“Where are you Christmas?”
Overcome your fear of lack in life in 4 steps.
Lately, each day I’ve found myself either waking up in an anxious rush, or huddled up in a small, sad cocoon. With all the knowledge I have learned in the high performance realm, I instantly try to put my tools to work: Just think of happiness. Generate happy moments. Believe in yourself. Just start moving…
But something stops me from doing so. And I know, from years of therapy, that that something is myself– and that that block is somewhere within me, halting my body, mind, and soul from doing what it really wants to do:
I forget that I’m the boss, the captain of this ship.
Or, maybe I don’t forget.
Maybe I KNOW I am the boss, and that power scares me, because I WILL fail somehow, something WILL get in my way…
and so it’s easier to get in my own way, right?
Fail small so bigger fails won’t happen? Better to be broke and lose a bit of money than rich and lose all of your money.
I don’t know how they pop into my head, but Christmas songs just start jingling in my head (and we’re talking all year-round here). Sometimes, though it seems like divine intervention when it happens. I find that whenever I happen to be thinking to myself “I feel stuck…” “I feel trapped somehow”, my brain turns to a radio channel and I hear a heart-filled rendition of “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, or God, help us, “Jingle bells”.
But it works! I get distracted from the sadness I’m feeling, because… wait, why is this in my head??
And secondly, it puts me into the space and time of Christmas; surrounded by family, gift giving and receiving. I feel warmed by the hologram of a fire-place and the sound of the crackling wood. It can’t help but settle my disheartened spirit, even by a minuscule. It makes me smile– and laugh– and I start singing with him. I feel connected again; to someone and to myself. I created a new feeling within myself.
Before the happy song popped into my head, my pitiful soul had been singing the Grinch’s song “Where are you Christmas?”, (which is my usual woe-is-me default song stuck-in-my-head, indicating longing and sadness). And I easily beat myself up when I get into those funks, too. It does start with me, after all. It’s all mismanagement of my mind. And sure, external forces may be at work as well, but ultimately, I derive strength and perseverance from within, which overcomes these funks. Feeling “without” (or lack) does not create a strong connection with life.
So, what is the antidote to depression, loneliness, or feeling stuck in life?
Get connected. By doing something that creates a feeling of connection in life, huzzah! You’ll feel connected.
How? For starters…
Lay off the phone, get off the TV, and be thankful for your life
Comparing my life to that of others consciously (and subconsciously) makes me feel like I’m lacking something in my life. “Look at that cute puppy! I don’t have a cute puppy… I can’t feel happy without one…”, “Look at that fat, ugly, crying, cute baby… I don’t have one…”
Getting sidetracked by what I don’t have (whether I saw it online, or on tv) makes me almost blind to the things I do have: An amazing fiancé? Check! 2 adorable, well-behaved cats? Check, check! An awesome job that feels like home? Check-ity-do-da
Why all the hate, man? Why not congratulate myself on what I DO have and how I was able to make that happen in my life.
Also, feeling unsatisfied in life is actually a good thing to feel for just a moment. It gives you some insight into what you truly admire in life, and hope to one day achieve. So, when I feel this overwhelming and draining sensation of lack- I can thank it. I’ve found that feeling abundant generates more abundance in my life. What better way to feel abundant than bask in all the awesome stuff I already have around me? I feel ready to take the next step and see how I can bring in more abundance!
Get in your body
We’ve all heard the advice before: get moving! Stuck in your head? Worried about the future, or feeling embarrassed about the past? Stand up, and jump up and down! Do a few summersaults (if you’re able) and try busting a move to get all that energy (which is pent up in your head) out on the table- er, dance floor! Not only will your endorphins give you a boost in brain-power, it will also create a spacious bubble of understanding around you that helps you allow others to feel their own feels. In essence, it reduces your judgmental thoughts, widens your empathy bubble and paves the way for more connection among you and everyone else. So, pick a thang (yes, thang) that you enjoy doing. Running up and down steps? Yoga? Throwing a ball? Pick something and do that a few times each week, or once a day– But do it often, and try to make it a habit for your own sanity and well being. The more often you commit to moving, the more often you commit to yourself and your health.
Say Hi to Strangers
I speak from experience that getting out there can be scary. At one point in my life, I was so afraid of making eye contact and saying hi (or any other words) to people, I literally didn’t leave my apartment for 6 months. I couldn’t even walk and get my mail because I was so scared of socializing (see: agoraphobia). I came across a self-help game online (they exist!) that gave me small social goals to achieve and rack up points as I did so which helped me build my confidence. One that was the most transformational to achieve was a challenge to walk down the street, smile and say hi to 6 strangers. Knowing I was doing this for the game, I was able to accomplish it with less fear! And any time someone refused to say hi back because they were mean or didn’t seem to hear me? Instead of thinking I sucked and beating myself up over it, I took it to mean that maybe they felt like me and were too scared to say hi as well. I felt less alone, and hey- look! A community! I understood the scared people in my life.
Join a Community
Now, with all that experience you’ll get saying hi to strangers, you may now feel accomplished enough to seek out a community of people who are just like you.
Play an instrument? Find or start a band!
Like pottery? Take a class!
Is reading your thing? Join or make your own book club.
And I don’t want to hear any No’s from the crowd. If your intuition is pushing you to join a community- find a way to honor that drive. It will be one of the best things you can do for your self-esteem. Believe in yourself. You got this! And, if you’re still finding it difficult to say hi to strangers, don’t sweat it. Start by finding a tribe online, perhaps one that also has opportunities to meet in person, or via Skype, zoom, or any of those online communal spaces. Just join and give it a shot.
So if you find yourself longing for connection, or more abundance in your life, try a few of these little habits to help open the door of opportunity. What’s the worse that can happen… Happiness? Connection? Abundance? All you could ever want in life?
Let me know how it goes in the comments, and how you went about getting it in your life. I love celebrating your successes and happiness! It’s contagious!