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  • Lindsey Van Wagner

Checking in & Some tips

Hey,


How is everyone doing?


Life is weird right now.


I want to share a few things that I am finding helpful as we are getting through this pandemic one day at a time. Amidst these unusual circumstances, the ever-changing information we are receiving, and such ambiguous predictions/timelines for future operations, we are forced to sit in a state of uncertainty. While this offers flexibility and a change of pace, which is not necessarily a bad thing, we do need to keep some consistency in order to gain clarity and maintain inner peace.


In general I believe that rituals are important. Whether we are traveling, dealing with a life transition, and/or surrounded by the ripple effects of a global crisis, it behooves us to maintain some sense of continuous grounding and comfort. We crave solidity so that we are able to feel that we have both feet planted on the ground. These rituals look different for everyone - it might be taking a moment to enjoy your favorite cup of coffee each morning while reading a book, engaging in a regular yoga practice, meditating/breathing, and/or eating your favorite afternoon snack every day. Experiment and choose one that works for you. You can always change your mind.


One of my favorite commitments is to write in the morning as soon as I wake up - whatever comes to mind, even if it is just a list of tasks I need to get done, or rambling about whichever war is being waged against the frontline of my brain on that particular day. This helps me unload so that I feel more centered and prepared to move forward. While I definitely need to get some of the negativity off my chest, I have noticed there is a trap I sometimes fall into during this process. As a result of letting the floodgates of my stream of consciousness open wide, I easily start to ruminate and obsess about what may go awry in my day, in my week, in my month, in my whole life, and things that I have absolutely no control over in the present moment.


This is especially relevant to current events. When dealing with a situation that is so novel and wildly unsettling, our brains tend to switch gears into worry mode. We want something to do, something to fix. Something to solve. Erma Bombeck said, "Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere."

Also, why are we filling our brains with all the things that could go wrong and all the possibilities of suffering we might endure?


"Whatever you are thinking about is like planning a future event. When you are appreciating, you are planning. When you are worrying, you are planning. Worrying is using your imagination to create something you do not want." -Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks, Ask and It is Given


So, in order to counterbalance these not so pleasant thoughts, I occasionally pepper my journal pages with a few guiding affirmations - to set me straight and to create the reality I want for myself. I first heard these in an audio meditation a few years ago and they have stuck with me ever since. I modified a few along the way. (Unfortunately I do not have the information for the original source or I would certainly cite/link it.)


  1. Today I will be impeccable with my word. I will not make assumptions, I will not take things personally, I will do my best. (These are the 4 agreements.)

  2. I make plans and I remain flexible and open to the surprises that life has in store for me.

  3. I welcome the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. I will not be guided by fear.

  4. I drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, and stay active. I give love to my body.

  5. I cultivate patience and in doing so I cultivate self-confidence.

  6. I love myself unconditionally because it is essential to my happiness. I love the person I am and I do not need anyone's approval or validation to love myself fully.

  7. I give everywhere I go, even if only a smile, a compliment, or my full attention. Listening is the best gift I can give to those around me.


Depending on the day, some intentions are more important than others because the circumstances are always shifting - both around us and within us. I tend to gain strength and empowerment from putting my pen to paper, but saying these out loud to yourself is also a powerful experience.


I would love to hear your thoughts and/or for you to share any practices that assist you in effectively getting through your day. Send me a note through my page or email me :)


lindseyvanwagner@gmail.com


Stay safe out in the wild and keep in touch,


Linz


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