Coming back from the Sunshine Coast after having had my hair done (ala Reese Witherspoon style I tell you!), I took a sideways glimpse as I was driving.
I watched as these cows were all lined up, one behind the other, strolling behind taking it all in.
Then I noticed there was one off to the side. She was looking around and at one point wandered away from the group of cows.
I saw one cow look back at the lone cow.
Like ‘hey there weirdo, you’re getting left behind.’
The lone cow realizes she’s waaaaaaay behind all the other cows and starts to run to catch up to the other cows…
But she’s still behind.
I have a moment.
I feel like the lone cow.
You know what I am talking about?
You’re the one feeling like everyone is way ahead of the herd. They’re following one another, they’re doing all the right things, and moooooving (pun intended) ahead.
But not you.
You feel left behind.
Like the lone cow, looking around, not knowing what to do or where to go.
You don’t feel like you fit in with the other cows (ba ha ha – anyone else loving this analogy?)
You feel confused.
Anxiety takes a grip. Why do people like her better than me?
Why did she get that promotion?
How come she found it easy to fall pregnant?
Why do I always start talking a million words a minute when I’m nervous and anxious af?
You see, we have this thing in our brain called an amygdala.
Let’s call her Amy.
Amy’s role is to protect you. To keep you safe.
And you know what?
She doesn’t like to feel pain.
You know why?
Because her purpose is to keep you alive!
So Amy likes to search all the time.
Look for all the things that could potentially go wrong.
Stay behind the pack because if she joins them perhaps they may not even like her.
Or if Amy stays back, she doesn’t have to allow herself to be vulnerable or feel awkies.
So she’ll make you hang back, watch others do their thing, and question everything.
And you start to believe what Amy tells you.
Here are 2 things you can do to quit worrying about being behind in the pack:
You’ve heard it before but here’s the thing. Amy doesn’t want you to feel pain, so what you do to deal with her is overload her tasks and busying yourself. You don’t like feeling those feelings of sadness, inadequacy and anxiety and so you shove them down thinking they are put away.
It doesn’t go away. It simmers beneath the surface like a hot soup, ready to bubble over if left too long.
Creating space allows you to hear what Amy is saying to you and helps you to respond effectively.
We spend too little time living in the present moment and spend waaaay too much time trying to change it.
Creating the space brings your attention to what you are doing now.
Bring yourself to what you are doing right now.
Did you notice yourself and your mind wandering?
Stop what you’re doing and say ‘I’m reading this blog.’ Then bring your awareness back with more of a sense of awareness.
Try this with your routines. “I’m driving my car,” “I’m writing an email,” “I’m watching t.v.”
Just doing this makes you aware of the present day moment.
And if you’re up for it try my free ‘Ease your Anxiety’ meditation. It’s available when you put your deets in the sign up box below. Doing a meditation like this helps increase present awareness and quietens your mind.
Mindfulness soothes Amy. Cause Amy mistakes stress as if they are real threats! Amy thinks you’re in danger BUT mindfulness (being present) makes you less jumpy and shrinks your Amy shrinks!
Through mindfulness practices we can grow our pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus. These are the parts of your brain that help you to control your attention, manage and respond to thoughts and emotions. It also helps you to control impulses.
And a good one for growing your pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus is to hug someone. It also decreases cortisol, the stress hormone.
Seriously. Do it. Hug someone for 20 seconds.
“A soft touch on the arm makes the orbital frontal cortex light up, just like those other rewarding stimuli. So, touch is a very powerful rewarding stimulus — just like your chocolate that you find in your cupboard at home.”—Matt Hertenstein (Experimental Psychologist at DePauw University, Indiana).
Turn towards the discomfort.
While you’re being present, turn towards the discomfort. Ask yourself:
- What emotion is present?
- Why are you feeling these emotions?
- For what purpose does this exist?
- View the situation through the eyes of an observer. How do they see the situation?
- What do you need to be able to handle and work through this emotion and belief?
As a mind detox practitioner I love working with women, just like you, to unravel the stories Amy tells you.
By getting right to the belief you have wired in and looking at the reality of what you now know helps you to rewire your brain to be more present, allowing you to experience less anxiety and more clarity, fun, and direction.
If you’d love to know more email me: firstname.lastname@example.org . I have 2 spots free! Hit the share button below if you loved the post.
Oh and P.S – Don’t worry too much about being behind the pack. Connect in and learn how to self-trust. When you do that the ‘pack’ loses its stronghold on you and you can experience more freedom to trot away to your own path. Maybe you might find the ‘pack’ helpful even. Maybe once you learn how to self-trust you’ll find there is power in the collective sisterhood. Just take it one step at a time. You’ve got this.