A few days ago, I felt terrified. And rightly so.
I was afraid for my health. I have an already life-threatening immune system condition that makes me more vulnerable to things like COVID-19.
I was afraid for my business. While my work springs forth from my most potent spiritual gifts, I do depend on the income from my business to pay my mortgage and bills and to buy groceries (and toilet paper ;)). And the financial impacts of COVID-19 are unknown, and I have no way of knowing how this will affect my business.
I was afraid for my family. I have a grandmother in a nursing home, a nephew who brings all the bugs home from daycare, and a husband who works for a big corporate bank, bringing him into contact with lots of people daily.
I was afraid that we would run out of food and supplies. I’m quite the minimalist when it comes to groceries. We started running low on toilet paper last week and started running low on handsoap this weekend. Thankfully, we found toilet paper before supplies completely ran out, and we’ll be able to get the soap from amazon.
Yes, I was most definitely afraid.
Today, though, I am in a much different place.
I’ve fully processed my fears and integrated their wisdom into my life. I’ve given my body what it most needs and I have major clarity.
In my personal life, I feel resourced and grounded. In my business life, I feel stronger than ever that the work I do is CRITICAL. The world desperately needs my work.
Over the past few weeks, something has become vividly clear:
As a culture, we have absolutely no clue how to process our emotions, especially emotions like fear, terror, and panic.
I’ve known this for years. In fact, one of the main pillars of my work is teaching my clients – step-by-step – how to process and work with their emotions in a healthy and balanced way.
But, holy fuck. Now, it is more apparent than ever.
I see so many people panicked and freaking out. They don’t know how to deal with their everyday emotions, let alone these.
And I don’t say that to belittle them or to make them wrong in any way. Because legit, how would they?
As humans, we are a product of our conditioning environment, and our culture encourages us to avoid our emotions at all costs. It teaches us to deal with our feelings by drinking wine, eating processed foods, zoning out on screens, and hoarding toilet paper. It teaches us that if you are feeling anything other than “happy” that you are a terrible person who needs to get their act together.
And then, to top that shit off, we have leaders in the coaching and spiritual communities telling you that fear isn’t healthy. They are telling you just to think positively or to manage your mind better. I’ve even seen some “spiritual people” genuinely wondering if they manifested this (a global pandemic) with their thoughts.
Holy fucking shit, are you kidding me? Like, for real, are you kidding me?
I’m here to tell you that all of that is spiritual bypassing bullshit.
Yes, it is helpful to be aware of your thoughts because they can be a red flag about what is happening in your nervous system. They are a snapshot of your overall energy and changing them might bring some temporary relief. But changing your thoughts does absolutely NOTHING in the long run if you are doing it to avoid your emotions.
To deal with your emotions effectively, you must FEEL THEM IN YOUR BODY and then honor the wisdom they are guiding you towards.
And yes, all emotions, INCLUDING FEAR, have deep wisdom to offer you.
Fear, which includes a full spectrum of emotions ranging from caution to sheer panic, arises from the sympathetic nervous system when it perceives a threat. It is a survival instinct that taps you into your intuition by heightening your senses, especially seeing and hearing.
By tuning into your fear and fully processing it in your body, you will assess the risks of the situation and then move forward from CLARITY.
YES. Fear leads to CLARITY.
But only if you are flowing with it and giving YOUR BODY what it needs in the face of it.
When you are reacting to your fear or trying to cover it up with pretty thoughts, instead of the fear leading you to clarity, it amplifies itself.
REPRESSED fear turns into anxiety that spins in your mind. It turns into fights over toilet paper. It turns into burying your head in the sand and telling people it’s a hoax.
So, if that is you, my invitation to you is to slow the fuck down. Come into the present moment, find your breath, and FEEL. Tune into YOUR BODY, look around you, and listen. Give your body what it needs, and that will guide you into the wisdom of CLARITY.
Only YOU know what is right for you in these troubling times. Honor the wisdom of your fear. Trust yourself. Trust your instincts.
Take care of yourself out there.