I hope to inspire the heck out you today with the power you hold and with a story that reminds you that joy is not based on circumstances. Today we are taking our new vision of fear from Part 1 and our new understanding of our fears from Part 2, and we're implementing practices that will help you anticipate fear, curate joy, and fuel your gratitude.
So many of our moments spent in joy are chosen. We must choose to put fear to rest, surrender, have faith, live in gratitude for the blessings and the beautiful moments, to cherish the NOW we are living in. I'm about to teach you how to do just that.
That does it for our Fear Workshop. I hope it was beneficial and I can't wait for your feedback. If you have questions, hit up your girl! Send me a DM, email, or catch me in our Private Mama Inspired- The Collective FB group.
All the love,
Hey mamas and welcome back to your free fear workshop. Today is the last piece and it's about to make you a master in fear of the unknown and help you choose joy daily!
Up to this point we've learned about our relationship with fear, how we react when we hear fear's voice, the intention and purpose of fear, how to give it the attention it requires, and lastly how to make sense of each fear, discerning our truth from it's exaggerated perception.
With this new picture in your head, this new vision we know it's our duty to drive, it's fear's duty to steer us from danger from the backseat, and it's truth's job to co-pilot and keep us from swerving into the guard rails… and we know that between YOU and your truth… you've got the access you need to turn up the joy. Today I am going to talk you through just how to do that, keep your eyes on the road, reliant on your truth to keep you honest, while dancing it out to the sound of your joy!!!
Yep, girl build that image up with as much detail as you can… make it come alive! This is your life babe, windows down, wind in your hair, driving towards the sunset, sure a few bumps in the road, maybe a swerve or two around road kill, a few knocks to your bumper, but still chuggin along, grateful for the gas in the tank, and the faith in your heart.
Alright, I think you got it. Let's get to work.
In the last episode we learned 4 traits of fear… today your'e going to learn how to use those to your advantage by….
Uncovering patterns and triggers
1. Uncovering patterns and triggers: so we may… expect, anticipate, prepare for our fears. I want to say something right up front, I realize life throws us changes we have no way to prepare for… it’s like preparing yourself emotionally to become a mom… you just have now way of knowing, because you encounter emotions that are totally new, that you've never felt before.
We're really talking about those fears that come with an attachment to an outcome, to the lag time. In these times you will find that you might fall into a pattern of anxiety and high emotions based on certain events, schedules, appointments, cycles, subjects brought to light, expectations set forth, words, phrases heard.. Etc.
A friend of mine referred me to a podcast called "the awakened pregnancy podcast" with Kate Caddle. I'd highly recommend for those experiencing conception struggles or those wanting to experience pregnancy in the most magical way. She's also Australian, so you can't help but love listening to her.
Anyhow, one of the first episodes I listened to was " how to navigate the two week wait with ease" and she talked about the energy shift from the first two weeks of your cycle to the last two weeks… those days where the angst about kills you and you dread seeing that single line, instead of two. She is the one who made me realize that there are patterns like this, triggers if you will, around this "type " of fear… fear of uncertainty, of lack of control. So you can thank her if this works for you lol
I want you to think about the fear you laid out in your homework. If your anxiety is around whether or when you'll finally become parents and your'e worrying over when you'll get the call that you've been matched by a social worker…do you find yourself just so down when you've hit the end of the week and you've not heard anything? If you're worried that your child isn't walking yet, and so every time you hang out with your girlfriend who proudly brags about her kid walking since 9 months … do you leave senselessly afraid something's wrong?
In my current fear, I know that when my app tells shows 12 days till pregnancy test it becomes a focus. I will check that app everyday just to see the wait drop by 1, I begin assessing everything about my body from there on out, multiply times a day I obsess over the what-ifs. What I'm gonna do if it's positive, what I might do different next cycle if its negative. While I think some of these thoughts will always accompany me each month, since starting this new practice of learning to anticipate the emotions that arise in this luteal phase, I've been more at ease. I understand why I am so invested in this, but I know where it often leads me, and I choose to distract myself from this attachment, to work my way closer to the joy available right now.
So for me there is a monthly pattern- the end of ovulation and start of luteal phase and my triggers? The fertility app, starting up conversations about those what if's with cam, and yes sometimes conversations around pregnancy and pictures of pregnant women. While there's not a whole lot else I love more and it brings me much happiness, it can trigger an unwanted spiral.
Can you stop to think about the patterns and triggers within your own fear? Ask yourself these questions…Where do I recognize this fear from? What other times do I experience this anxiety? Do I come into contact with a trigger on my device ? Is there anyone or any experiences that trigger my fears or remind me of that outcome? What time in the day, the week, the month, the year do I experience this fear? Do I talk about this outcome or scenarios of my fear ? If so, to who? Do I consume anything via phone, computer, tv, reading etc that can trigger my fear? Do I have any physical responses to this fear? When does my fear remind me of this outcome, this specific fear?
When you are aware and can identify when these fears come alive, you can anticipate, prepare and recognize the emotions and the physical responses. You can take precautions and minimize exposer to triggers. For me this is deleting the fertility app from my phone until it's time to take that pregnancy tests. I know I won't forget about it and it'll help me break this habitual trigger. It doesn't mean I don’t talk to my girlfriends who are pregnant, or have wee babes. It means I shut down my scrolling time on social ( which I should do anyway). It means that I knowingly might feel more around this conception struggle after I talk to my girlfriend who just became a mom. I can feel grateful and happy for my friend, truly enjoy the conversation and energy connection, and also recognize emotions that come after , as my fear working to protect me from falling too hard.
It means, when that fear arises as we knew it would, we say " hey, I recognize you" and I know why your'e here. Then we remind of ourselves of the true beliefs we uncovered in that exercise in part 2 of the workshop through getting to know our fear and deciding whether it warrants your energy, warrants action, or warrants you to surrender and have faith.
And since we've identified when and where this fear arises we take proactive measures… we love on our selves, pour into ourselves, distract ourselves from the outcome, we CURATE JOY.
2. Curate joy: When it comes to how we choose to let our fear affect us… we can either let it drive … ensuring we don't really get anywhere, or we can simply allow it to have an opinion. One that is heard, but isn't taken to heart ( I mean, remember who we are talking to here… nervous nelly)
So many of our moments spent in joy are chosen. We choose to put fear to rest, surrender, have faith and just live in gratitude for the blessings and the moments, the now we are living in.
I want to take a minute to acknowledge a miraculous lady and let her be the testimony we need to hear today to remember it's all perspective and that even when faced with pain and struggle you can choose to live beyond it.
We've been building a friendship with a couple that live in our neighborhood. Daniel the husband is actually from Fairbanks, so our Alaskan plates were the conversation starter and we quickly connected. His wife, Blaire who's from our area … a beautiful, genuine, funny, feisty , faith fueled woman who'd survived 6 years plus of treating Ovarian Cancer, passed last week. She was 33. Though we only really got to hang with them both a handful of times, Cameron and I both really enjoyed her company. I always wanted to spend more time with her, but always feared the bouncing toddler would suck out the energy she needed. I wish now, that I had just asked and found a way to make it work, get to know her more, and learn from her.
While we don't know the full story behind her treatments and journey over the years, we do know that she had countless surgeries, over the last 8 months it just felt like they kept running into complications, her medication was being changed frequently and she was always enduring new symptoms and just grasping for ways to feel any sort of normalcy or retain energy in her day-to-day. With all this…Her parents and Daniel told us that Blair said the last 6 years were the best years of her life. (pause). Is that not profound?
Blair and her family have been on my heart daily and I find myself thinking about her statement in complete awe, admiration, and utter happiness.
Here it is.. Blaire knew the value of life, the value of each moment, each breathe.
I hope for all of us that we may know this kind of joy and complete gratitude for all the little things, that it doesn't come by illness or hardship, but if so… you live like Blaire.
Even if your time on earth takes you into your 80's, life flies by us. Think about how often you look back on a Friday and realized you were on autopilot. Life is short, but it's packed full of opportunities to live it up, to experience, to fall then grow, to love.
Living with a focus on all the possibilities, all the outcomes, wipes us out. We no longer have the energy to do the things we truly love. '
This brings us to our next exercise…
I want you to start by listing out all the things that you value: Your family, your health, Your mental health, your dogs, YOU time, creative time, church community, quality time with girlfriends, reading a subject you're passionate about, hobbies?- baking, tennis, photography, writing, singing, etc…You will prob find that they get more detailed as you go on… keep going ! This is you finding you again ( we loose sight of so much of these as moms, because we don't think we have the time, because we don’t think it should be prioritized, because… well we find ourselves living on autopilot). Your'e on a roll, so just keep going until you can't think of any more.
Then turn this value list into a menu of options ( remember those from our early episodes?) so, if you value your health, maybe that option is pulling out the jogging stroller and going for a run. If you value your church community, maybe your option is bible study ( maybe virtual these days). If you value you time, make sure you are getting some… create an environment for yourself and pamper yourself. If you value baking, your option might be trying a new recipe on Sunday. We all value family, so this is your opportunity to create some fun cozy time at home, maybe a slumber party in the living room.
Think of this lag time as a time to pour into yourself, to jack up the level of self-care, overflow those buckets and put fear at ease.
Choosing joy also means choosing joy OVER whatever doesn't and crowding all that stuff out! You know what doesn’t bring me joy? 10 mins wasted mindlessly scrolling social… seeing all the perfectly curated photos, ads that make me think I need something, that trigger me into wanting to buy things to improve my life… to want to look a certain way, to wishing I had the same marketing skills, wishing I had money to just throw around and buy all the high dollar Christmas décor from west elm or pottery barn. Honestly, it turns me away from things that are actually my style, away from my true values, what makes me ME. Is it obvious I recently watched " the social dilehma" ? Oh don't you worry we're gonna hit on this in a later episode and break our social addiction. 2021 ain't gonna have none of that…
OK I digress….
What else? People? Do you have negative, energy sucking people in your life? If so, you gotta limit that time or they gotta go. If it's a co-worker, politely remove yourself, it's not rude it's survival. You may not realize it, but they weigh you down more than you know.
Choosing joy also means choosing joy OVER whatever doesn't and crowding all that stuff out! You know what doesn’t bring me joy? 10 mins wasted mindlessly scrolling social… seeing all the perfectly curated photos, ads that make me think I need something, that trigger me into wanting to buy things to improve my life… to want to look a certain way, to wishing I had the same marketing skills, wishing I had money to just throw around and buy all the high dollar Christmas décor from west elm or pottery barn. Honestly, it turns me away from things that are actually my style, away from my true values, what makes me ME. Is it obvious I recently watched " the social dilemma" ? Oh don't you worry we're gonna hit on this in a later episode and break our social addiction. 2021 ain't gonna have none of that…
Take some time to think about what steals your joy or what might inhibit you from reaching your full capacity of joy… our goal is to crowd that out and curate more joy.
When you enter that place of fear, uncertainty, unknown, when you find yourself in that "lag time" I want you to do more of the things that bring you joy and less of what doesn't.
Couple this practice with identifying your patterns and your triggers and you have a proactive plan that allows you to get ahead of your fear. It's you doing your best to not be caught off guard, falling farther and harder time after time.
3. Alright, so the last practice I want you to implement is gratitude. This one is different though, because I don't want you to just focus on this in that " lag time", but as a daily practice. There is no tool more powerful in finding and choosing joy, than practicing gratitude. Think about it if everyday you remind yourself of everything you are thankful for, you'll see the good over the bad, you'll count your blessings instead of your struggles, you'll see more opportunity for joy and less reasons to live in fear.
The best part about this is there are so many ways to practice gratitude… pick your style and someone has come up with a way to implement gratitude in your life on the reg. You can journal each morning, writing 1 thing your'e thankful for each day. You can do yoga and count your blessings instead of your breath. You can say a prayer. You can meditate. You can write a letter to the thing/person you are grateful for. You can sit in stillness with your coffee in the morning and count all your blessings in your heart. Maybe you do a mix of all of them- fantabulous, that sounds pretty well rounded to me!
Practicing gratitude helps you stay grounded, not easily jolted by fear. This is because you are reminding yourself daily of the things you value, the things you love, the things that bring you joy. If you start your day with that, joy stays forefront, it becomes an easier decision each day to choose it over fear.
It's the easiest practive I will ever encourage of you. It can be done in the car, lying in bed, at your dinner table, and it takes seconds. But somehow it's one of the most impactful things you'll do for your wellbeing and this beautiful life in front of you.
I know this had to be one of Blaire's secrets. She could see past the potential outcomes, the complications, the pain, because she felt she still had so much to be grateful for. One day on this earth, surrounded by the people we love, the outdoors, our animals, worldly conveniences, modern medicine, a home, sunny, blue sky days, rain, a good book, the bible, prayer, a comfy couch shared with the love of your life…
It's all perspective and at the end of the day it's a choice.
I know that you are capable of rebuilding this relationship with your fear and I want so badly to help you through it. In the end, you have to put in the work. My overall goal is to inspire you to grow, invoke thought and a way for you to learn more about yourself, and give you practical ways to shift your mindset and get you back in the drivers seat.
There's no magic solution, if there was I wouldn't be struggling right along with you. However, I believe there is so much power in inspiration- if you let it, it will find it's way to your heart. I've been inspired by a life I barely knew, I hope it's a reminder that joy is not based on circumstances and that it's something you choose.