Tag archive for » fear «

How Do You Stop A Crazed Gunman?

Monday, 17. December 2012 18:28

This weekend, as I mourned the horrendous loss of life in the Connecticut school shooting along with the rest of the country, I asked myself this question many times, “How do you stop a crazed gunman?” Sadly, the answer seems to be, you probably can’t.  By the time he is holding the gun, the time to stop him or her, has passed.  But that answer doesn’t satisfy my heart and so I continue to seek a response, a course of action so that I may begin to heal my grief with hope.

I believe that while we may not be able to stop a crazed gunman, we may be able to help the child that might otherwise become that gunman.  Inside all of us is a child, a child who may have been bullied, who may have had problems, been traumatized, or who may have been overlooked and passed over and passed along in our system.

Somehow, we have got to take better care of our children, and perhaps that starts by taking better care of ourselves.  Perhaps we need to take an extra moment out of our day to be kinder to ourselves, and then to others.  Perhaps we should stop and help, even when it would be much easier on us and on our hectic schedules to keep on going.

Perhaps I can take a moment to notice and acknowledge the challenges facing another human being.  I can smile.  I can say please and thank you.  I can greet another person with kindness and acknowledge our shared humanity, whether it is a homeless person, the cleaner at the gym or the assistant at my office.   I can take time to call and check on an elderly friend and lend an empathetic ear.

I think I’m a decent person, and yet, I know I can be better.  I can find ways to voice my opposition to injustice I can open my heart not just to my family, but also to the family of man.  I can stop asking, “What’s wrong with this world? And start asking, “What’s right with this world, and how can I be a part of it? “

I can question myself when I feel jealousy, resentment, fear or hatred.  I can get help to understand those feelings, and in turn, help others, especially our children, to understand their feelings – and to cope with them. I can find ways to heal myself, through prayer, yoga, meditation, nonviolent communication and community.  I can reach out.  I may not be able to save the world, but I can be more loving every day, to myself and to others.

I owe it to those innocent children in Connecticut to not just wonder how such horror can occur, but also to wonder what might we do collectively, and individually to change the things in our world that don’t support  the mentally ill, and the children who are suffering from trauma and other kinds of wounds.  Maybe that includes better gun control, maybe that includes locking down our schools, but I also believe it means helping people to love themselves – and each other more. How can we support each other so that we can be well in body, mind and spirit?  How do we work toward loving inclusion, embrace and assist those who are less fortunate or different from ourselves?

How do I become an instrument of good works and positive change?

We may not have all the answers, but I believe that if we keep asking the right questions and seek to live with love, respect, kindness and make wellness a priority over video games as babysitters, more possessions, climbing the corporate ladder and a million other distractions that keep us from putting our children and our souls first, then we can and will change the world.   It is my only hope.

Category:Self Actualization, Spirituality, Wellness | Comments (2) | Autor:

My Top Ten Favorite Quotes from 2011

Saturday, 31. December 2011 19:30

Happy New Year! I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite quotes from 2011. These are quotes that inspired me on days that I needed a fresh perspective  (and that I posted on my Saar Coaching Face Book page as a result.) I hope you enjoy them.

“To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.” Unknown

“Do not fear mistakes – there are none.”  Miles Davis

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”  Alexander Graham Bell

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”  James Thurber

“One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it.” French proverb

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  Oscar Wilde

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”  Epictetus

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”  Victor Borge

“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”  E. B. White

Please share some of your favorite quotes as well.  I would love to know.

Happy, healthy prosperous New Year to all!

Category:Creativity & Fun Stuff | Comments (4) | Autor:

Eviscerate Your Fear

Thursday, 11. November 2010 15:47

Fear can be an incredibly helpful response when your life is in danger.  On the other hand, the fear that we create in our minds is usually not so helpful. Often it’s about something we think might hurt us:   “I’m afraid of getting fired, I’m afraid my boyfriend will cheat, I’m afraid of getting old”…on and on and on.  This brand of fear can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from enjoying your life.  Fear

I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is possible to handle fear – and handle it we must, or we risk getting stuck in our own mind-trap.  For me, getting more information and then taking positive action based on that information, is a great tool for eviscerating fear.

I start by getting really honest, curious, and specific about what it is that scares me.  That way, once I get a handle on what I truly fear, I can take action to increase my ability to manage the outcome. I find that positive action takes the fangs out of my fear and can actually make my life more fun! Informed, inspired action makes me feel that I’m taking charge of my destiny.  It makes me feel empowered.

For example, let’s say it’s the fear of getting old…

I ask myself (usually I write all this down) Why?  What is it that I am so afraid of? Answer:

As I age, I will become useless, less attractive, overlooked, and find it more difficult to do things I enjoy. 

Okay, what does useless mean?  That no one will hire me?  That no one will want to date me?  Then, what steps can I take to lessen the possibility of those outcomes?   I can’t control everything, but I can take positive action on things that are within my control. So instead of worrying and feeling anxious, I ask myself, what can I do to make a difference – and what sounds do-able, even fun?  Here are a few possibilities that came to mind:

  • Take a class and learn a new skill that will keep my job skills fresh.
  • Volunteer to help those less fortunate than myself to keep me feeling useful.
  • Employ a weekly exercise program (stretching and weightlifting) that will help me stay limber and strong.
  • Take a ballroom dance class (I like this one the best!) to meet  fun people and stay in shape.

 I believe that pursuing any one of these tactics would help me feel better and more in control of my fear of aging.   In fact, doing any of these things would leave me less time to worry, and could even bring new, positive people and experiences into my life!

Unfortunately, there are times that fear and anxiety are so overwhelming, you can’t even allow yourself to think about the thing you fear.  In those instances, you can call your therapist, your best friend or your life coach.  If that’s not an option, then you may want to give “EFT”, the Emotional Freedom Technique, a try. It’s a simple tapping technique you can do yourself – for free.

Even if it seems silly, you may want to try it.  According to Dr. Mercola’s EFT site, (an excellent resource)  it‘s a form of acupressure, based on using some of the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture. By tapping specific meridians on your head and chest with your fingertips while you voice a positive affirmation, you help clear the emotional block from your bio-energy system. This restores your mind and body’s balance, and gets you calmer.  The Mercola EFT site  offers  a pictorial  step-by-step approach through the process if you want to learn more.

There are also a variety of  YouTube videos that leads you through the process.  Here’s one that I found simple and straightforward to use.      However, there are a variety of  options and  applications, so if this one is not to your liking, you may want to view some others.    I also noticed that there is variation in the tapping points and the affirmations used, but the basics of the technique are fairly consistent.  

However you do it, I wish you the best in coping with your fear and anxiety. Seek help from a physician or therapist if  you can’t manage on your own.  It’s natural to feel fear, but please don’t let it stop you from living a joyful life.

Category:Spirituality, Wellness | Comment (0) | Autor:

Eat, Pray, Love? Enough Already!

Monday, 6. September 2010 13:40

While I admire Elizabeth Gilbert’s courage and success, I am not a fan of her bestseller, “Eat, Pray, Love”.  I enjoyed the movie (lots of eye candy for everyone), but I’m not a fan of Gilbert’s writing.  Sorry, that’s how I really feel.  Anyway, the motivation for this post is to suggest that   “Be Mindful, Be Loving and Drink Enough Water” is a more helpful slogan for self-care than EAT, PRAY, LOVE.  After all, EAT is generic and easy enough to do.  PRAY has good intentions, but may be too limiting, and LOVE, well, no problem there, but to my thinking, it should get a higher billing.  I know my saying is not as catchy, but that’s not the point. The point is that “Be Mindful, Be Loving and Drink Enough Water” has been very helpful to me in creating a more joyful life, and in case it’s of assistance to you, I’d like to share why:

Be Mindful:  If you are searching for your best life, start here. The first step to feeling well is awareness, or mindfulness.  If you can answer, “What is going in this moment for me?” you are much closer to also knowing, “What do I need in this moment?” Do I need to establish a boundary with someone?  Do I need a nap?  Do I need a hug?  Awareness of your present state is fundamental to taking good and joyful care of you.  Meditation is one terrific way to mindfulness, and there are other practices that can lead you there as well, including silence, going slowly, breathing deeply, and praying, to name a few.  The joy of being and feeling stillness was for me, the first critical step to finding my most joyful life. As Ram Dass  put it, “Be here now.” 

Be Loving – Fear (not hate) is the opposite of love.  If you can be loving toward yourself, truly kind and nurturing, (no negative self talk please) chances are you are managing your fears and worries which will allow you to create more joy in your life.  Guess what? When I’m not stressed out and afraid, life is more fun, and it is easier to take good care of myself and eat well and get what I need.  Being loving to oneself enables you to truly love others.  Therefore, in my book, “Be Loving” needs higher billing than third place in a saying worth remembering!

Drink Lots of Water – I am constantly surprised by how many people do not drink enough water (the recommendation is typically eight eight ounce glasses a day; or half your body weight in ounces) to maintain good health.  I find water extremely important for better digestion and for feeling more energetic.

But don’t take my word for it. According to the Mayo Clinic Website, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.  Lack of water can lead to dehydration, that’s when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Furthermore, an eHow.com article  says,

  • Water is critical to digestion. Dehydration slows digestion and can make bowel movements difficult and painful.
  • Water aids weight loss. Without enough water, the body cannot flush out broken-down fats.
  • Water boosts the body’s metabolism, a necessary component to feeling energetic and active, which in turn will help to burn more fat.
  • Drinking more water can help manage appetite.  You may confuse being thirsty with being hungry.
  • Drinking sufficient water can help increase the elasticity of your skin.

So there it is, from a self-care coach: Be mindful, love yourself, and drink enough water for good health.  If you want to relax, read a terrific book or catch a fun movie once in awhile, even if it’s EAT, PRAY, LOVE.

Category:Self Actualization, Wellness | Comment (0) | Autor:

What Was I Thinking?

Friday, 25. June 2010 13:24

Do you ever wake up and say to yourself, “What the hell am I doing?”  You feel the anxiety wrap its gnarly fingers around your gut and squeeze.  And then it reaches up through your chest making it  difficult to breathe.  Some nasty little demon is pushing down on your diaphragm with one hand and choking you with the other.  That demon is you.  

My Inner Demon

Today I woke up and thought,   “Yes, I quit my six figure corporate job with a cushy title and left all my work friends so I could  sit alone for hours and coach and write about living a  healthier, more joyful life.”

What was I thinking?  I thought that this would be the best thing I could ever do.

So what changed?  What is causing the fear and doubt today?  To find out, I begin to coach myself.  I start to breathe more deeply and I open the corners of my mind to allow the random, negative self-talk to surface. I journal the thoughts:

This isn’t going fast enough. I should be a conglomerate by now.   I suck at Face Book and Linked In and I wish I could reach my virtual assistant who is MIA and that I have to finish my bookkeeping and the dog just puked and the basement needs to be finished and on and on and on and on…..the voices scream inside my head and my stomach churns.  I focus again on breathing deeply ….because if I let these thoughts control me, I won’t get anything finished today. My creativity and my joy will be consumed by the nasty little meat grinder in my belly.  And I can’t let that happen. My life depends on it.

So next step.  I question each negative thought….is it true?  How fast is fast enough?  Do I really need to be a conglomerate?  Do I really suck at Face Book, or am I just in learning mode?  Of course the basement will get finished! One by one, I tear the nagging thoughts apart until I can see them for what they are: lies I tell myself when I feel overwhelmed.  I re-frame each thought, because when I look more closely, I see that all is well; there is progress.  I have much to be grateful for.   I have wonderful clients, I love to write, I’m making money doing what I love.  What more could I need? 

As the saying goes, life is a journey, not a destination. My breathing relaxes.  I make plans.  I prioritize.  I get perspective. I feel gratitude.  All is well.   I just need to do the next thing, whatever it is in this moment. I let go of the outcome.

So I ask again, what the hell am I doing?  Turns out, I’m doing exactly what I want to do, and I hope you are too.  Just remember to keep an eye on that little inner demon – he’ll sneak up on you when you least expect it!

Category:Career & Finance, Self Actualization | Comments (7) | Autor:

Face Your Fear of Change

Wednesday, 3. March 2010 19:55

Change is often painful – or at least we expect that it will be.  How often would we prefer to put up with the devil we know than trade him in for the unknown?  How often do we fantasize about all the awful things that are going to happen to us if we do something different from what we are doing now? Even if we are not all that pleased with our current situation, we feel comfortable that we know how to handle it; that we know what to expect.  

One of my favorite quotes is “People change when the pain of staying the same is greater that the pain of changing.”  So until your horrible boss stops paying you, or your abusive spouse beats you to a pulp – you often just stick with them rather than change circumstances. Those are extreme examples, but they make the point.

Every time I look at these kinds of situations in my past or with coaching clients, it seems to comes down to fear. Here are some examples of “inner tunes” you may know:

  • I’ll  never find another job in this economy
  • If I divorce my spouse, I won’t find anyone else to love me.
  • I’ll never lose this weight, so why should I try?
  • I won’t be able to make enough money if I do what I love
  • I’m not much good to anyone now that I’m old/retired

 How can you be absolutely sure that your fears are true? Can you start to take action when you are not satisfied but afraid?  Three starter points to face your fear:

1) Note your negative thought.  Rather than believe it, question it.  Look for evidence that refutes it: e.g.  John got a divorce and he is just fine; Mary lost 30 pounds; Sally just got a fabulous job that she loves, etc. 

Take note and acknowledge that your scary thought may be wrong!

2) Do a little research or take a baby step related to a desired change.  No need to commit to anything big.  Just start gathering data or experience:  update your resume, take a class, eliminate sugary drinks from your diet, or spend a few hours a week volunteering  at something you love to do.

In short, research the possibilities.

3) Get help.  Look for positive role models and spend less time with negative thinkers.  Seek resources, including books, groups (on-line and in-person) and organizations that support what you need or things you are interested in. Remember that the folks who are currently in your life may not be the best counselors for you.  Unknowingly, they may want to keep the status quo and won’t be able to give you the support you need.  There are lots of free and inexpensive resources and online communities available.

Get input and support from others when you contemplate making a change.

That’s enough to get you started to consider making a change.  For more insight and inspiration on change, check out Martha Beck’s book, Steering by Starlight.

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