3 Strategies For Managing Overwhelm

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3 Strategies For Managing Overwhelm

3 Strategies For Managing Overwhelm
Financial, Holiday Or Otherwise

Photo by Bob Stovern

I wrote this piece and posted it to Facebook in October 2017 to help combat the overwhelm we were all feeling, given consecutive hurricanes, fires, politics and the shootings we were living through as a nation. Since then, one national and global event after another has continued to roll through our lives. After reviewing the article, I believe it serves greater and deeper purpose, whether we’re facing a large event or dealing with our finances or preparing for the holidays. Read on for three strategies to help you keep things in perspective.

In the several days leading up to the shooting in Las Vegas, I kept scrounging for all the peace t-shirts in my closet — not knowing why and wondering why. I kept thinking, “I have more peace t-shirts here somewhere.” And then I wore them, one day after another right into the day of the shooting wondering why am I wearing “Imagine the world living in peace?” And then I knew.

When Bob, my husband, and I heard the news, one of the first things I did was step outside and tune in with my inner voice. What did I hear? I heard, “Disconnect from the news today and hold the space of peace today.”

So, I did. I left the news alone. I stayed out of social media. I stepped back into my office where I prepared for my litany of phone appointments, lit candles, and came into some calm with meditation and breathing. As I held that space, I felt the room and then our home and then our property shift with energy and light up with an incandescent white and gold light that I love so much. I felt like we were a floating, lighted pod of peace in the storm that happened that day and beyond. Through the day I heard again and again, “Be the change you want to see in the world. Do not buy into the agitation of the news. Hold that peace energy.” We held space that day in that way.

Why do I share this story with you? Why is it so important given the events of that day and the ones that have followed and will continue to follow? Because although we’re living in a time that can easily whipstitch us from one side of our ships to the other at a moment’s notice, we still have a choice.

Let me repeat that so you don’t skim over it. No matter how drama-filled, pain-filled, chaotic-filled the news is or your life is, YOU STILL HAVE A CHOICE in how you want to respond.

The morning of the Las Vegas shooting I exercised my choice by stepping away, getting quiet, listening to my inner world so that I could hear better choices. It helped. It worked that day.

So, TIP #1 – Strategies For Managing Overwhelm Is:
Give yourself the momentary room and quiet to check in with your personal choices about what is right for you in any given event, personal or global.

Next, as the news of the Las Vegas shooter unfolded over the days, it was easy to get sucked into what we were told. What we weren’t told. What was real. What was fake. What was adding up. What was not adding up. And then have an opinion about it. It was very dark and ugly energy.

Again, every time I felt myself getting sucked into the details of this horrid shooting, I felt my inner presence ask me, “Are you sure you want to do that? You care, but do you want to get sucked in?” So, I returned to that calm, grounded and lighted energy space again and again of peace, calm and stability.

Every time I practiced this there was a feeling of “Hold the energies of higher vibration so those around you can feel it and hold that space too.” There was a distinction of holding light in the dark.

Although I’ve known all this for awhile, it’s easy to forget. The increased actions on the planet of severe weather, drama and politics is so easily distracting, confusing and sometimes trauma-filled. Having daily reminders that it is totally possible and within our reach to grasp and practice energies of calm, of light, of love —  and that this creates good space is refreshingly helpful.

So, Tip #2 – Strategies For Managing Overwhelm Is:
Know that darkness and ugliness is not the only truth and we are in the process of shedding old, lower vibrational energies. Give yourself that daily reminder, whatever it is, that no matter how ugly things get, “It’s all good. We can do this. We can chose transformational and better energies in the middle of dark and ugly chaos.”

The last part of the story I have to share with you is about protecting your emotional bandwidth. Yes, I get that many of you who follow my posts are highly sensitive people with deep compassion. Yes, I get that somedays you care so much that you ache when people’s homes burn and people die in senseless shootings and precious animals are carried away by hurricane waters while homes flood and so much more.

Yes, the bandwidth of your ability to help, to respond, to be present is getting worn a bit thin. We’re in fatigue. It’s hard to know what to respond to and what to do. We are experiencing loss and the cycles of grieving, to greater and lesser degrees, that go with it.

Now, what I’m about to say is going to sound so strange leading up to Tip #3. What I’m going to say is counter-intuitive to what we believe we need to do. Part of Tip #3 is this: YOU COME FIRST.

Yes, I know I know, we’ve all been taught (or most of us have been taught) to be altruistic. It’s hard wired within us. We can’t help it. But believe it or not, for Tip #3, you need to begin from the place of realizing that no matter what happens on the planet, by you coming first for yourself, it allows you to take care of yourself. And in taking care of yourself, it means that you are providing your own self replenishment. If you are replenished, then you can still continue to be here to help others while we move through this landscape of an evolutionary marathon. So, your self care is paramount to pacing yourself during this incredible time.

So, Tip #3 – Strategies For Managing Overwhelm Is:
Let yourself come first in self care. Give yourself that self care. Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. By doing these two things, it means that when you are called to help in very specific ways with your own intuitive guidance — you’ll be ready.

That means, when you check in with Tip #1 and you hear your inner guidance, you’ll have the bandwidth to respond to whatever it is that you are specifically guided or called to do. Whether that is being present with calm all day involving an event. Or donating money. Or showing up as a volunteer. Or reaching out in communication.

This is how Cajun Navies manifest overnight. How homeowners become safe havens for immigrants. How simple communications on GoFundMe become a lifesaver for someone in need. How truck drivers fly to Puerto Rico to help move supplies to hurricane survivors. How furniture stores become safe havens in the storm. How random acts of kindness keep the fabric of our communities stitched together.

And hopefully, these practices mean that we won’t burn out and grow numb, but instead, have a process to stay intelligently present and transform with the times.