What Is the Positive Antidote for Anxiety and Fear?

With a serious virus circling the planet and all of the financial, social, and day-to-day impacts to our lives, we are in uncharted territory.

Of course the unknown can feel scary. Worrying makes it worse. What can we do to ease fear and anxiety?

I had to first ask myself this question. Here’s what’s been working for me.

Practicing mindful choosing.

When you become aware of feeling fearful or anxious, choose to put your focus on something that feels better, and true to you.

For me, I started by shifting my focus away from my retirement savings losing value. I’ve instead focused on not needing that money soon and remembering there is time for it to grow again.

I’ve gotten outside more. Feeling the solidity of Mother Earth beneath my feet, the wind in my hair, and the sun on my face. I’m taking more pictures of nature, focusing on all the gifts that surround me.

The half moon rising above Gore Range, across from Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Colorado

The half moon rising above Gore Range,
across from Beaver Creek Ski Resort in Colorado

And, I’ve been meditating and praying for calm energy for me and for anyone else who needs it too. I’ve also been more patient and kinder, with myself and with those around me.

Maybe most importantly, when I notice I’m fearful or anxious, I stop what I’m doing and simply witness the fear and anxiety. At the same time, I give myself some positive attention, allowing the fear and anxiety to be melted by love.

Practicing mindful choosing – it’s called a Practice for a reason. We may not do it perfectly, but every time we mindfully choose something that feels better, we give ourselves a gift and make the world a better place.

“Are You My Mother?”

Recently, I gave a talk at church. I shared a bit of my journey from seeking love in romantic relationships to seeking love in the hills of New Mexico to eventually settling down and realizing I am love.

I highly recommend you allocate 17 minutes to listening.

I didn’t know until I gave the talk that what I was really talking about was letting go of the idea of finding anything outside myself so that I was available to experience what is within me.

Profound.

Strong from Within. Alas . . . Enjoy!

[audio:http://annstrong.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/080518-CelebrationSpeaker-AnnStrong.mp3]

Click here to download

And, if you’re inspired, I’d love to hear how it speaks to you . . .

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“I Am That,” Remembering Who You Are

Today is my 11th day of a 40-day meditation, with my delightful meditation partner, Dev Darshan, to purify the subconscious.

A few days ago, I spontaneously started watching some short videos from the spiritual teacher Mooji. I didn’t know of him before I “found” one of his videos.

Then yesterday I “found” a video from spiritual teacher Lisa Nichols that deeply spoke to me.

Mooji opens one of his videos by saying, “You’re looking out there for an answer. And, I’m looking at you as the answer.”

Deep breath.

I took that in. I knew that I know that. And then I forgot.

Fast forward to this morning when my mind is racing with all I have to do before I get on the road tomorrow to go to Durango and speak at the 9th Annual Women’s Small Business Conference. And then I hear a quiet, clear voice in my head. “Remember who you are.”

Immediately, the anxiety vanishes and I’m experiencing my own Divinity. I Know that I am the answer.

Perhaps I needed to purify the subconscious to remember!

I’d love for you to experience Mooji talking about “I Am That.” To me, he’s a shining example of living his Divinity.

I’d also love for you to experience Lisa Nichols. To me she’s a shining example of living her strong-from-within humanness.

And, if you’re inspired, I’d love to hear what’s on your heart and mind . . .

Join the conversation – comment below.

How to Solve Any Problem with One Powerful Question

“This problem needs solving.” “I hate this situation.” I heard each of these from clients recently. “I’m at an impasse.” I heard this coming from my own mouth when I called my coach.

With each of them, we explored one question:
Who do you need to be to resolve this?

The first client realized she needed to be someone who got involved now to do something toward stopping the separation of children from their parents.

With the second client, she realized she needed to step into her power, state clearly and calmly what she wanted and needed and be willing to walk away if that wasn’t possible.

For me, I realized I needed to be the one to have compassion and empathy for the woman with whom I was at an impasse. After being stalled for days, within hours, we moved past the impasse. And her demeanor completely changed for the rest of our interactions.

How To Solve Any Problem with One Powerful Question

When I’m feeling anxious, I know I need to be the one who is more Zen cat-like. Pebbles is one of my 3 wonderful, resident feline teachers. Yay, kitty prayer pose!

So, what about you? What needs to be resolved in your world? Would you like to work with more clients? Sleep better at night? Finish writing a book? Feel more peaceful? Hopeful?

Who do you need to be?

I’d love to hear from you. What would you love to resolve?
Who do you need to be?

Join the conversation ~ comment below.

Who Do I Need to Be to Bring This into Reality?

“The shortest route between you and all you desire involves asking yourself daily or moment-to-moment, ‘Who do I need to be to bring what I’m committed to into reality?'”
From the book Thriving Work: 90 days of daily practice for transforming you and your coaching, consulting or healing business
By Ann Strong

When I wrote this 7 years ago, I wasn’t consciously aware that my deepest desire had only one answer.

Who do I need to be to bring all that I desire into reality?
Love Embodied / In Union with God / Christ Incarnate.

I don’t need to be smarter, faster or jump higher. I do need to be in this world, but not of it. I do need to express the Divinity of me, rather than allowing my humanness (read:ego) to run the show.

Who Do I Need to Be to Bring This into Reality?
Ah, to be so effortlessly fully myself as these guys…

When I wrote Thriving Work in 2011, I felt happy to experience moments of my Divinity and didn’t expect more. Today, I’m committed to more.

I’ve been reading, re-reading and studying with three friends the book, The Way of Mastery – Part One: The Way of the Heart for almost a year now.

To come to know ourselves as Love Embodied, it gives us four keys to the Kingdom: desire, intention, allowance and surrender.

1. Desire
To be all that God created me to be.

2. Intention
To focus on that desire daily.

3. Allowance
To see everything as an opportunity to heal whatever stands in the way of me being – consistently – the Presence of Love.

4. Surrender
To live “Thy Will, not my will.”

“Commitment is nothing more than a deliberate decision that something will be so.”
The Way of Mastery – Part One: The Way of the Heart Shanti Christo Foundation

And so it is! I’m committed to living Love Embodied and continuing to work through whatever trips me up between where I am in a moment and living Love Embodied.

I’d love to hear from you. What would you love to bring into reality? Who do you need to be to bring that into reality?

Join the conversation – comment below.

What Makes This a Good Life for You?

Recently, I noticed something that might seem obvious.

When we get to be ourselves, we tend to be happy.

This struck me after I coached two clients back-to-back. The first client is doing work she loves that really engage all of her strengths doing work she is passionate about. The second client is doing too much of the back office work in his business instead of the creative work he loves.

Both at work and at home, the more all of our strengths and interests are engaged, the more life feels good to us. When our strengths are frustrated, overused or underused, well, we just aren’t very happy.

What Makes this a Good Life for You?

The simple act of taking this photo makes my own top strengths super happy.  Maximizer loves the symmetry I captured.  Empathy feels the artist.  Connectedness feels the connection of art, artist, nature and art appreciator.  Activator just had to take the picture.  Individualization chose to photograph only two pieces and this was one of them.

What about you? If you know your StrengthsFinder strengths, please do share your ideas and insights below.

If you’d like more direction for your good life, take the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment. And, if you’d like some strengths coaching, I’d be happy to help!

Join the conversation – comment below.

What Helps Us Feel Good about Ourselves?

When Things Are Going Well
Have you noticed when you’re in the flow, you tend to be engaging your strengths, your purpose, your passions? And then, it’s naturally easy to feel good about yourself, about your life?

When Things Aren’t Going So Well
And, have you noticed when you feel frustrated, lost, overwhelmed, then you tend to be hard on yourself?

How do we feel good about ourselves, regardless of circumstances? What if we use the tough times as an opportunity to be gentle with ourselves?

What if we purposefully talk to ourselves more kindly – as we would talk to a good friend who is going through something challenging? What if we consciously develop self-compassion for our humanness?

What Helps Us Feel Good about Ourselves?
A couple of weeks ago, I was super nervous to drive over Raton Pass after a freezing rain and ice storm. When I actually got to the Pass, the road had dried, but the trees were gorgeous. They were so beautiful that it changed my whole experience. I finally gave in and stopped the car several times to take pictures of the rare beauty.

I’ve been practicing this for awhile. So have some of my clients. We’ve found it to work wonders in creating a more loving relationship with ourselves.

What about you? Do share your ideas and insights.

Join the conversation – comment below.

Waste of Time or My Strengths at Play?

Yesterday as I was preparing my fruit for breakfast, I took a spontaneous detour. I like my fruit room temperature (Individualization and Empathy toward myself) and I’d forgotten to take cuties out the fridge.

So I peeled a cold one and decided I wanted it warmer before I ate it. I started laying out the segments so they could warm quickly with air circulating around each individual segment. Activator and Strategic at work.

Waste of Time or My Strengths at Play AStrong

As I was doing that, my Maximizer, Connectedness and Strategic noticed a fun pattern. So, I created an amusing art piece for me, and now for you! And, after a few minutes, I ate it.

So fun!

What say you: waste of time or my strengths at play?

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What If We Are Here to Love?

“When next someone asks you, ‘Who are you?’ please do not give them a name. Do not say, ‘Well, I was born in a certain town in a certain part of the planet.” Do not tell them that you are a democrat, or a republican, or a communist, or an atheist or a catholic.”

Tell them the truth:
Who am I? I am the extension of Love in form.
I have never been born and I will never taste death.
I am infinite and eternal.
I shine forth as a sunbeam to the sun.
I am the effect of God’s Love.
And I stand before you to love you.

– From the book, The Way of Mastery, Part One: The Way of the Heart
By the Shanti Christo Foundation

The Way of Mastery, Part One: The Way of the Heart

“I stand before you to love you.” I read that and just melted into the desire to be that person. What would life be like if I simply loved each person around me? How would life change if I stood in a crowded room or drove on a busy highway and simply loved?

Without judgment, without qualifiers, without conditions, without exceptions and without needing reasons …

It feels so good as I ponder it. I’ll get back with you after I’ve spent some time practicing knowing I am that person and being that person!

Join the conversation – I’d love your insights and experiences below.

Love Is

Love Is.

I can’t
buy it,
trade for it,
beg for it,
demand it or
work for it.

Love Is.

I can
open my eyes,
soften my gaze,
deepen my breath and
acknowledge what is.

Love Is.

Love Is

Opening my eyes, softening my gaze, deepening my breath and receiving the dynamic love of this sky

I can
open my eyes,
soften my gaze,
deepen my breath and
receive.

Love Is.
Love Is.

I can
open my eyes,
soften my gaze,
deepen my breath and
be.

Love is.
Love is.
I am.

From Ann’s forthcoming second book, Strong from Within: Loving, embodying and expressing you.

Join the conversation ~ post your insights, feedback and experiences below.