This was the question posed by Martha Beck to all of us in her Life Coaching training seminar the other day. She asks this same question of her clients, when they’re feeling consumed with worry.
Does it feel impossible to do? How about for just one hour?
Worry about money, fears of losing it all.
Worry about our relationship, fears of losing him or her.
Worry about our job, fears of losing it one day.
The list goes on.
Can we, for just one hour, give ourselves permission to be free from it? Knowing it will be there again for us to pick up and carry, anytime we like.
Just kidding. The mind doesn’t work that way, does it? It doesn’t let go that easily. It takes practice and intention.
How about this:
1. Get yourself present. In this moment, where are you? What do you see, feel, hear, taste, smell? In this moment, is what you’re worrying about actually happening? Have you actually been fired, lost your home, all your food, your man or woman, or….?
2. Swap the worrying and related doings for something you love. This will give your mind something else to focus on, and give your body something that doesn’t create more stress hormones.
3. Maybe get some sort of exercise, just to move your body and clear the stress hormones.
4. Give yourself permission to do something that feels incredibly indulgent. The indulgent stuff, the stuff we really want to do but don’t let ourselves because the social self tells us it’s not what’s best for other people–this is the stuff that taps us into our essential self.
5. As you’re moving into this hour dedicated to taking a vacation from worry, give yourself permission let the worrying come up.
6. Nope, I’m not being counter-productive. Letting the worrying come up enables us to let it go. The trick is to notice it coming up, and return to a space of letting it pass, remembering the intention to give ourselves permission to let it go during this one hour. If we squash it down, it just remains in our system, asking for attention. What we resist, persists.
Here’s what happens when we give ourselves a break from fear and worry, instead of convincing ourselves that the only way out of the worry is to dive straight into it and think about what we can or can’t do about it. We begin to re-program our physiology. We begin to learn how to operate from a space of peace and power. Most of all, we begin to create a life from a space that is more aligned with how we’d like to feel. And when we create from this space, instead of the worry and fear, what we create enables more peace and power, and less worry and fear. It’s a win-win.
We get a break. And our lives are less likely to make us feel like we need one.