It was a sleepless night. The clock read 5:40 am by the time I finally dozed off. I woke up a few hours later and took a long look in the mirror. I looked haggard to say the least. As I looked at myself, the message I got back was, "It's 2009." Silence.... Again, "It's 2009 and you have soooooooo much to do!!" I continued to look in the mirror and my glance was met with a blank stare. I began to feel the onslaught of paralysis caused by this overwhelming statement. You know, the kind of engulfing experience where you put your hands over your ears and say things like, "It's too much! It's too much! It's too much! How can I handle all of this!? How am I going to succeed?" AND, "Can I really use this as fodder for my next coaching blog, what if they think I'm a mess? I'm a Life Coach, I can't let people know I'm not perfect!"
Well, now you know I'm not perfect. I am a divine being in human form doing Life Coaching and I still get plagued by fear and challenges. My training has helped deepen self awareness and connection with spirit. This supports me in managing my stuff as it comes up and helping others. So, what was my response to all of this? "Oh no you don't! You will not have control here!" I stopped. I broke it down. I identified the source, I let go of self-judgment, and I now understand this experience more deeply. I am going to share my insight.
Being on the precipice of a new year and new resolutions can produce anxiety for some people. I have discovered in myself and my work with others that this is rooted in impatience that comes from the dire urge for a new idea to immediately become reality. However, between the seeding of a new vision, and it being born into the world, there is a gestation period. Gestation includes mapping visions and dreams into executable action plans. The action plan consists of your larger vision broken into smaller, more achievable, actually less overwhelming chunks. For instance, in a new workout routine you don't start bench pressing 300 pounds. Rather, perhaps you create a workout plan where you start with an achievable weight of 90 pounds and slowly push yourself beyond your previous limit until you have reached your goal. The issue for some is that this does not happen overnight.
Here are some specific steps I have outlined in the process of kicking overwhelm out of my life in 2009.
Often times we become impatient. We want to go from planting the seed of a new dream to having the dream a reality. As a result, I know, personally, if I am not careful I will rush into action without taking the time to engage the steps outlined below. If this is true for you too, stop!
As I continued looking in the mirror I began intentionally focusing on my breath, which allowed me to start to relax and focus on the present moment. Focused breathing reminded me that I am in partnership with a Grand Organizing Designer (GOD) that has never let me down before. I was feeling inspired. The root of the word inspiration is inspire. Inspire also means to take air into the lungs. Therefore, consider that when you are breathing you are inspiring yourself, which will support you in any new endeavor. Also, when your attention is on the present moment you can't be overwhelmed. Parts of the definition of overwhelm states, "to overcome in mind." The reason you can be "overcome in mind," is because you allow yourself to get entrenched in thoughts about everything other than the
I experience impatience with gestation as a lack of trust. I have found in my personal work and work with others that this is an extension of a lack of self-trust. Many of the endeavors I am currently engaged in for the New Year are things that I have never done before. With this in mind I am gentle with myself in the knowledge that there is a normal fear of the unknown present. However, I also engage in self-support by releasing self-judgment. For instance, I have had a judgment present about whether or not I am capable of success, particularly with something I have never done before. I release the judgment and know that I have achieved at least a modicum of success in everything I have set out to do. As a result, I am able to make the choice to trust myself and keep moving forward.
4. State your intention and clarify your goal.
After relaxing a bit I took a mental inventory of my intentions and goals. Before starting any project it is best to state your intention and clarify your goal. Every action taken after stating the intention and clarifying your goal is taken with a vision of your overall purpose. I reminded myself that past, clearly stated intentions have helped bring success with more velocity.
5. Map it
After stating your intention and clarifying your goal, map all of your milestones and actions. Include your resources and team in your map. Mapping will also bring velocity and vision to every action you take. You will experience much more ease in your work with a project map. In my case my maps have been created. Sometimes you have to remember to include in your calendar a weekly review of all of your plans and track to your goals. This was the lesson for me. My attention has been pulled by the holidays and so had not made time recently to review my maps.
When you have stated your intention, clarified your goal, and mapped it, spend a few minutes visualizing. Visualizing your goals as if you have already reached them helps move you into co-creation. Co-creation is the symbiotic relationship that results when you move into partnership with spirit. It will also raise your vibration to the level needed to attract your success.
The experience of being overwhelmed mostly comes from a fear of the unknown, lack of self-trust, and not being fully present. Today I reminded myself of what Mark Twain eloquently said. He said that courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to experience fear, resist it, and keep moving forward. When you clarify goals and map your project you can move forward with a vision of where you are headed. I feel strongly that deliberate action also helps to cure fear. My wish for you is that you gently engage these steps to manage any overwhelm that comes your way, choose courage, and take action to turn your dreams into reality in 2009.
Follow Jason Mannino on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jasonmannino