Blog 34

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet by William Shakespeare

As you know, I am a professional Life Coach. I have found my Life Purpose in using my training and talents to help my clients create the Life of their Dreams. This is what I love to do.

But I have been spending more and more of my coaching time lately helping my clients deal with their paralyzing stress, anxiety, panic attacks, feelings of hopelessness and depression. Instead of working on reaching their Big Goals, they are just trying to cope with current life challenges like the roller coaster economy, inflation and the wars their loved ones are engaged in overseas.

I myself have felt cold fear overtake me from time to time, causing me to awaken with a start in the middle of the night, and then lie there in the dark for hours with my mind racing as it imagines in vivid detail all the dire What If’s?” that could possibly befall us as a result of the depressed housing market that provides Rick’s livelihood as a realtor.

Today, I want to share with you one of the key tools I have used for myself and my clients from The Essential Laws of Fearless Living, by Guy Finley. In the chapter entitled “Being at Peace with Yourself,” Finley gives us a technique that will allow us to get beyond paralyzing fear and move forward with productive actions to climb out of the quicksand pit of our problems, instead of sinking in them until we drown.

What helped me to stop waking and worrying about things I could do nothing about at four o’clock in the morning, is recognizing the amazing power that comes from having a Quiet Mind:

  • A Quiet Mind is open and receptive to Divine ideas that come from the still small voice that whispers in your ear, guiding you to the perfect solution to any problem you are facing. But you can only hear this Divine whisper of inspiration when the constant chatter of your conscious mind is quiet.

  • Having a Quiet Mind lowers stress and calms anxiety, so you can be effective and productive at home and at work.

  • And a Quiet Mind is attuned to who you really are, which Finley calls your “True Self.” Your True Self already has all the power, strength, insight and resourcefulness to meet and master any problem that life can throw at you.

But it’s easier said than done to have a Quiet Mind when much of the time your mind seems to have a life of its own, with thoughts constantly running in all directions. Your vivid imagination can be a helpful ally in co-creating the life of your dreams. Unfortunately, it is equally effective at conjuring up detailed worst-case scenarios like those my mind spun for me at 4am, such as visualizing myself as a homeless “bag lady” living cardboard box under a bridge somewhere as a result of the mortgage meltdown.

This sounds ludicrous, I know. But the human brain is the most high-tech, 3D, high-def movie projector ever created. And the movies it shows us in our head FEEL frighteningly REAL, no matter how far-fetched.

Ironically, as Finley points out, your mind actually focuses on what it fears the most, as it tries desperately to warn you about the dangers it perceives and present its OWN solutions for coping with whatever it believes threatens you.

Unfortunately, in this mode, your mind is anything but “helpful” because the vividness of its doom-laden mental movie plots can convince you that the WORST thing you can imagine is really about to happen. And the more strongly your mind believes in what it has conjured up, the more likely it is to actually help bring about the very thing it fears. As we know, thoughts held in mind long enough DO eventually become things.

So what is the remedy? According to Finley, it is to disengage from your own thoughts. Instead of being swept along with your imagination, you can become AWARE of your thoughts and choose to stand back from the movie playing in your head and remind yourself of what REALLY is TRUE in your world at that moment.

The author outlines the path to creating a sense of unshakable inner peace and confidence that he calls a Quiet Mind. The first step is to stop struggling with our thoughts and instead to become inwardly still. Only that stillness of your Quiet Mind, can you hear the quiet voice of Divine inspiration that is whispering the answer to your present dilemma.

One of my clients has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for many years. This summer, she was facing a cross-country trip by airplane that was very frightening to her. If she had not been going to her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration, she would have found an excuse not to go. But it was too important to her, so she was determined to find a way to get on that plane and have a peaceful trip.

She had come to see her thoughts as being more powerful than she was — able to run away with her against her will. Once the unwanted thoughts began, she believed they would inevitably carry her into a full-blown panic attack, which would then bring on very unpleasant physical symptoms and cause her public humiliation.

So I shared with her the techniques from The Essential Laws of Fearless Living and we tailored them to fit her needs. She had to begin with accepting the idea that she and her mind are NOT one in the same. While she could not stop a random thought from coming into her head, she CAN choose which ones to entertain and thus allow to grow stronger. With this realization, she came to understand that her thoughts can not control her – unless she voluntarily gives them that power.

The way to regain power over her thoughts was NOT to resist them, as she had always tried to do – because, as we know, what you resist persists. So, she learned to stop resisting the negative thoughts that came to her. Instead, she practiced having a still mind by simply NOTICING the thought she was having and then calmly and quietly questioning whether it was really TRUE.

My client carefully crafted a plan of action ahead of time —before she had to face the dreaded situation of boarding the plane. While waiting in the terminal, she reminded herself that she had brought a good book to keep her thoughts occupied, and had Dramamine to make her relaxed and drowsy if she wanted to sleep through the ride. She also reassured herself that the flight attendants were there to help her, not to judge her, and that the other passengers would be friendly and supportive, just as she would be for them.

After the trip, she reported that she sailed through both flights without a problem. She started to get a little nervous at times, but calmly responded to her feelings by reminding herself of what was really TRUE at that moment, instead engaging with her fears. It was the first time in 10 years that she felt calm and confident on an airplane, instead of panicked and sick. In fact, she felt FEARLESS.

As YOU go out into your world this week, I invite you to take a fearless action step yourself. Whenever something unexpected happens that creates a disturbance inside of you, simply practice doing NOTHING to resist it or to try to make things RIGHT. Instead, try doing as Guy Finley recommends: “Let the wave of worry or fear rise – and fall – back into the darkness from which it came, as you allow it to wash over you and run its natural course, without taking any action other than observing it.”

Once those emotions based on F.E.A.R. — False Evidence Appearing Real — have subsided, you will see that you are all right — right here, right now. Then you, too, will know what it is to have a Quiet Mind, regardless of what challenges life brings your way.

Your questions and comments are most welcome! Share your thoughts or request a complimentary Practical Prosperity Coaching phone consultation at (888) 503-8145 or caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.