Three Steps to Keep Moving Forward when Panic Creeps in


I’m keenly aware of the cycles of life these days.
It wasn’t always this way. I spent much of my young adult life blissfully unaware, just riding the wind wherever it took me.

Yet this kind of freedom is deceiving. It feels free—until it comes crashing down without warning. And then there is no plan for dealing with it effectively. The result is usually to avoid or ignore, to move forward on the path that seems to come with the least amount of pain.

Like when my mother was diagnosed with cancer for a second time—a liver metastasis from her colon cancer a few years earlier. I was getting ready to graduate college and start graduate school. My adult life was ready to begin, and yet I found myself moving back home. I didn’t have a plan for that.

And then two years later, when the cancer came back again. And two years after that, when it took over her body. At 27 and just four years into a young marriage, there was no plan for dealing with that either.

The ups and downs of this haphazard path take a toll over time. For me, it resulted in a debilitating case of adrenal fatigue, which forced me to slow to a crawl.

I’ve never gotten fully back up to speed. I doubt I ever will. That’s how incapacitating a lack of awareness can be.

In that forced slowing down, however, I realized I had to find a different way, because what I had been doing clearly wasn’t working. So I spent years studying and practicing holistic nutrition, mindfulness, and self-healing. I attended the “Woman Within” weekend training and joined a local empowerment circle. I started a regularly writing practice.

Slowly, a shift began to happen. New insights began to emerge. A plan began to form.

KEEP READING: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/03/three-steps-to-keep-moving-forward-when-panic-creeps-in/

What If?

Red heart in a tree trunk on the beach.. Love symbol. Red against black and white

What if the only way to be free
Is to give up all we’ve ever known,
To turn our backs on that which
Has painfully brought us to this place
All the lies we brought inside
And raised like bitter children
Never letting them see the light of day
For fear their faces would be too much to bear

All the stories told late at night
Embedded in our minds
Like hand prints in fresh concrete
First told when only the wind howled in our empty souls
Hands cold from clutching at a heart
Already too far down the path to be constrained

What if we had to admit
That it was all a fallacy,
That grief can’t keep us grounded
And fear won’t make us whole,
That it’s only in receiving
That we’re able to give,
And it’s only in faith
That our hearts open to love?

©SpiritLed 2016

www.aspiritledlife.org

How to Trust Your Inner Guidance and Start to Heal

Woman with third eye, psychic supernatural senses

Throughout our lives, we make a lot of choices.  Some work out, some don’t.  Over time, as we look back and reflect, we often see our mistakes as some kind of internal flaw, an obvious defect that, had it been corrected much earlier, would have changed the course of our lives.  This thinking leads to a deep lack of trust – in people, in situations, and most especially in ourselves.

When we feel we can’t be trusted to make the best decisions for our own lives, it jars our belief in ourselves as a person.  We feel unworthy and in need of someone or something outside of us to help guide and direct us.  We start to give up our power, our direction, our belief that we can take care of ourselves in the best way.

Sometimes, this trust is broken by an external event.  Our children leave home and need us less, leaving us feeling empty and unsure of what to do next.  Our spouse makes the decision to move on without us.  We face a traumatic loss that causes us to question everything.  No matter our great choices, life is now different and our trust in the patterns and expectations of life are shattered.

Grief, anger, fear, shame, and sadness are all emotional results of loss of trust.  When we lose trust in ourselves, we grieve this loss.  We carry a sadness that can be masked and avoided by busyness yet still lurks below the surface. We feel shame that we made these choices or allowed these things to happen to us, even when we didn’t actually have that kind of control.  We get angry at the unfairness of it all, yet retreat back to our corners in fear that one more wrong choice will create more pain.

I remember the day someone told me I carried a great sadness.  I was shocked.  I didn’t feel sad.  What did I even have to be sad about?  Then I started observing myself more closely, especially in the quiet times when I was alone.  I recall sitting in my car one morning during my commute and feeling the heavy weight of sadness like someone had draped a wet blanket over me.  It was both nauseating and suffocating.

Had I always been this sad?  How could I have avoided feeling this for so long?

It wasn’t until I started to allow more stillness into my life and to peel back the layers of blame for choices that didn’t turn out like I’d hope – so many not even my own – that I started to release the sadness, grief, anger, shame, and fear.

In my personal work and work with others, I’ve realized that much of our avoidance of issues comes from overthinking to the point that we drown out our inner guidance.  Our inner guidance tells us that we ARE worthy, we ARE to be trusted, we DO make good choices for ourselves, and we CAN’T control other people or take the blame for their choices, even if they affect us.  Yet, to get to that place, we have to sit through the voices the yell the opposite.  We have to be still long enough to tell those voices to be quiet, so we can hear the real truth within.   And it’s difficult.  One of the most difficult things we will ever do is to confront those voices that steer us away from our inner guidance and truth.  It’s also one of the most uplifting and healing.

I offer you a few techniques that have helped me and other women who’ve reached that place where they’re ready for radical change.  That place where the risk of staying put and accepting the lack of trust is no longer worth the painful side effects.  That point in time where something inside stirs and whispers, “enough is enough.”

  • Notice how you feel in your body – We often get stuck in that place of thinking too much and not allowing ourselves to be—be quiet, be sad, be grief-stricken, be us.  There are some recognizable signs that we’re in that place.  We feel stress, worry, and doubt.  We don’t know how to move forward or make a decision.  We feel “buzzy” or heavy energy around our heads, heart, and/or belly.  When we recognize these are signs of being stuck, of now allowing trust in our inner guidance, we can find a safe, quiet place to be still and work through it.
  • Be still and allow– As much as the idea of getting really quiet with your own thoughts may sound frightening, it’s a necessary step.  You have to allow yourself the space to get past all the loud thoughts so you can get to the quiet ones.  This may take time, if you’re not used to it.  Start with just a few minutes a few days a week and build up.  You didn’t reach this place overnight; you don’t have to unravel it overnight either.
  • Drop down – When we’re overthinking, we’re in our heads.  That’s why we feel lots of energy there.  However, inner guidance comes from the heart or the gut.  When you want guidance but can’t seem to quiet your thoughts, focus your attention on your heart space.  Imagine a beautiful, healing pink bubble of light situated right in front of your heart, glowing with peace and calm.  Keep focusing on the bubble until your breathing slows naturally and your racing thoughts begin to clear.  Return to the bubble as often as necessary.

If you’re at a point in your life where you’re feeling the weight of sadness, grief, anger, shame, or fear affecting you and you’re ready to do something about it, I stand with you on your journey, and I summon for you the collective energy of all the women before you who have taken this step.

Trust that you are worthy.  Trust that you are enough.  Trust that the healing can begin.  And if you need one-on-one support, feel free to reach out to me.

Love and light,
Ashley

P.S. Click HERE to learn more about the healing work I do.

 

 

 

Naked, Like Trees

The wicked finality of life is almost more beautiful
than birth, the grace and forcefulness with which the body
unbinds from the constraints of humanity each

day, slowing more and more, the measured
breaking down of flesh and ego, a thinning of the
veil that shrouds the Spirit from its home,

until one day you see it in their eyes,
you know they have seen Home
and they are ready
and you are ready
to let go as they have

Oh, the cruel and terrible dichotomy of grief, to hold your
beloved, to never want to let loose your
connection, yet to look death in the face and know surrender
is the only promise for true salvation and peace for both.

Like walking outside on a brisk fall day,
naked as trees, wearing only the cloak of nature’s
chill, allow tears to flow, in colorful waves as leaves
fall, purposefully and with finality, and hope,
rotting on the ground through the
dormancy of winter, only to regenerate new
life when the sun once again warms the skin.

Your liberation, it may not come until years later,
when you can finally take comfort in the distance
between suffering and release, when you can

set up your altar and place your heart there to be
cleansed and unburdened, light the candle, assemble the
stones and blessings in the order that sets things right for your

spirit to grieve, and then leave it there exposed, to be
encased in love and peace until it is, eventually, your
time to also begin the journey Home.