What can we do when we feel anxious?
The Three "A"s plus...Awareness, Acknowledgement, Acceptance plus Action
We will go through each one...
Awareness. Tune into yourself. What are you anxious about? Can you define it? Where do you feel it in your body? Just have an awareness of it without judging it.
Now let this awareness flow and open your eyes to an awareness of Hashem. How? Take a step back and ask Him to help you tune into His presence from the smallest things to the biggest things in life. Just having awareness of Hashem's presence, that's He's taking care of you is calming.
I went to the supermarket and there were five scales to self-weigh your fruits and vegetables. I grabbed my onions to weigh at the exact same time that I approached a certain scale that, without my knowing it, the person before me had weighed onions as well. Meaning I didn't have to do a search on the computer for "onions".
"What are the chances of that? What a chesed!" I thought to myself.
I felt totally aware of Hashem's kindness in yes, an everyday matter. And this awareness brought me to simple joy. It's a feeling of "I'm being taken care of."
Bring more Awareness into your life. Awareness of yourself-your feelings, emotions, your body. Awareness of your surroundings. Awareness of Hashem.
Creating awareness opens up the space to allow us to acknowledge and appreciate. When we recognize all the good bestowed upon us this leads to gratitude.
It's who we are. יהודים. (Yehudim-Jews). From the word להודות (l'hodot)-gratitude, to thank. We are a people of gratitude and this gratitude is what connects us to Hashem, but first we need to acknowledge what we are grateful for so that we can appreciate it!
Last night at the birth that I attended the statistics were not in the woman's favor for a natural birth. Her first had been a emergency cesarean. Now this baby, the day before, was already estimated at over 9.5 lbs, his head was titled to the side instead of down.
We tuned into an awareness that anything can happen because Hashem is the one running the show. And there was still a chance, no matter how small that she could have a natural delivery.
First we saw Hashem's Hand that while she was waiting for doctor's decisions the head turned down. Then a few hours later contractions started on their own. Each step of the way this woman smiled and said, "I am in 7th heaven! I'm feeling a natural contraction, I'm in the birthing room." She said this while in pain and hooked up to many tubes and monitors. She kept seeing all the good and acknowledged each step of the process for what it was, a miracle. She kept thanking Hashem and those of us who were with her.
And then everything was once again looking dire. The baby's heartbeat kept going down, meconium in her waters. her birth which was progrossing stopped. The doctor's told her that there was no choice and were about to wheel her into the operating room. She kept her composure when I think another would break down.
She acknowledged the doctor's efforts and asked for a few more minutes.
They were empathetic but insistent. There was a bit of back and forth and then a miracle happened and the baby was ready to come out. A 9lb plus baby delivered within a few miraculous minutes. Everyone cried.
Yes, a miracle. Big things and little things that occur with each breath.
Acknowledge one area of your life, one thing where you feel gratitude, where you feel grateful. Acknowledge the people in your life. Create closeness by showing gratitude.
Instead of pointing out what’s not working, what went wrong or what is lacking, redirect the negativity by noticing what worked, what did go right and what there is.
When I become aware of the constant kindness and miracles in my life both with regards to Hashem and to those around me, the energy involved from feeling anxious changes directions into a positive energy of gratitude and appreciation. It gives me hope. I have what to hold onto. It creates connection.
Acknowledge one area of your life, one thing where you feel gratitude, where you feel grateful. It steers the energy involved from feeling anxious to a positive energy of gratitude.
Acceptance. Such a hard one! To accept that I have no control. To make Hashem's will our will. This one is too hard. It is. So we take a step back and ask Hashem to help us.
Hashem, help me that I should be able to make YOUR will my will.
Help me to just let go.
To go with what there is, who that person is, what the situation is. To accept and move on.
With acceptance comes relief. It's a total letting go of control. It's accepting that there are things beyond my responsibilities or capabilities of doing anything about and those things I just need to let go and leave alone.
Anything else that is within my responsibility and domain to do something about I have to put in the effort. I take ACTION reminding myself that action is effort. Our effort in itself equates success. The outcomes, in Hashem's hands.