Tag Archive | anxiety

And How SHOULD Things Be Going for You Right Now?

Allison’s 22 year-old daughter is standing her up for Thanksgiving. Or so she thinks.

The true facts: It is 2 days before Thanksgiving and Sally, the daughter, hasn’t returned Allison’s calls nor responded to messages on Facebook for the last 4 days. Allison has an agenda/expectation that Sally SHOULD respond, so Allison can ask a few important questions: What special dish can I make you? Are you bringing a friend? Is the friend vegetarian? Allison feels these are normal, sane questions and expectations. No, actually, Allison is absolutely CONVINCED these are normal, sane questions and expectations.

Allison worries. Thoughts like She’s in trouble. She’s mad at me. She is so disrespectful and I should have called her on it last time this happened. I can’t stand this. Now what am I supposed to do?

Allison loses some of last night’s sleep stewing about it. Decides to have some extra coffee and a muffin on top of her normal breakfast – after all, she’s tired and she deserves a little something to help her get through the busy day-before-Thanksgiving.

The extra coffee and sugar zing her tired adrenal glands and blood sugar. Up she goes into a whirl of energy. She forgets her list, remembers this when she pushes the cart through the Hannaford’s door, says OH SHIT too loud, stomps out, drives home, gets the list, drives too fast back to the store

How does the rest of the day go?

What do you think she bought to eat in the grocery store because she “deserved something” or “needed something?”

 How Should It Be?

When we have a picture of how it SHOULD be, we have forgotten several key truths. #1. We’re not in control of all the factors in the universe. #2. We never really know what it’s like to be another person. #3. No matter what we think and predict, it won’t be like that, because we can’t envision the future.

(this is a fun game to play with yourself: deliberately predict a future event, and compare how it actually turns out with your prediction)

There’s a key spiritual principle here:  How it IS is how it SHOULD be.

In Buddhist teachings, this is the teaching of karma: zillions of causes and conditions come together in THIS one moment creating THIS, however it is right now.

And what we are in charge of is NOT how it is right now, but how we RESPOND or REACT.

And in Christian teachings, there is the Serenity Prayer:

     Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. 

(Interesting that in all the 12-step programs of recovery from addiction, the Serenity Prayer is said at each meeting)

Accessing Grace.

So if it is in-the-present-moment where we actually have the possibility of real choice, what can wake us up to that? Good ol’ suffering, of course.

Hearing all the SHOULDS. Feeling the controlling feeling in her bodymind: tight jaw, mind so sure of itself. Noticing her emotional state: worrying, blaming, resenting.

If Allison had been able to at any point in her moments of struggle realize that she really was suffering and she really did not want to be suffering, she could have

  • paused
  • taken a breath
  • made a phone call to a support person
  • said the most basic of prayers:  HELP!
  • broken the spell of the Reactivity
  • made some difference choices
Often when we wake up to how its our own patterns that are the root of our struggles and problems, we go straight to self-blame.
Not helpful. Recovery is simply a one-day-at-a-time Practice. Awareness Practice. Self-Understanding Practice. Kindness Practice.
Meditation and journalling* really really help.
Take good care,
      getting ready to lose the weight
      one-day-at-a-time doable weight loss
      maintaining your healthy self-care, one-day-at-a-time



Your Body Speaks Journal

What You Have Been Waiting ForA Great Tool For Healing!!!
Here is a great way to track your food and your feelings. Our journal is the perfect way to give your body its voice and learn to listen to its wisdom.

Calming & Centering Practice

What an exquisite November day — hard frost, pure blue sky, the last gold-yellow leaves hanging on in crisp wind. Long angled sun, glinting; long dark shadows….   Pause, look, appreciate, breathe.  Ahhh….

Rosa says: I think maybe the mindfulness practices are making a difference. Yesterday I did not rise up and yell at Parker, the mean and demanding son-in-law.  I just calmly answered his question and got off the phone. And with Jerry (the demanding absent-minded husband), I found myself taking a long slow breath before responding. It was the fifth time he asked me the same question!

Rosa leans back, then admits: But I really am impatient with the practices. My mind wanders. It takes too much time. I’d rather be ____________ (doing almost anything else).

Rosa signed up for the mindfulness class to help her with her night bingeing and lifetime of depression and low self-esteem. The practices are hard for her to do. Why should she? What really is the connection between 1/2 hour of some calming and centering practice, and being less reactive in relationships, including the relationship with food and feelings?

Hang out with a baby or a little kid, and watch how their attention bounces from red toy to your silver eyeglasses to light playing on the floor. Bouncebouncebounce. Bouncebounce. Sense impressions — sights, noises, sensations, tastes, smells — OOeeee! The world is Juicy!

We grownups have at least learned to sit down and read a page of something, to keep our eyes somewhat focused on someone who is speaking to us. Or have we? Out attention bounces too — try to sit still without moving anything other than your breathing for 5 minutes. And if the idea frightens you, wonder why.

What’s going on for most of us most of the time is Bouncing. Flitting. Bounding. Our animal bodymind is hardwired to use our senses to detect what we want to grasp (safety, food, shelter) and what we need to reject (danger). Our senses are busy!

Human beings have evolved: we are learning, miraculously, to be able to witness the reactions of our senses to things, and restrain (sometimes!) from just acting out our impulses.

It is definitely a higher state of evolution than the baby or the cat. And the baby and the cat inside us want to do anything but sit still, breathe and listen.

Back to Rosa. What courage it takes to just stick it out, keep her commitment to daily practice, and allow the questions to bubble up for examination. Is this really helping me? How?

Those of us who do have a daily practice (meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, etc) are not exactly saints you know. Nor are we wizards who have figured out how to manifest more time in the 24-hour day.

My experience is that we keep coming back to the practice out of a clear seeing that it truly does make a Big Difference, in this one day, and over the months and years. Less Reactivity, More Kindness to Self and Others. Clearer Sense of Real Priorities — in life, and in this one day. Welcome Insights.

And for people who are hooked into repetitive self-destructive behaviors, the ability to Pause, to ride out the Urge, to hold one’s seat and breathe.

And for me, today, more space to appreciate right now the violet sky of the beginning of sunset on a beautiful day.

Take good care, Anya

      getting ready to lose the weight
      one-day-at-a-time doable weight loss
      maintaining your healthy self-care, one-day-at-a-time