Oct 12 2009
Are you a worrier? The good news is, if you are someone who tends to worry, you possess two very special powers – the power of VIVID IMAGINATION, and the power of PERSISTENT FOCUS. People who worry are actually able to visualize and feel the thing they fear as if it were real; in addition, they have the ability to tenaciously focus on it. Those are super powers! The trick is to harness those powers and use them for expansion and growth (instead of contraction and stuckness). That’s when the worrier metamorphs into the warrior.
Worry can be insidious. I am someone who believes that our thoughts and beliefs create our reality. That belief sometimes leads me to worry that my worry will create what I’m worrying about – I am worrying about worrying! If what I focus on grows, did my worry grow cancer? I urgently think, “Must stop worrying. Must think positive.” But that is just another form of worrying.
Since worry seems to be a given for me, I have a choice to either use it to suffer or to grow. I don’t like suffering, therefore, worry has been a compelling force in my personal growth. It is a burr under my saddle, a spur in my side, I am learning to harness it and take it for a ride, like a bucking bronco, riding out of the tight pen into an expansive field.
I’d like to share with you some ways you can use the power of Vivid Imagination and Persistent Focus to transform your worrier self into your warrior self:
1. Imagine the worrier within as a child who feels small and powerless. Put that child in your heart, comfort and love the child, feel compassion for it, speak to it affectionately. In the act of doing this, you become your loving, compassionate Big Soul Self, which is who you truly wholly deeply are, and your little worrier self is put into perspective.
2. Worry is a great catalyst for prayer. Studies of prayer show that what makes it most effective is imagining and feeling the energy of what it is we desire, feeling as if it is already so. Native American rainmakers tell us that they don’t pray for rain–they pray rain; they feel it and imagine it as if it were here and now. When my husband Tom first came to California he walked along the ocean shore longing to see dolphins, but none were showing up. His yearning held an energy of lacking, “I can’t have it.” He recognized this, and shifted into feeling joy about the dolphins that he knew were there in the ocean, sending them loving warm feelings of appreciation. Before you could say “leaping dolphins” they appeared!
3. Imagine that there are no mistakes, no accidents, and this moment is perfect just as it is. Imagine that everything that shows up in your life is fertilizer for the garden. After all, what is shit? It is ‘shift’ without the ‘f’ , as in Focus on learning and growth. Add the ‘f’ to shit and you have created shift and rich fertilizer for growth. An acronym for SHIFT is Simply Hold an Intention For Transformation.
4. Imagine that Right Now is all there is. Worry is usually about a regretted past or an imagined future. It is a compelling reminder to come into the present moment and be here one breath at a time, one step at time. My brother lives on his sailboat off the coast of Saint Croix, and a year ago this month Hurricane Omar hit the Island head-on and sunk his boat. He was devastated, he lost everything. A friend let him stay on his boat for awhile. My brother said to himself, ‘All I got to do is get up; all I got to do is get myself to shore in the dingy; all I got to do is….’ Baby steps, one after another.” A year later he is a happy man, with more friends than he ever knew he had who reached out to him and helped him get back on his feet. He is now living on a new sailboat that he loves!
5. People who worry tend to be sensitive. Sensitivity helps us feel things more deeply. Just imagine that though our sensitive thin skin leaves us less protected from pain, it allows us to be more connected to our spirit. What a blessing that is! I wrote this poem a number of years ago:
You were born into a skin of vibrant sensitivity
so that you might better feel the magical nuances
that play through life.
Your challenge, brave one, is to use
the pain that penetrates that silken thin skin,
harness it like a bronco,
ride it where it might go,
trusting the grace of your being
and the direction of your flow.
Hang onto that bronco
with all the courage and spirit that is yours
and you will eventually see your landscape
change into one of such magnificence
that you will be glad for the ride
and remember why you came.
The sun is always shining above the clouds.
You will find your way back to the light
where treasures await you,
where you will remember that you ARE the treasure,
you ARE the light.
So wrap your arms tight
around that bucking bronco.
Life is worth the ride.
Is there something in your life that you’re worried about? What are some creative ways that you can use the power of imagination and focus to transform your worrier into a warrior? Ride on!
If you’d like to see a video of me giving the speech, “From Worrier to Warrior”, Click HERE .