My head starts to spin.
“How could I allow this group to be late on the first day?? What if they think it’s okay to be late everyday and it’s all my fault??”
My breath gets short. My face blushes.
“I’m suppose to be a leader. I’m suppose to set an example. I’m suppose to be good but I’ve messed everything up!”
This moment happened years ago when I was running a community vegetable garden and a new group had come to help out.
I’d welcomed them and taught them how to harvest sunchokes – a root vegetable that looks like a cross between a potato and ginger root. Sunchokes taste bright and stachy – like articoke – hence the name.
We’d had fun. We dug and dug and dug and the harvest was big and bountiful. Harvesting sunchokes is like finding treasures in the dirt.
We finished the harvest but ended up arriving late for a community meeting.
And that’s when my anxiety kicked in. I wrinkled my forehead and took my head between my hands.
“What’s wrong with me? Why couldn’t I get the first day right? Now the whole month is ruined! I’m an idiot…”
As the afternoon continued I moved in and out of anxiety. I breathed deeply and it would subside for a few moments and then come back.
The rest of the afternoon I spent organizing things in the garden so that I can spend the next day at a workshop. But a part of me didn’t believe I deserved to go because of my mistake.
I wrote about it. I talked about it with a co-worker. And as I began to understand it, it began to have less power.
Then I did an exercise that I learned from Buddhist monk and writer, Pema Chodren and the anxiety begins to melt away even more.
It’s an exercise I’ve continued to work with for months and now years. The more I do it, the easier it is for me to get centred after a shot of anxiety.
I wanted to share a 10 minute version of the exercise with you because if anxiety is an issue, I think it will really help. Try it out and let me know what you think :).
If anxiety is a part of your life, it doesn’t need to control your life. You can use this exercise to help loosen it’s grip on you.
I’m including the audio file too so you can download it on your iPhone and have access to it at any moment.
Overwhelmed? Try slipping into the hall or into bathroom and listen to this exercise on your phone and you’ll begin to feel a sense of relief.
You deserve a life where you feel safe and grounded. You deserve a life where you’re not gripped by your anxiety.
Take good care of yourself,
Career Burnout Coach