose. Negative feelings just kept building up until I began to feel helpless and hopeless in my life. I felt like a prisoner who was put on this earth to do her time. As if I were chosen to be unhappy, while others were chosen to have a fulfilling life. I have felt powerless in my own life for a really long time.

LAG: Step 2: “Acceptance” – I said to myself, “thank you for sharing that. I accept that you feel rejected. That must be very painful. How can I help?” Much nicer 🙂

??????????????????????????????????????????????I waited a bit for an answer and then seemingly out of nowhere, an image of myself on a beach wearing a zippered wet suit popped into my head. The suit felt tight and constricting. My skin felt clammy. I could smell the salty air, hear the waves lapping onto the shoreline and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. I just stood there and took it all in for awhile.

A few moments later, a guiding voice spoke to me over my shoulder.

“What if I told you your pain of rejection could be removed at any time you chose?”I said, “Shoot. I’m all ears”. He said, “Unzip your wet suit and let it fall to the ground. Walk forward and feel the warm grains of sand between your toes. Look behind you and see your pain balled up and lying on the ground. You can pick it up anytime you want and suit back up or you can leave it there and go for a swim in the ocean and clean off all the residue that it left behind”.

LAG: Step 3: “Go On” – I decided to walk into the ocean and swim. It felt good to get the suit off. I kept swimming until all the residue was gone and I felt refreshed. I found myself smiling and laughing again. I felt lighter.

After taking myself through the process, I now understand why my initial attempts to deal with the feeling that arose didn’t calm me down. By flat out telling the feeling to STOP, I was completely ignoring and avoiding it. Then, with zero tolerance or acceptance, I wanted to flush it out with my breath without taking a moment to understand its purpose for being there. Very rude of me actually!

I looked back at the wet suit on the shore and thought about how I don’t have to wear outfits just because someone else thinks they suit me well and I can take them off at any time.

In more practical terms. Let’s say you are in fact being rejected by someone or a group of people. Do you have to feel ashamed of yourself and wear your feeling of rejection like a full body wet suit sponsored by, “THEY REJECT ME”? No, not really.

And here’s the kicker. You can still acknowledge to yourself that they reject you because they very likely may not like you or want you around. It happens.

You don’t have to treat yourself like a reject.

That’s where most of us end up in major pain. When we agree with another persons opinion of us, we are subconsciously feeling that other people know us better than we know ourselves. We give them permission to change us to become what they say we are, what they limit us to. This is the express lane to pain, depression & loss of self.

it's not personal

Instead, you can just accept that they do reject you and that it sucks.

Remind yourself that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.  YOU are not a failure because of this.

You are still that same awesome, talented, special person with so much to offer this world no matter what other people say.

People who try to make you feel bad about yourself are really unhappy people. Believe it or not, it is NOT personal at all. They are just showing you how bad they feel inside. Something in you reminds them of a quality they wish they had inside but they don’t know how to achieve it.

Pray for them. Acknowledge that they are in pain. But under no circumstances do you let what’s going on in them define who you are. It’s separate.

Instead of carrying their load as if it were your own, bless and release them.

You just may not currently be with a person or a group that honors your gifts in the best way. It’s just not a good fit. Focus your energy and talents on honoring yourself and surrounding yourself by people who do honor you.

You’re already good enough as yourself.

Happy New Year and lots of love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Out with the Old, In with the New

You know how Facebook now shows you your “Year in Review”?  It got me thinking about how easy it is to forget all of the little and big things you really accomplish in a year.  When you’re stuck in the day to day, sometimes you can get into a pattern of beating yourself up and forget that you are in fact moving forward and growing after all.

ImageSo, I sat down and wrote out my TOP 15 LIST of things I’m proud of.  It turned out 10 wasn’t enough.  Who knew?

TOP 15 LIST of ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2013

  1. Quit Smoking after 15 years (9 months and counting!)
  2. Got a new job
  3. Bought a brand new car
  4. Became a Certified Personal Trainer
  5. Hit a milestone for bench squat weight
  6. Redid my kitchen and basement DIY style 🙂
  7. Had a blast with my college roomate who i hadn’t seen in 10 years
  8. Spent part of the summer with my sister and niece
  9. Visited Portland with the help of a new friend
  10. Fell in and out of love more times than i can count
  11. Made 2 true friends
  12. Reconnected with my family
  13. Saw Maroon 5 thanks to my mom’s ability to win tickets for anything from the radio 🙂
  14. Started a blog that I care about and managed to have people follow it (thank you!!)
  15. Have begun to love who I am warts and all and accept other people as they are too

When I looked at the list I thought, wow I really don’t give myself enough credit or see the whole picture.  I’m way too often bogged down by negative feelings like there’s some dark cloud over my head.

ImageI wondered how much more I could appreciate my days if I had an attitude of gratitude. How much further could I get with that kind of mindset?

So, on the heels of my TOP 15 LIST (see below), I’m going to go into this New Year with another kind of list and a whole other focus. I don’t want to let another year go by without noticing and appreciating the positive impact I’m making in my life and the lives of others.  I don’t want to wait until the end of it to enjoy it.

I’m letting go of my negative attitude and going to do everything I can to pay attention and acknowledge the positives.

TOP 15 GOALS FOR 2014

  1. Write down my gratitude list daily 
  2. Repeat my positive affirmations consistently
  3. Develop my personal training business into a big success
  4. Improve all my relationships
  5. Eat healthy
  6. Exercise daily
  7. Meditate daily
  8. Smile no matter what
  9. Acknowledge my unique talents & love myself better
  10. Open up & risk trusting myself and others again
  11. Laugh everyday
  12. Follow my passions relentlessly, no matter how many times I may fail, get back up
  13. Take a trip overseas
  14. Assist those in need
  15. Love like my life depends on it 🙂

ImageSo there you have it and now you can hold me to it!  It’s pretty big for me to make these kinds of changes and I’m not going to lie it scares me, but I guess it’s a sign that I’m on the right track.

As you go into this New Year, what do you want to say goodbye to and what do you want to open the door to?

Happy New Year from aneternaltraveler 😉