While bringing my thoughts together for this month's newsletter, I had to wonder: "this may be very interesting to you Barb - but why would anyone else care? What is the lesson or knowledge that I am finding in my questions that others might benefit from?" I felt I had some answers, and yet, I had not found the idea that would both introduce, and bring a shared truth forward.
Implementing my typical strategy, I took a break to give my thinking a rest for a few minutes. I was checking emails, and a few clicks later I came to one of those "Steps Lists". This one was: "12 Steps to Having No Problems." OK, I am game!
Going down the list, I easily agreed with some of the suggestions: "Simply Your Life," and "Embrace Integrity". Then, I came to the last step, and I had to pause at "Abandon All Hope" - it seems hope takes our eye off the present/the real. Something to think about!?
I am all for consciously living in the now, and have learned that I am still a student, not a master, of the practice. Certainly "Abandon All Hope" challenges me a great deal. But maybe, this was the opportunity to connect my thinking. Was the focus of my thinking in the last few weeks connected to the idea of "hope" in a way?
I have been thinking about how a chosen word may influence our attitude and perceptions. With a one word change in our own dialogue or conversations, could we bring ourselves to a more peaceful place? In making this change in a single word, would we be able to focus on the actions and blessing of the day - relax and experience "the Hope" now.
In sharing some of my exploration and understanding of what is true for me, I share with you an opportunity to find a more peaceful path, and in doing so appreciate your Hope Now - No Problem - Right?
Shifting Anxiety to Anticipation
What do you feel when you read each of these words; Anxious, Anticipate?
Does a different feeling or emotion arise from each word?
Why think about these words?
When we set a goal, begin a journey, or start a project, our intention is for a positive outcome -- setting energy to action in support of a desire. As we come closer to a target, a mile post in our journey, or an important check in, we may feel our energy shift based on where we are, what we have done, or our sense of control on how our desire will be met.
Think about a completion you are coming to as you read and explore these words.
Anxiety - synonyms with worry, disquiet -distress or uneasiness caused in fear of danger or misfortune, earnest but tense desire.
Anticipation - synonyms with awaiting joy -realization in advance, expectation or hope, intuition, foreknowledge, expectancy, prediction, prevision.
If through awareness - consciousness -- we choose our thoughts, to create the feeling and action that leads our success and our passion for life to a higher level, then how might a small shift in our language shift our thinking? If our tendency is to be anxious, versus looking forward in anticipation, how is that impacting our progress, our path, and ultimately, our result?
I gave this a little comparative thought, and for me, it seems:
Anxiety creates a focus on all the things not done; not fixed; or on what is wrong.
Anticipation creates a focuses on what is possible; what can be built on; or on what is right.
Anxiety focuses on one outcome, or possible point of completion.
Anticipation allows the mind to expand beyond one outcome, past completion, to new beginnings.
Anxiety sees the distance, while Anticipation sees the horizon.
How then do we shift from a sense of anxiety to anticipation?
We can return to our Core -- our most authentic self -- recall our gifts, and our life lessons. To create a positive expectation, recall a time when you came to that point of completion successfully -- a goal met; a desired destination; a checklist fully marked. Recall the strengths, the skills, and the gifts that were used, and were present in that moment. All talents remain available to us. What unique talent will you use today? Be authentic, play through, and anticipate another positive moment of completion.
"When faced with the question to do or not to do, lean toward the do" It may be a small movement, but move. It may not be pretty or perfect -- it rarely is when in action. It may get you exactly where you want, and if not, play from there.
If there seems there is no action, then set aside the worry, it serves no purpose. Release the worry through quiet contemplation, a note in a journal, or by getting up and going out to play. Or, as I have been recently reminded and taught again: if worry is hard to leave behind, then give it the Universe, the Spirit, or as I say to God, to carry for a while. It seems the burden is never too great and the request is never turned down.
I am not ready to "Abandon All Hope," and as a student, I will continue to believe that the answers to all questions will be revealed in their own time. I will continue to look to shift from Anxiety to Anticipation, and in doing so have my "Hope" realized Now.