“I have no time to eat… to rest… to take a nap…. to relax…. to take it slow…”…
Read this post to reclaim your time and your peace.
This is voice inside us that pushes us into rush, perfectionism and to-do-ism in the name of efficiency during a crisis is just a learned defensive self running scared. It is not reality and we need to detach from its panicky voice to reclaim our time and peace.
This voice belongs to an archetypal Inner Self that I call the Rush Whip. It pushes us beyond what is healthy or even possible for us right now. It paints a chaotic picture of the crisis, but it is lying. And we need to step back and recognize its lie so that we can regain authorship of our situation.
This is the voice of your egoic mind –which is afraid of the Unknown and therefore tries to control it. It does so by trying to use your logical mind to make lists, take actions and create plans. But because it is doing so from a state of panic, the thought are increasingly chaotic, fragmented and fear-based. You are up in the head trying to “figure it out” while downstairs your terrified totler is destroying the house!
You need to step back to detach from both, the Shadow of the Rush Whip and the scared Wounded Child. Then you need to step down into the body, acknowledge your feelings without the reactivity. Now you can step out of the drama and think clearly.
Today I’m sharing shamanic insights and tools to reclaim your time, your calmness and your presence while you become more efficient and truly own your time.
Know that you are not alone in this. The Rush Whip batters you into a state of anxiety and chronic stress. And it is a voice that has been exacerbated by the acceleration and consumer manipulation in our current culture, leading to a modern epidemic of auto-immune diseases.
It may even say “YOU have not time” which is a dead give away that it is a Shadow or Defensive Inner Self. These selves often talk in “you” in “shoulds” in “cant'” and in judgments.
The story that best shows you how to handle this happened some time ago when I was working with someone who was going through a family medical emergency; her sister suffering from a life-threatening condition where my client had to be there and make decisions to save her life.
My client’s job was unforgiving, so she could not take full days out. She had to do BOTH, be with her sister in the hospital AND go to work. And she was moving, which meant her new home was a total chaos.
Into this mess, came another problem. She had already gone through three weeks of carrying most of the responsibility and decision-making when her brother ~who lived in another state~ decided to travel to New York to see their sister. He was afraid to postpone in case something happened.
Because her home was in chaos, her brother chose to stay in their sister’s apartment instead of staying at her new home. This meant that my client had to go to work, then visit their sister at the hospital and then go at night to clean her sister’s apartment, bring some food, etc. because that apartment had not been used in all those weeks.
But when her brother reached her sister’s apartment, he then decided he could not stay there because of his physical challenges, in spite the fact that this had been discussed. The apartment was cluttered, up three flights and not friendly to those with walking challenges.
So now my client did not know what to do. She barely had her own bed ready, every space in the new house was full of boxes, the only other bedroom being painted. Had her brother decided to stay at her apartment when they first talked, she could have taken action with some time. But now she was already here. There was no time to fix any space, and she had urgent work meetings!
As she was sharing the situation, my client started to have problems breathing. Her chest was constricted and she was taking short shallow breaths that increase a sense that she was shocking. She was increasingly stuttering and could not stay with one thought. I could see her energy body jumping ahead constantly, so she could not ground herself in reality. When the mind is fractured, everything seems to come at you at once. As a result my client felt overwhelmed and could not handle the situation.
What happens when things are too much? When there is emergency, grieving and serious problems ~which have a tendency to multiply and come at you all at once?
The symptoms my client was suffering: the stuttering, breathing difficulty, tight chest and fragmented thoughts are symptoms of an escalating anxiety that can lead to an anxiety attack and even a heart attack if they are not brought into harmony immediately.
In the next section, I share some tools and practices for you to address these promptly address these symptoms. In the section afterwards I share some insights and practices to shift from anxiety to grounded centerness during a crisis.
TOOLS: Breath Practices
So you start by breathing. Breath is a simple but powerful practice that brings you back to your present in your body, here and now. That is the place of power. The only place where you can create change.
But this Rush Whip Shadow that comes out as a survival mechanism will keep screaming at you that you don’t have time to do the things that can bring you back to center, calmness and presence. Ironically, these are the very things you need to reclaim your time, effectiveness and resourcefulness. So detach from that frantic rush. Step back from that terrified voice.
You do that first and foremost by breathing slowly, deeply and calmly.
If you can breathe without problem, start with a simple Heart Coherence Breath. You do 5 full cycles. A full cycle is inhalation-small-pause-exhalation-small pause.
If you cannot manage this type of breath, go to the next section for another breathing practice.
Heart Coherence Breath
- Inhale to the count of five, allow a natural pause and the
- Exhale to the counts of five. allowing for a natural pause.
- Repeat five times.
As you breathe, bring into your heart something that you are deeply grateful for. Allow it to fill your heart. Smile to your heart from that gratitude, until your heart smiles back. You may feel that the smile fills your eyes with light or it becomes a small smile in your lips. Good.
Anxiety Buster Breath
What happens if you can’t breathe? If you feel your chest compressing and/or you start breathing in short, shallow, incoherent short breathes while your energy is all over the place?
Then try this:
Inhale, allowing air to go into your nose (or mouth if you are congested) and travel through your whole body.
Now inhale a bit more. As more air comes in, do your best to release weight from your shoulders so that they don’t raise with stiff tension.
Then exhale very slowly. Place your tongue on the top of your palate and allow the air to go through your teeth with a valve effect in the “SSSS” sound. Make it as slow as possible.
- Inhale and allow it to fill as much of your body as possible.
Inhale a bit more. Relax your shoulders. Let go of any psychic weight.
Exhale very slowly allowing the sound to escape your lips in a “SSS” sound.
Repeat about 5 times.
This breath is very powerful and will bring your anxiety down immediately.
INSIGHTS: Presence, Oneness, One Step at a time
Those three insights will guide you out of the anxiety zone and help you reclaim your time, calmness and resourcefullness so that you can be most effective while caring for yourself.
Your egoic mind will try to take control by tricking you to think that you can use logic to make everything happen according to plan. You cannot.
You are facing the Unknown. The logical mind cannot handle the Unknown. You need your creative-intuitive mind that can go with the flow.
But because you are scared, your mind is scattered and will not let go out of fear. You need to do the following:
Stay focused on your breath and shift FROM the mind that throws energy arrows in all directions, trying to do everything and control everything TO your body’s wisdom, which will bring you to here and now. That is the only place where you can make a difference. You shift through breath.
Become aware every time you stop breathing and/or throw your attention into the future or into worry about all the things you need to do.
See and feel yourself pulling an energy cord reeling your energy and attention back into your body, here and now. Keep breathing.
Shift to your creative-intuitive mind, your body and heart wisdom.
Listen to your guidance. To your common sense. Ask for help. Receive help. Talk to a friend that is good at common sense and improvising. Define what are the three steps needed to solve the immediate priority problem or issue.
Shift from seeing yourself alone in the world, struggling to make this happen to seeing this moment as a co-creation where the universe will work with you and will bring you allies and resources if you receive them.
In my client’s case, as she did this shift her partner and her best friend helped her to determine the best plan for immediate solution: it was to get a room ready for her brother in her house, in spite the chaos.
Because her brother could not use an air bed and had allergies, he could not stay in the room that was being painted and had no bed right now.’
So the best option was to give him her room, which was ready with a bed and then to open an air bed for herself and her partner in the room that was being painted. As they went out to work, the painters could keep doing their work during the day.
So that was the immediate plan. She kept breathing and returning to presence in order to stay with that and not try to worry about anything else.
Her brother agreed with the plan and this helped my client reclaim more calmness. Her partner decided to take her brother for launch and then to the hospital. Now she had that off her shoulders.
Her best friend came home to help her. Between the two of them, they readied her room and opened an air bed in the room being painted ~ in a couple of hours. My friend could now attend the important meeting late in the afternoon.
Suddenly she was breathing easier and what seemed insurmountable was now being taken care of in co-creation with others. She no longer felt alone. She felt supported. That also calmed her.
3-One Step at a time.
So now, one step at a time, the crisis was no longer a big issue.
Her mind tried to start worrying about what her brother would eat as he had many allergies. But I help her to pull the energy cord and bring that attention back to the present, to her body, here and now.
Once she met her brother in the hospital they could decide the next step. And after that the next step… one step at a time, trusting the process. Trusting each other. Going with the flow.
The Creative-intuitive mind is fluid. It fishes in the pool of the Unknown for innovation. It can improvise.
In order to shift from the scared, egoic mind that wants to use logic to control to the creative mind, you need to bring your energy and attention into your body, here and now. Your body, your heart, your creative mind will then bring you into Oneness, into co-creation, into adaptability and fluidity.
And suddenly there is NO PROBLEM. There is life happening and you responding creatively to it. You are not alone. You are supported.
This is the journey.
I’d love to hear your take on this in the comments below.
Feel free to cut and paste and keep this in your Emergency Kit!