A Charmed Life


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this kiwi girl muses about… decision making

I suffer from anxiety.
Its newish.
The residual from some shit that went down a few years ago.
I have gotten used to it.
Maybe too much.

For the most part its manageable. Except when it’s not. I find there is a very fine line between me controlling it and it controlling me. Like when it comes to making decisions. I used to be someone who would just DO, jump right in and think later. It might not sound like the smartest way to be but for the most part it was. Now life has become this myriad of thought processes. I fret about the what ifs. I wrestle with the whys. I ponder the hows. And I hate it. Its crippling and it gets in the way of the DO-ing.

In the last few months my life has been in a state of flux and I have found myself overwhelmed by the decisions that have to be made. I hear you saying ‘but sometimes decisions can be overwhelming for everyone…’ and I feel ya but I’ll raise ya, for my kind of overwhelming manifests into acute chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea and these are symptoms I am okay admitting to, there are others… I can’t be doing with it anymore. I want to get back to being a DOer with this mind here’s what is working for me right now:

Just Dance. When I was a teen my number one stress buster was to dance. I don’t mean ballet or any other professional dance although I did do that, I mean I would close my room door, crank up some tunes and dance my little butt off. As an adult, dancing has been limited to clubs or gigs but I have reintroduced dancing into my life and it just feels so damn good sometimes it’s hard to stop. So once dancing has got me all calm and happy…
I’m starting with the man girl in the mirror. Taking a long hard look at myself, with my objective hat on, I visualise the situation, my role and desired outcome. I hold this vision until I can feel it and then…
It’s the things we didn’t do that we regret later in life. I ask myself will this matter in one week, one month, one year? Will this take me closer or further away from the future I envision. This litmus test always gives me the dose of perspective I need to make the best call but ultimately…
Go with your gut. Before anxiety became my bag, I was very well acquainted with my gut. It’s why I was able to do all the DO-ing. And it is when I stopped listening to it I got myself into all kinds of trouble which resulted in my anxiety. Oh what a tangle web we weave!
Being in an anxious state makes it difficult to see the decision with clarity, so you procrastinate, deflect or ignore making a decision. The gut is the collection of all your subconscious experiences, and it always has your back so if I wanted to get back to being a DOer I had to get reacquainted with my gut. We are still getting to know each other again at this point but when I question why I have been questioning a situation at all… my gut ultimately makes the final decision for me.

Moral of my story – become besties with your gut, listen to it, trust it and follow it.

Sat Nam

Also… Prince. Marvel. Legend. Visionary. Funkmiester. Gone too soon. Another light switched off, I say another with such a heavy heart, this year has been an awful year of loss and its only May. Please stop… my heart can’t take much more. Seeing him perform at Madison Square Garden is one of my favourite gigs – the acoustics, the musicality, the vibe – he had it all going on which is why it royally pisses me off that it looks like he died a drugs related death. This was a man who was vegan, athletic, devout in his faith, principled – that a man who fought so vehemently for creative control over his work should succumb to something so friggin basic! No its not how it should have been, he wasn’t of the same pathetic ilk as Michael or Whitney. It’s all wrong. And yet it’s all true, he is gone, the man named Prince Rogers Nelson. Gone. Be still my heart. Long May He Reign. Nothing Compares.


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here I am… Girl, Interrupted

detourJohn Lennon sang ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans¹.’
I think it is a pretty safe bet to say that so far, this year has not exactly gone the way I planned. One minute there I was, travelling along everything being fine and dandy and then the next minute it wasn’t and all it took was a trigger and off I was – on a totally different path. As result I missed out on a much desired job opportunity, deadline after deadline on my book’s journey to publication, a horseback adventure in Montana and most poignantly a dear friend’s very special birthday celebration.

You can run but you can’t hide. How honest are we really? We go about our lives projecting ourselves as people we want to be perceived as, this generally means trying to disguise our flaws. I know I have. My act has always been ‘I’m fine’ and anything less than fine in my mind was a sign of weakness or failure. I have never been good at dealing with the icky stuff. When something bad happens to me, I tend to put on a brave face and carry on. And this act served me just fine for a very long time. Even I was duped into believing it. Only it didn’t really. What I didn’t understand was that not dealing with ‘life’ as it happened was creating chaos in my head. So when my latest detour started it all came crashing down into one hot crazy mess and when putting on a brave face and carrying on didn’t work, I was left with no choice but to clean up the mess.

We all know life doesn’t play by any rules and that ultimately we have little to no control over outcomes. What we can be confident of is that there will be plenty of detours in life and detours, by their very nature are unexpected and not always easy to navigate through. While my detour may have started horrendously² I’ve come to see this detour as good and necessary – here’s why:

Embrace the detour I’m the chick that sticks to routines and gains genuine pleasure from ticking things off my to-do list. Any shift to my routine tends to make me come undone but this time after initial kicking and screaming I embraced my detour with an open and positive mind. By doing this I learnt that routine can be just as negative as it is positive, for by sticking to routines, we close ourselves off from exciting opportunities and even better ways of doing things.
Try saying ‘I don’t know’ more often When I was busy living the ‘I’m fine’ way of life, it became nay impossible to ask for help. Why would I ever be in a position to need help if I am always fine? By opening up and getting the help I needed I feel honest for the first time in my life and being able to say ‘I don’t know’ has been life changing simply because quite frankly how much do we really know?
You had the power all along my dear Although I have had loads of help through my detour (by way of comprehensive therapy) it was ultimately me who did the work and it is the very same me that has come out the other end pretty much intact and this is an incredibly empowering feeling. After all how you choose to respond to life is all that matters don’t you think?
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes I did not choose to be on my detour and it has been about as far from being on holiday that you could possibly get, in fact at one time ‘hell’ would have been an accurate description of where I felt I was. I have run a whole gamut of feelings these last few months: I’ve gone from feeling scared, anxious hopeless, angry, helpless to being emotionally drained and completely broken to feeling (believe me I know how cheesy this sounds but I can’t stop using the word) renewed.
Eye on the prize I might not be where I wanted to be but I’ve never been more clearer about who I am and more focused about the future.

I end this with some words that came to me via a good friend, words which provided me much comfort during my detour ‘For I know the plans I have for you declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11.

Here I am… Girl, Interrupted. Proof positive the universe always has your back.

Sat Nam

¹ Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon
² More on my actual detour another day…   maybe