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How I Chose Freedom From Overwhelm

This article was originally published on Ms In The Biz on June 19th 2018.

We’re all excited to get the presses rolling again here at Ms. In The Biz HQ – and by HQ I mean this awesome virtual community! When the opportunity presented itself to get back to this regular writing gig, I jumped at the chance. I love writing. I love this community. I love all things wellness and self-care (my area of expertise). Of course I wanted to be involved.

Cue my reliable little brain… “Hey, maybe you’ve already got too much on your plate”. “Maybe you’re over-committing yourself?” “Maybe you’ll let people down and not be able to meet your commitments – to yourself or to anyone else”

These are all valid concerns. I, like many of us, feel a need to always be doing more, achieving more, being more productive. What we often end up with instead of a magically streamlined uber-productive life… is overwhelm. Overwhelm is something I have struggled with. It’s something I see my clients struggle with. Sometimes overwhelm can just seem like a way of life, particularly in Los Angeles, and particularly for those of us with creative monkey-minds! While we all have differing degrees of sensitivity to it, not dealing with overwhelm in a healthy way will take a toll on physical, mental and emotional health.

It was important to me that I look at my situation honestly. Was I really over-committing myself? Was I chasing something because I thought it was what I should be doing? In this particular situation? No. Those inner voices were just fear talking.

When I’m personally faced with overwhelm I like to reminded myself of two things:

  1. There will always be more opportunities.

  2. I can always make a different choice.

There will always be more opportunities.

When presented with opportunity that appears positive, we often say yes out of fear. A fear born of scarcity. Scarcity is the concept of “not enough”; the idea that there is not enough to go around, that resources are limited (time, money, opportunities, etc), that reality is finite, and my personal favorite, I am not enough. And when we live from a place of scarcity, the world around reflects scarcity straight back at us. Our world gets narrower. When we say yes to something out of scarcity, we bring the energy of “not enough” into that situation. One way or another, it will manifest. Whether you feel you’re not good enough, or you sabotage yourself in some way, or you take on more than you can chew – the scarcity will perpetuate.

So, trust. And know that there will always be more opportunities.

I can always make a different choice.

There is a common phenomenon that occurs where we think that making a decision means it is final. We think there’s no backing out, there’s no changing our mind and this is how things will be forever. When we ruminate over taking a job – or quitting a job – we put so much weight on it. Like this decision is the be-all and end-all. Like once the decision is made, our free will gets taken from us. But, in most cases this just isn’t true. Sure, there are some situations where changing your mind may have other implications, but in all cases, you can still make a choice. A choice of how to present yourself, a choice of how to respond, a choice of what stories you make up about the situation. You’re a free agent, at liberty to choose your path.

Isn’t that so much better than feeling trapped?

Of course, we live in a society where not every day is going feel like freedom. Some days you’ll have to go to the DMV, or it’ll be 11pm on April 15th and you haven’t submitted your taxes. But even when presented with these seemingly mundane tasks, we still have the ability to choose something different. No, I don’t mean you should start driving with an expired license or go delinquent on your taxes. But you could choose something different… In that moment, there in the flattering fluorescent-lit DMV, you could probably find something to feel grateful for.

One thing I’ve learned (and continue to learn) is, when I’m doing the things that are truly aligned with my purpose and my passion then overwhelm gets further and further out of my purview, it starts to not even register. I’m energized by passion and for the love of what I’m doing.

In the end, my decision to take up residence again at Ms. In The Biz HQ was made by following my heart. Choosing out of alignment with my soul’s happiness. What truly makes me happy? Connecting with people. Sparking curiosity and conversation and connection and community. And illustrating my skills of alliteration. (Oh, the hilarity). And, in this beautiful community, I have found those things and so much more.


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