Last week I received my Mastercard bill in the mail and when I opened the statement, I discovered a twelve-thousand dollar charge I hadn’t made. The description labeled it “credit” but, in fact, the amount had been added to my balance and showed up as money owed.
Having already dealt with a stolen credit card last month, I was afraid I was in for another go-around of changing numbers and notifying creditors. So, I finished what I was doing, picked up the phone and started the crazy-making process of trying to get a human being to answer my call.
Twenty minutes and three people later, I ended the ordeal when I felt anxious energy coursing through my body. I knew my emotional and energetic state would only make matters worse.
“Thanks very much for your help,” I said to the agent who couldn’t figure out where the charge came from or what to do about it. “Why don’t you give me the telephone number of your security department and I’ll call back when I have more time.”
What I didn’t say to the woman on the other end of the line was that ever since committing to a daily meditation practice at the beginning of 2020, I’d learned to recognize when it was time to create my own calm. Training my mind to sit quietly at my command had made me aware of the habitual way I create inner chaos when I feel frightened, out of control, frustrated, or triggered in some way.
And inner chaos is not a fun or helpful state of mind.
The coronavirus, the ongoing political campaigns, the stock market dance, or the media madness designed to make money from your fear, are just a few of the societal challenges trying to steal your peace.
Don’t let them.
Trust me… worry never changed anything for the better. Anxiety is usually the wrong motivation for action. Fear robs you of intelligent thought.
And what you need most when you’re scared, anxious, or overwhelmed – what we all need – is intelligence. We need to be able to recognize when we’re manufacturing anxiety and stop it in its tracks.
Intelligence tells you when it’s time to shut off the television, shut down the computer, or leave the phone in a drawer.
Intelligence inspires you to get educated beyond just reading headlines or listening to fearful friends.
Intelligence puts the power back in your pocket when you realize you have control over how you treat your body, your money, your children, or yourself.
Intelligence helps you to remember that you are a Soul in a physical body and the mind is your servant not your master.
So, who’s going to run the show today? Who’s going to get you off the phone when you’re about to lose it? Who’s going to decide whether or not you take the trip you’ve booked? Who’s going to make a choice about whether you attend that conference, or buy a box of face masks?
Your Soul or your mind?
Decide that you’ll be creating your own calm from now on.
Stop when you feel frightened, and breathe.
Slow things down (remember, stillness is your friend).
Get centered before you get going.
Ask for help when you need care and perspective.
Most important, remember you have choices. You can decide to meditate for ten minutes rather than fight, to walk away from people who are fueled by fear and drama, or to shut off all notifications on your phone.
These may be tough choices, but they’ll take you to the land of calm where fear and anxiety no longer run the show.
You, the Soul, become the boss.
PS – If you’d like to join me for a weekend by the sea where I’ll help you to take charge of your business and your life in a calm, self-honoring way, visit our Self Care by the Sea retreat page here.