From all indications were going through another of those challenging times here on our little blue planet. Several friends have commented that they’re having a difficult time and I have personally experienced more than my share of challenges recently.
All one needs to do to see that this is more than a coincidence is to pick up a newspaper or turn on a television news program.
There is something, I’m not sure what, that seems to be affecting people worldwide at this time. Reading social media posts I’m seeing more and more conversations about fear and stress.
While it may be comforting to know you’re not the only one having a difficult time, beyond a feeling of camaraderie with others in the same boat, it doesn’t help much. Knowing that you’re having a tough day is not changing the fact that you’re struggling.
If you’ve read my story on the about page or in one of my books, you know that I’ve had more than my share of difficulties over the years. It’s one of the reasons I do the work that I do. I want to share what has helped me in my life, as a way of helping others.
The greatest detriment to your successfully getting through whatever problem you may be experiencing is fear. No matter what, you cannot go into fear based reactions. The old adage about fear being False Evidence Appearing Real is true, however, most of what we fear is a product of our imagination and is typically about some unknown future event. Of course there are real fears but that not what I’m referring to here.
One sure way I know of to get through imagined fear is to be present. Get your mind out of worrying what could go wrong in the future and focus on the “here and now.” That is where your power lies. While I was in the midst of writing this article I attended a business event where I saw my friend, Susie Beiler, who I hadn’t seen in some time. I inquired as to how she was doing and she replied, “I’m being supported.” What a great perspective. Since Susie, like a lot of us, is in her own business I totally understood what she meant.
Notice that she didn’t say “business is down” or any number of other things you typically hear from business owners and executives. She didn’t complain about the economy or say how she wished she had more business. She chose, instead, to focus on the fact that, in the present moment, everything was just fine.
The more you can live in the present, especially when you’re facing challenges, the better you’ll feel and the more likely you will be to find solutions. This is what Eckart Tolle was talking about in his mega best-seller, “The Power of Now” (New World Library).
This sounds great but how does one accomplish this when everything seems to be “hitting the fan?”
The fastest way I know of to bring your attention into the “here and now” is to take several deep breaths.
Simply stop whatever you’re doing. Either standing or sitting, breathe slowly and deeply, without straining of course. On the in-breath, imagine being filled with a beautiful bright light, letting it fill your mind and body completely, like a balloon. Hold it for a count of three or four, again without straining. As you exhale, imagine all your troubles floating toward the heavens. As you do this, feel yourself being grounded and connecting with the earth in the here and now.
Doing this simple exercise, three or four times, can help you anchor your body and mind in the present moment and help reduce stress. In my book for baby boomers, “Don’t Let an Old Person Move Into Your Body,” I paraphrased Dr. Andrew Weil’s statement that if he only had a short time with a patient, he would spend it teaching them breathing techniques, for this is one of the most powerful things you can do for your mental and physical health. If you want to learn more about healthy breathing techniques you can check, out Dr. Weil’s audio program about it or, better yet, take a class in Yogic breathing. Yoga is the source of most of the available information about breathing techniques.
Another, more proactive technique taught by the late motivational speaker Earl Nightingale, is to write your problem on a sheet of paper, or on your tablet. Then write twenty possible solutions. Write whatever comes to mind, regardless of how outlandish they may seem to you right now. Nightingale suggested that you not stop writing until you’ve reached twenty. Personally, I’m less structured and suggest to people that they continue their list until they either have a breakthrough idea or reach twenty items. When you review your list you will, more than likely, see one or two possible solutions to your dilemma.
If you need help, check out my Coaching A la Cart service. This is a quite affordable one-on-one service designed to help small business people get through whatever is blocking their progress. You can read all about it here.
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