My Lab

I need to quieten my mind.

As I sat deciding a way to open this post, my teeth were vehemently gritted, my jaw clenched and my toes crunched in a curl.

My exterior fits the profile of someone who is scared an anxious and so does my interior. I have always been someone that is emotionally charged and that is not to say that I am weak or a “typical female”, I know myself, I am simply in tune with my feelings and intuition and know that what I do and the decisions that I make affect my emotions more than my mind, what affects my mind is my emotions. It is a gift that I am grateful for because I can firmly say as someone who suffers with anxiety and depression that if I had ever listened to my mind and my thoughts I wouldn’t be here today.

So I have always lived my life according to how situations make me feel, not what they make me think… Until something happens, the wind changes, the fish are no longer swimming upstream and suddenly the current situation has gotten so engulfing and pressurising that I become emotionally void and that is when I am stuck. That is when fear steps in because all I am left with is my thoughts. Now you may be thinking, but Jordan, fear is an emotion, you are definitely feeling something/having some kind of emotion. The emotions and feelings I attribute to my decision making or guidance through a situation are what my heart feels and what my intuition tells me and as we all know, a woman’s intuition is never wrong. So what happens when they go? I have now allowed my thoughts to control the situation and take over where my heart and intuition should be and now I am actually unable to make any decision, in fact I’m unable to decipher what is right or wrong. I am scared.

My cousin taught me the acronym F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real when I was eleven years old and since then I have heard it in films, read it in books and have wondered whether we are saying to ourselves that we need to ignore fear and tell ourselves that it isn’t real or welcome it and understand why we think we are in fear. But even more so, is it right to deny ourselves of fear? Can it be more damaging? I know that my fear at the moment stems from my inability to feel, to be able to make a decision that isn’t going to plague my heart which in turn will then plague my mind. So where do I go from here? Unfortunately I don’t have time to muddle on through anxiety this time but, though my stomach is in constant knots and my mind is doubting, devaluing and betraying me at every other thought, this time I am armed with more fight than ever before and whilst my heart and intuition are being silent that has to count for everything.

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My Lab

Touching My Dreams – Checklist One

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This was what I woke up to this morning and it made me smile because it is so close to the truth. The truth that this week has been a flurry of exciting happenings that bridge the gap between my dreams and reality. It’s almost as if the bridge is about to close, ready for me to just walk across. I can see where I am going and I know I will get there, I’m not there yet but I am so close and it’s only within my reach. So I decided to start writing a checklist of things to help those who want to pursue their dreams and make the cross to reality. I am still a working progress but that doesn’t mean I can’t give a helping hand to those at the start line. Before I begin I would like to thank Juanita Johnson for sharing the image above on Facebook this morning, you don’t know how much that has made me realise my own development and how close I am to getting to where I want to be.

If you didn’t already know, my big goals are two things. First to be a published chick-lit author, it has been my dream since I was nine-years old and I have never stopped wanting to be a writer because it is something that I have always been confident that I am good at being and doing. My second goal is to create a platform that supports and connects female writers, authors and story tellers, helping them to achieve their goals and be a supporting mechanism along the way – I am half way there with this, there is a whole cosmos of things that I have yet to do and add to this platform – The “magical, the illuminating” Book Club – but that’s okay because the journey has just begun and is a long way from the ending.

So here are the first things on my checklist:

The hardest part is taking that first step. 

When you have an idea, sometimes setting it into motion is that scariest part. You worry no one will “get it”, that it won’t be successful and that it will fail before it can even take off – so why bother? There is a mantra that I like to remember whenever I start to doubt myself – “The hardest thing you will ever have to do is live your life” – what does that have to do with an idea? Well, it has everything to do with it. Everyday we live, we do things consciously and sub-conciously, we wake up subconsciously but we consciously decide to lie-in and hit snooze ten times instead of actually getting up. To get up is a decision we make that starts our day whether it be productive or not, but it is a first step into whatever we do; we enter a day not knowing what is to come, what is going to happen, whether it will be a bad day or a great one. This is the same thing with an idea or taking that leap into that dream career or the first step on the right path. You don’t know what will happen after you take that first step, but as soon as you do you are open to a world of possibilities that are within your reach. So don’t be afraid, the beginning is the best part, take that step and begin what could be the greatest day of your life.

Patience may be a virtue but it isn’t automatic, it comes over time. 

Patience is not one of my strongest attributes. When I was in Primary school I couldn’t wait to get to Secondary School, when I was in Secondary school I couldn’t wait to get to college etc, etc. Now, I am twenty and pursuing my dreams because that’s my next destination, but now I have much more patience than I did before. When you begin your journey it might seem like a long-haul, it might seem that it will take years to get to your destination and that is okay. When I began my journey I was impatient for things to happen, to get from A to B for C to fall into place, but as I have gone further on I have learnt to be more patient. Patience and perseverance are not things that happen overnight, they come with time so don’t worry if your struggle to be more patient, you will get there.

Remember to breathe.  

It sounds silly because breathing is something we do involuntarily every day. But when we are stressed, find ourselves faced with a difficult problem, sometimes we find it hard to breathe and sometimes we forget to breathe altogether. I can remember when I first started having driving lessons and whenever I found something difficult I would hold my breath and wish and hope that everything will turn out fine, which is better than stopping in the middle of the road but not good if I passed out because I would never realise that I was actually holding my breath until I started breathing again or when my instructor would tell me to “just breathe”. Not everyone does this and some people are able to laugh in the face of stress. But for those that can’t, try and remember to breathe no matter how hard the situation is, I find that breathing exercises help me find some calm when things get a little too much and I take a few minutes to refocus myself as it is hard to keep focused when stressed. This point is a continuos thing to remember throughout your journey and beyond so don’t forget it.

So those are my first three points on the checklist – I hope you will find them at least one if not all useful.

So…

Take the first step.

Patience and perseverance comes over time.

Remember to breathe.

 

Next time we will explore worth, quantity vs. quality and support networks.

 

All the best with your journey,

 

J x

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