the healing of silence and solitude

My greatest practice for getting to know my anxious self has been something I've learned through Buddhism, poetry, cognitive behavioral therapy, and philosophy alike: the practice of staying.  Pema Chodron calls it "staying with the raw feelings."  CBT calls it "identifying the cognitive distortions."  David Whyte calls it "the sweet confinement of your aloneness."

What these ideas have collectedly translated to for me is this: honor what you're feeling.  Stop making excuses or trying to explain away your struggles in order to pretend they don't exist.

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when it's necessary to say no

Understandably, 'no' and anxiety go well together, and we often see every no as another win for our fear.  The opposite of anxiety, we think, is yes.  So we must be living on yeses to be truly overcoming anxiety.

Can you just imagine the exhaustion?

We don't always learn so easily that no actually does have its place in our healing practice.  As much as too many no moments can lead to despair, too many yes moments can lead to burn-out.  The importance lies in our ability to use both words with intention throughout our lives.

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an invitation to peace

There is an extraordinary journey being offered to you, an invitation down a quieter, less-traveled, yet all the more scenic path.  It's the journey into your own authenticity, but to get there requires the courage to cross through more treacherous terrain: the crags of fear and the bogs of doubt.  At points along the way you'll reach clearings that will stop your breath with their beauty, their aliveness.  You may not believe it to be a real place, but after time you'll realize that it's true and it's there, a place inside yourself where a distant voice whispers to you that you are enough.

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Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

n our frantic, overwhelming, too busy world, what does a heart-centered life look like?  For each of us it’s different, of course, because it’s dependent upon what’s in our hearts, whomever and whatever truly reside there.  But it’s very likely – perhaps a guaranteed certainty – that the things we give importance to in our lives are not the same things living in the softest part of our heart.  This is the journey inward that Shauna Niequist chronicles in her book, Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.  A collection of thought-provoking essays, Present Over Perfect explores the discoveries we make when we slow down, simplify, and choose to live with more grace and intention.

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Patience, patience indeed

Play around with inhabiting this poem, imagining a serene, confident, and deeply loving you saying the words to the part of yourself who lives in fear of not being enough.  Notice what it feels like to be your own hero or heroine.  It doesn't matter what that person looks like, what material goods or social status they have achieved, or - goodness knows - how well their social media feed is curated.

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