Ever feel like you are trying to deal/cope/fix everything on your own while facing resistance/pushback/reluctance at every turn?
Ever feel like you are trying to take care of loved ones, while trying to take care of yourself, while trying not to disappoint anyone else? Ever? really, ever.
Anxiety loves to hang out with Isolation. Together they can gang up on you and leave you convinced that you need to have all the answers to the problems of living. Anxiety may convince you that most, if not all decisions you may make, will bear catastrophic consequences. For example,
Anxiety says, "that conversation with your friend/loved one/boss is going to end that relationship/job."
Anxiety says, "if you are not perfect at this presentation/audition/date/job/dance you will burn in the fire of complete humiliation."
Anxiety says, "if people really knew you, they couldn't love you"
Anxiety chain smokes fear and gnaws it's sweaty nails, terrified that anything you attempt outside of your comfort zone... is too scary to risk. It promises that if you fail, you will have to experience the most painful of emotions: shame.
Shame, like all feelings is a " thought plus a physical sensation" (Mindful Living retreat, 2017). But it is a primal, inchoate emotion evoking our deepest fears of rejection by our tribes.
Anxiety is the umbilical cord to our most painful core beliefs. Those beliefs are simply deeply held fear based opinions meant to keep us safe. But they are just opinions.
So how do we re-encourage ourselves when Anxiety has dramatically grabbed hold of our legs and begged us not to walk out that door? How do we find the voice to speak when our own voices crack and tremble?
The other day I was watching an interview with Oprah who spoke of getting strength from her 10,000 referring to a sentiment in maya angelou's poem "our grandmothers".
Watching Oprah’s interview and later her speech I could not help but notice that I felt renewed. It made me think of all the amazing women throughout history who laid the foundation for myself and others to be able to keep moving towards their dreams.
Each day we have an opportunity to take one small step towards overcoming Anxiety so that we can sing that song, have that conversation, change that behavior, make that career move...knowing that we are not alone in our struggles. We can find comfort in connecting to the stories of others. In restoring our inspiration we can find the courage to continue in our own journeys to greater love and fulfillment.
Here are some women folk you may find some inspiration from:
Nina Simone: singer, social activist
Barbara Walters: television journalist
Octavia Butler: science fiction writer
Oprah Winfrey: talk show host
hildegard von bingen: medieval mystic
Janet Mock: social activist
Marie Curie: (scientist)
Marlene Dietrich: actress, style icon
hilary clinton: politician
Erica Jong: writer
eve ensler: activist, performer
DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS: author of "women who run with wolves"
Corazon Aquino: president of the Philipines
Solitude-caribbean Freedom Fighter
Bell hooks-feminist writer
laurie anderson-awesome performance artist
angela davis-activist, philosopher
martha graham-visionary dancer choreographer
Malala yousafza-nominated for noble peace prize 2013
kasturba ghandhi-wife, mother, activist
Cristina fernandez de kirchner-president of argentina
pema chodron-buddhist nun and teacher
wilma rudolph-athlete writer
joan of arc-french revolutionary and saint
mother theresa-activist missionary
Gorgo of Sparta-spartan leader
Dr. maya angelou-poet
Mae C Jamison-astronaut, scientist
Angela merkel-chancellor germany
Arundhati roy-novelist, political activist-wrote "god of small things"