Fear

Everyone has moments in life that bring forth feelings of fear. I have experienced fear a lot in my life, especially in this last year. I felt fear when taking all my final exams for college, licensure, and certification. I felt fear when I started a relationship with a new man. I felt fear when I decided to leave my job and accept a new one in a new town. I felt fear when I put my house up for sale and moved in with the new man in life. I felt fear while trying to complete all my paperwork correctly for my PLPC and the supervision application. I have felt fear in the waiting for everything to move forward and fall into place because I am not the most patient person. It is hard to let life flow naturally and not push or force it. The fear causes me to want to rush things and just get to where I think I should be in order to feel stable, but the truth is, sometimes when we push things it just causes the time to move slower.

I know the universe knows what I want and the more I worry and doubt the more the resistance builds and the longer it takes. The struggle is rooted in the fear. So how do I let go of the fear? How do I trust that everything will move into place as it is suppose to? How do I let go of the worry and doubt and just enjoy life in the moment? It takes practice and self-awareness. When I start to feel frustrated or even panicky about things and the pressure seems to be building, I take a deep breath and repeat the mantra, everything is always working out for me. I take the time to meditate or write out a description of what life looks like for me after everything falls into place. I focus on how far I have come and give thanks for all the good in my life in this very moment.

It is easy to let your mind and body react to fear and if you just stay on auto pilot, the worry and doubts will take you down the rabbit hole. Then, before you know it, you are feelings anxious, depressed, and sick. Addressing fear starts with practicing good coping skills, self-awareness, and pulling yourself back into the present moment. Worry puts the focus on the past and the future, things we cannot change or things that have not even happened yet. Allow yourself to just focus on what you can do in the moment that pushes you closer to your goals and the type of person you ultimately want to be long term. Not a temporary fix or relief like drugs, alcohol, food, careless spending, random sexual encounters, gambling, or countless other escapes. Often these escapes feel good in the moment but only exacerbate the problem and take you further from your goals and the true self.

In what areas of your life is fear holding you back? Are you practicing good coping skills, self-awareness, and staying present or are you allowing yourself to go down the rabbit hole of worry and doubt? Take time to reflect on how you are feeling and what you can do to help yourself reduce the stress in life by attacking the fear through good practices. It is good to check in with yourself daily, mentally, emotionally, and physical and begin to keep notes on how you uniquely react to fear and stress because it can be very different for everyone. There are no cookie cutter symptoms. Once you become more aware, you can catch it earlier and begin a more preventative and maintenance protocol through the coping skills, self-awareness, and being present.

With love, happiness, health….

Stacy

Courage

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Courage:  The ability to do something that frightens one.

I have struggled with many emotions since about mid-July.  With a relationship ending suddenly and without much communication it was hard to fully embrace where I stood.  The best way to describe it was feeling lost.  Yesterday I finally met with my ex and we spent four hours just driving back roads and talking.  I put everything out on the table and allowed myself to be vulnerable while coming from a place of love.  We listened and we both shared our thoughts on the relationship, our thoughts about each other and where we are in this moment of life.  By the end of the drive we agreed upon friendship and sealed it with a hug and a kiss.  I walked away feeling proud of how mature both of us handled the situation and also thinking…why is this relationship ending?

Sometimes it is hard to accept that something is over, especially when so many aspects of it were good.  It was weird to think how much closer I felt to him after that one conversation and he admitted he felt the same.  It takes courage to be willing to let go of someone you love so deeply and simply trust in the process.  It takes courage to walk away when you feel in your heart and soul that it isn’t over yet, like there is more chapters involving this person in my story.  I have many things to focus on in my life right now and a big part of it is working on bettering myself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I know many people would say it is possible to grow in all those aspects while still nurturing a relationship, but sometimes there is a need to separate ourselves from others in order to grow in to who we are supposed to be.  It is scary and exciting to be moving forward on my own.  I am a empty-nester with my daughter leaving for college and my relationship is officially over and now has some closure.  I feel a sigh of relief but also a sadness.  I have people in my life who love and support me, but basically, I am alone for the first time in my life…. really alone.  No boyfriend, no roommate, no child at home… just me.

Entering my home to be greeted by my cats and my dog, my daughter gone out with her boyfriend, my final conversation of my ended relationship swirling in my head, it really sunk in that I am no longer responsible for anyone but myself.  Are we really ever alone?  No, I don’t believe so.  I feel the presence of God with me often when I get silent and still, usually in the early hours of  the morning.  I do believe things happen for a reason and we may never fully understand the reasons.  Real courage is having faith and believing that as long as we keep moving forward it will all be okay.  Let go of controlling the situation and needing to know the when, where, how and why of everything.  Learning to go with the flow and trust that life is unfolding just as it is supposed to is the best way to be. Acceptance and trust takes more courage than forcing action and pushing for answers.

Maybe in time the idea that him and I will cross paths again and the spark will return stronger than before will fade.  Maybe he will move forward and find someone new who will make him feel everything he didn’t with me.  Maybe I will find someone new, but that thought seems impossible for me right now.  I know one thing for sure, it is my time to date myself and embrace this time to fully be alone.  I have shown courage in so many aspects of my life, usually because situations forced me to and not by choice.  Today I am making the choice.  I am choosing to fully let go of all sense of attachment to everyone and everything and allowing myself to fully embrace this moment.  Embracing the freedom and courage to be and do whatever my soul desires without explanation to anyone.  Let the adventure begin!  What area of your life is requiring you to have courage?

With love, health, happiness and a little courage to all of you,

Stacy

 

 

Chill-Out & Let It Be!

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I have blogged about acceptance in the past and I strongly feel that acceptance is one of the greatest keys to happiness.  I believe that we are all living life and having experiences and through those experiences, (whether we know it or not), we are choosing what we want and don’t want in our lives.  With each job you have, each relationship you have, every place you travel….you are figuring out who you are and what you want most in life.  Sometimes there are things in our lives that come along that we may want really badly and it scares us because we want it so bad.  In this moment we begin to focus more on the fear of what we don’t want instead of keeping the focus on what we do want.

Often in these times of desire we may create positive visualizations and meditate, focusing on the desire, but the belief inside of us is still in conflict, it doesn’t feel achievable for some reason.  In these moments you have to walk away from the focus because your just not ready to believe it yet.  Maybe you feel it’s too good to be true because of past experiences.  Maybe you are over-analyzing because you just can’t see how it can be done.  Or maybe someone says or does something that just puts doubt in your mind.  Whatever it is that is blocking you from believing that it is already done has to be ignored and you have to find a way to just get yourself back in the mindset of knowing.

In this time I like to refer myself back to areas of my life where I have strong faith and create that sense of gratitude within my soul.  People who love and support you, a home, your car, running water, air conditioning, clothes & shoes, food, a job, your pets, coffee…whatever you can think of spend the day being thankful for all of it.  Don’t let your mind wander back to the doubt, worry, and frustration of what you want but can’t seem to get.  You must chill-out and let it be. Sometimes it helps to have a real life example so here is my situation.

Currently my relationship is in a weird place because my boyfriend of four years and I have broke-up.  There is this strong love between us and nothing awful really happened to end the relationship so something just feels off within me.  I have this longing for more of a connection & passion in the relationship and he has great fear of  fully letting down his walls and letting someone in and so this challenge has lead to our separation. Space and time is needed to re-evaluate the relationship and strong feelings from all directions are whirling within me and I am sure within him as well.  It is easy to create stories of doubt, worry, and betrayal when you suddenly stop contact and just allow yourself to be without another person.  On the other hand you feel something deeper within your soul that just connected you to this other being for years.  There are two ends of the spectrum and you have to accept the possibility of both outcomes.  The space will either create a greater desire and a longing that was not realized before or the space will make it clear that it is time to let go and move on.

Put your desire out into the universe through prayers and meditation and then chill-out and let it be.  Don’t try to control the situation or force it.  The desire has been put into your heart and God knows where you stand.  Yes, this is easier said than done but remain positive and understand that what is best for both hearts involved will happen.  Rest in peace knowing and have faith in the fact that whatever is in your best interest will naturally flow to you without you taking action.  If you truly love them sometimes you have to be willing to let them go, sometimes they return and sometimes they don’t.  Being happy within yourself is the key to really being able to do this.  Your happiness and self worth does not lie within the other person.  If they don’t choose to be with you it doesn’t really have anything to do with you, even if they say it does.  Being with another person in a long term, committed relationship is a choice that is made by both people every day.  Its not a spark, or some unspoken magic that is created.  It may feel like a spark and strong magical desire in the beginning but we all know at the end of the day its about choices.  I want someone who wakes up each day and continues to choose me.

If you are struggling with wanting something in your heart and the desire is so big that worry and doubt begin to creep in you have to back off from it.  I find that distracting myself with exercise, meditation, going out with friends, or hobbies are great ways to avoid the downward spiral.  Just be careful talking to some friends and getting into a conversation that over-analyzes a situation.  The book, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus speaks strongly to this difference in men and women in this aspect.  Men turn within themselves, go into a cave in a sense when they need space to think about heavy subjects.  Women like to talk it out and sometimes we tend to talk it to death.  As I always say, balance is key; talk to your supportive people to get some relief and perspective on the situation and then allow yourself to chill out and let it be.

Patience and time are important but maintaining that sense of complete faith and positive vibes are equally important.  So if thinking about that particular situation does not bring joy in the moment, allow yourself to let it go and focus on something that does.  It doesn’t mean you don’t care, actually quite the opposite.   It means you trust that the best will happen without you interfering in the process.  Complete acceptance.

With love, happiness, health and acceptance,

Stacy

 

 

Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude is a German word used to describe the experience of pleasure, joy or a since of self-satisfaction a person has when they hear about or see a person go through a negative experience.  More often experienced by children, but it can still happen in adults.  In psychology it is believed that there are three reasons behind the complicated emotion:  aggression, rivalry and justice.  I often hear people say, “sweet justice” when they hear of a person they dislike having a “karmic” negative experience.  Usually the less self-esteem a person has the more often a person experiences schadenfreude. Everyone has had moments of schadenfreude and I actually experienced it last night.

I am a positive person and thrive on the idea of motivating, inspiring and supporting others.  However, I am also human and admit that I had a moment that made me feel joy and a bit of guilt for feeling that joy.  When I saw this particular person I didn’t even recognize her at first.  This person who has always been a bossy, know-it-all who has never been a pleasant person towards me has been just a dot on my radar in the passed few years, so I had not seen her in a while.  I took a moment to fully take in the fact that she had gained a lot of weight since I last saw her and… I smiled to myself.  When I caught myself I felt guilty, because what you put out into the world does come back around and I have had some weight gain in life and definitely do not want to invite that struggle to increase.  My first thought…{all the hate and anger inside her is swelling! What an awful person I am to think such things!  I should definitely pray for her and go on about my life.}  The struggle within me was one I had not experienced in a long time and it made me think a bit deeper.  First of all, these thoughts and feelings have more to do with me than they do her.

The truth is…my fears and insecurities about weight caused me to feel a bit of joy and relief when I saw her doing worse than me in the struggle against aging and weight gain? Obviously my reasons were based on a bit of rivalry and justice.  I consoled myself with the fact that she is younger, taller and never had children and was still overweight.  Later, I realized becoming overweight must be a very real fear for me and I need to pay more attention!  The experience of seeing her motivated me to want to work harder on my diet and exercise goals. Often what we judge, pick apart or dislike about others are the very things we fear most within ourselves.  Realizing and accepting this is a very humbling and eye-opening experience.  We are not perfect beings, we all have people in our lives that we don’t particularly care for and it is human nature to have emotions and thoughts that are just reactionary and out of our control.  The key is being aware when we have those thoughts and emotions and forcing ourselves to explore them.

Discovering your fears and facing them can be one of the hardest, yet most rewarding challenges you will ever experience in your life.  Once we all start conquering our fears the sky is the limit on the success level we can reach in any goal we set because most failure is fueled by fear.  So ask yourself three questions next time you find yourself having a moment of Schadenfreude:  is this fueled by anger, rivalry or justice?  What is it about this person that I am picking apart or judging?  Is this quality that I am picking at or judging something I fear within myself?  These questions can be the first step in discovering your core fears.

With love, health, happiness, and lessons in conquering our fears

Stacy

Can you be alone?

I have noticed in my life that many people struggle with being alone.  It has always been strange to me, even since I was a kid, about 10 years old, I can remember spending hours alone outside exploring or in my bedroom reading a book.  I wasn’t being neglected, my parents would check on me every once in a while, and that was enough.  I was not a clingy or needy kid and I have never been as an adult either.  When I see these needy adults I instantly think, man you must have drove your parents crazy with your inability to be alone.  Not all people struggle with this and not all people have had the inability to be alone since childhood, but I would say for most, it started there.

I am a loner in many areas of my life.  I don’t like group exercise, I prefer to go for long walks or jogs alone because, first of all, I prefer to listen to an audiobook, pod cast or music and not talk to another human.  Second, it just helps me clear my head of my problems and usually when I am talking with others it is problems that get brought up.  I also don’t like to work in close quarters with others, I like to have my own office with a do not disturb sign on the door where I can shut myself off from the rest of the world when I am working.  I am not a person who needs a lot of supervision, I am easily motivated and good at sticking to timelines and when I am in my zone and being productive, I do not like interruptions.  When I get home from a long day I sometimes make plans for dinner and drinks with others, but there are days I just want to go home and be alone.  I can decompress by watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating dinner with a glass of wine and then go through my evening routine of before bed, maybe even listen to a meditation.  I don’t need conversation because it seems I have constant conversation going on in my own mind and the only way to shut it off it to get myself in a meditative state.

I have a friend who is in her mid-twenties and she thinks I am just weird.  She texts me on a regular basis and asks me what I am up to for the evening and I will just tell her I am home and not really feeling like going out.  She seems to go out every night of the week and always makes a point to invite me.  This friend works just as many hours as I do and yes, there is a 17 year difference in our age and I also have a teenager and go to school on top of my job, but I really do not think any of that is the deciding factor.  My friend hates to be alone, she openly admits it, like to the point she is scared to go home to her house sometimes when her husband is out of town.  This is just mind blowing to me because I am super excited when I have the house all to myself!

I have a man in my life and he is 10 years older than me.  I stay at his place maybe 3 nights a week and he is a lot like me when it comes to being alone.  We have a really great relationship that allows for time away from each other to pursue things of interest that may not interest each other.  We also are capable of being in the same house, even in the same room, and feel a completely comfortable silence.  I have friends who are incapable of this as well.  So what makes some people feel this overwhelming need to fill the space between themselves and others, between themselves and silence?  What are you really afraid of when you are afraid of being alone?  What is the worst case scenario that could occur when you are alone?  Are you a person who just needs others to entertain you because you are incapable of entertaining yourself?   Maybe you are an extrovert who just thrives on social interaction and it makes you feel good.  Then there are those who literally feel thoughts of sadness, neglect, fear and depression if they spend too much time alone….and these individuals are the ones who need to get to the root of the issue.

If you start messaging friends before you get off work to make plans so that you do not have to go home alone and you stay out late so that when you do get home you can just go straight to bed and avoid actually feeling alone, then you need to ask yourself why?  When you are alone are you constantly on your phone scrolling through social media, or texting or calling someone to interact with another person?  Can you actually be in your own space and watch a movie, read a book, take a bubble bath, or any number of other things and just be comfortable in your own company?  I think everyone should practice doing this, not just for a few hours at a time but actually an entire day.  I think you need to force yourself to spend an entire day just doing you.  Have you ever went to a restaurant and ate lunch or dinner alone?  Have you ever ran all kinds of errands or went shopping without someone tagging along?  Have you been home all day and not just when you are sick, but just went through making yourself breakfast, watched a little TV, cleaned house, read a book, planted some flowers, cleaned out the fridge….whatever you have been planning to do and just enjoyed a productive day all to yourself?  Have you ever taken a trip by yourself, where you were forced to be alone or just interact with total strangers for the day?  If you haven’t done these things, then you should.  I will tell you, it is a growth process that creates more confidence in yourself.

We are all human and human interaction is necessary for humans to be truly happy.  Relationships are definitely the most important thing we will ever have in our lives.  However, when it comes to relationships, the most important one you will ever have is the one you will have with yourself.  Cultivate that relationship, ask yourself the hard questions when it comes to your fears, habits, and needs.  Force yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit by doing more things on your own and allowing yourself to just depend on yourself.  Being alone is not a bad thing, it is freedom, a time to heal, a time to grow, creates independence, encourages productivity and creativity, a time to reflect, contemplate, brainstorm, and just give yourself some love instead of everyone else.  Embrace being alone.

With love, health, happiness, and a little alone time,

Stacy