Written by: Lynn MacDonald, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Part 1 of 2 Here’s a story about a lovely lady. Her name is Mary (not her real name, but her story is real). I coached Mary early on in 2020 for 3 months. She was open and committed to looking into a new direction for help with anxiety.
A day in the life for Mary was like many other days. She woke up, went about her usual activities. She is an executive in a career she absolutely enjoys. Her job was stressful and at certain times of the year. Mary felt overwhelmed, worn out during those stressful times, and her anxiety, as she called it, reared its’ ugly head. When she had chores to do, such as laundry, cleaning, gardening, etc., she felt anxious. She said, “it bothered her when she wasn’t able to keep up as fast as she wanted.” During holidays when she was expecting company, she felt anxious. She couldn’t relax and enjoy the holidays because of the pressure of all the extra shopping, cooking, wrapping, cleaning, etc. She wouldn’t fly because she feared flying and would miss out on family trips.
She then became extremely anxious about the virus, which was just brewing when we began our coaching. Now, anxiety was in full swing once again. Mary was no stranger to those uncomfortable feelings. She suffered from “her anxiety” as though it was part of her. She blamed her father as she learned it from him growing up. He always responded to life with anxiety. He was short-tempered would yell and scream when something didn’t go right. He worried about everything all the time. He would be irritated at the long lines in the grocery store and would yell at the clerk when it was their time to check out. Mary spent 20+ years in and out of therapy talking about what was weighing on her mind, mostly rehashing her past. During those 20+ years, she was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and panic disorder. She believed there was something wrong with her. She felt she was not normal. She thought, this is the way I am going to be for the rest of my life. She felt hopeless because she didn’t see a way out. Luckily for Mary, she was so WRONG! There certainly was a way out of her anxiety, panic attacks, and depression! Today, well, it began during our 3 months together. Mary is no longer coping, struggling, or managing anxiety, stress, panic attacks, and depression. Instead, she’s thriving and living all of her unlived life.
She said, “I never thought there was a solution to the way I think.” “I thought it was in my genes because my father was like this too, so then I was too.” “At 60 years old, I am living in a world of peace, love, contentment, happiness, patience, compassion, and much more”. By the way, I didn’t give Mary any tools or strategies. We never addressed anxiety, stress, depression, or even panic attacks. Instead, she gained real-time realizations and insights, which created a shift in her thinking when she understood how her life experience is REALLY created. It’s from that understanding the big monster under bed no longer looked scary.
What Mary didn’t know for 20+ years was the #1 BIGGEST MISUNDERSTANDING that keeps people in label living, coping, managing, trying, and struggling innocently, of course. Where do you think your experience of life comes from? Last year, I asked at least 100 people the same question, and they look dazed and confused. I can understand why. We don’t really learn this in life. We don’t come with a manual when we are born of how life REALLY works. Many responded with the following ideas:
my dwindling back account
I had a few people say the weather makes them feel blue. In fact, I’ve been asked a few times, “why do I feel down on a sunny day?” Perfectly innocent, when you don’t know where your experience comes from.
Here’s the gold, when we innocently believe that the cause of our stress, anxiety, depression, etc. comes from a person, the past, an event or anything outside of us, this creates unnecessary suffering. Because we feel it is outside of our control.
This leaves us feeling hopeless and powerless.
This leaves us attempting to change, control, or monitor our thinking about what we think to feel positive and happy.
This leaves us feeling as though we have to wait or attempt to change something outside of us to feel happy, calm, peaceful, etc.
This leaves us in label living because we think there’s something wrong with us. We spend a lifetime “working on ourselves” just to cope or manage.
This leaves us at the mercy of trying to find that magic app, tool, tip, or technique that will make us feel more peaceful and calm.
This leaves us feeling like we can never live with peace of mind until everything in our world is right, free of drama; everything is in order.
This leaves us feeling like our personality is fixed, not fluid, that we are stuck in living in a personality, “it’s just the way I am.”
I remembered many years ago; I would have panic attacks just thinking about my upcoming flight back home from Chicago. My flight was weeks away, and I’d be home thinking about it. I would break out in a sweat; my heart would beat so fast I thought I was having a heart attack.
Honestly, back then, I had no idea where my anxiety and panic attacks were coming from. I simply believed the reason was BECAUSE I had a fear of flying. I never questioned where my feelings were coming from. I’m happy to report, I no longer have anxiety when thinking about flying or while I’m in the air.
What I am about to share with you next month will provide you hope that you too can live a life of freedom---peace, calm, happiness, contentment, joy, etc., just like Mary.
Next month, I will pull back the curtain on how our experience of life is really created.
Specifically, how all feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress, worry, overwhelm, etc., come from and how you can spend more time living from what isn’t to what is without doing anything with your thinking.
Check out Part 2 next month, the best-kept secret you should know that will free you from insecure thinking.
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Lynn MacDonald, Executive Contributor, Brainz Magazine
I’ve been a corporate trainer for a Fortune 500 company. I’ve been a yoga teacher with consistently sold-out classes and a professional hypnotherapist, successfully curing some of the biggest fears and phobias people have.
All of this, plus studying with some of the highest level teachers on the planet, has led me to understand human nature that I use to help strengthen professional women, shed their old beliefs, and become the potent, prosperous leaders they’re here to be.