I am always on the lookout for things to write about.
Sometimes, the ideas just flow, other times it’s a little harder, and occasionally, I draw a complete blank. And then, there are the times I feel a calling to write about something. The calling comes as a whisper at first, then it comes through louder and louder. That happened today.
How to Combat Fear, Uncertainty and Dread:
It all started with a with an email.
The email was about how difficult these times are, how stressed we are, and how out of control many of us are feeling. Paragraph after paragraph seemed to feed into what Roger calls FUD Fear, Uncertainty and Dread (our Doubt).
The writer promised to provide some sort of secret sauce in the form of a video which I started to watch but it seemed to continue in the same vein. This sort of thing is not optimal for our mental health no matter how well meaning, IMHO. I got through half of the video when I saw a video in my “recommended for you feed” by a man named Alan Watts. In stark contrast, Alan was talking about taking control of your thoughts and fears. As I listened, I thought, yes…we need to be reminded of our power, not our victimhood. Hmmm…maybe I should write about this…
A few minutes later on Instagram…
A lovely woman left a comment prompting me to visit her page. She too spoke of learning to call on our personal power; reminding us that we have power over our thoughts and their direction. Which lead me to a video she made, which lead me to yet another video about how to claim your personal power.
Like, what was going on here?
I began thinking about the fact that we DO have control over our minds. I remember when I was in my 40’s and started to learn about this concept. Before that time, I reacted to what ever came my way, and life was a struggle. I believed everything just “happened” to me, and I had no control over any of it. I didn’t realize I actually am responsible for what does or does not happen in my life. (I am not talking about random situations, like a storm or virus here). I was in a constant state of reaction, stress and suffering, so much so that I ultimately sought therapy. Through therapy, a lot of soul searching, prayer and meditation, I began to experiment and little by little, take my life back.
So, where is this going, exactly?
The thing is, I don’t feel out of control of my life, even though I am not in control of the virus, how long we will be quarantined and that sort of thing. Something happened pretty early on that caused me to look at my daily life differently. I realized I could focus on the unknown, which is well, unknown, and let my mind try to speculate and “catastrophize” or I could focus on what is actually going on today, and how we can make the best of things.
This isn’t to minimize the seriousness of the situation. And, for those of you who read my newsletter, you know that I have had my moments, but they are moments. Ultimately, we have a large number of blessings, currently and I am grateful for those. I know that things can change dramatically, and they might, but for now I have done everything I can, so for this moment I am focused on the half full part of the glass.
So, how do you keep yourself grounded?
First and foremost, I avoid negativity. Like everyone else, when this thing started up, I watched the news and broke my own cardinal rule: I watched first thing in the morning. Soon my day was consumed with watching snippets from various news agencies around the world as well as a variety of medical reports from doctors around the world who study viruses and their spread. I even found a channel from China so I could see what was being broadcast there. Yes, your girl goes deep.
I saw very quickly that numbers and tracking reports were extremely flawed, so this amateur statistician threw up her hands and gave up trying to find clues as to how this thing works and how long it will last.
Within two weeks, I began to see that there was no new information, and yet my mind craved more. But there wasn’t more. That’s when I stopped watching and decided to see what would happen in my world if I focused on my work. I produced several blog posts, the newsletter, four YouTube videos and several graphics. I participated in a few social activities on Instagram and spend more time talking to the Sharing A Journey community. (Mainly on Instagram, if you want to chat).
Most importantly, I found I was at peace, doing what I can with what I have to try to make things just a little bit better here.
I meditate in the morning, and often between tasks. I ask, time and time again, what is the best thing I can put out right now. What can I contribute?
Roger and I have tried to add beauty to our day to day activities by setting the table for breakfast and enjoying coffee together, taking walks and taking pictures of bunnies, flowers and butterflies. I keep up with a couple of friends who are alone, and make sure I check in with them every few days. I made a video with a few more ideas here.
Sometimes, we need help working our way through various issues in our lives. I have turned to therapy several times along my path to healing. Recently, I learned about Better Help, an online non-emergency mental health program that pairs you with an online therapist. It’s completely confidential and because it’s all done online you don’t have to worry about going in for an appointment. Click HERE for more information. *this is an affiliate link