April 21st, 2020

How to Stop Worrying About the End of the World

Humans: Let’s Face Our Worst Case Scenarios and Move On to More Creative Endeavors

 

Oh, the enormous amount of energy we humans expend swimming through the choppy waters of worry.

It’s an endless inner storm: just as your internal currents settle and you feel a sense of peace, your mind kicks into gear and stirs things up again. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

Most of us have a very developed “disaster mind.” This aspect of our mind believes it can keep us safe by warning us of all the bad things that might happen in the future or punishing us for what happened in the past.

Disaster mind is like a nervous back-seat driver, constantly clutching your shoulder and screeching about some perceived threat in the distance, or looking at the rear-view window and replaying your past mistakes over and over again.

 

Then there is intuitive heart.

Intuitive heart always sits right next to disaster mind, peacefully surveying everything. Where disaster mind loves drama of all kinds, intuitive heart loves the stillness and beauty that underlies everything.

Intuitive heart is harder to hear, but always present once you turn down disaster mind’s noise:

Disaster mind: OMG there is a rock ahead in the road we are all going to die!!!
Intuitive heart: Rock ahead. Slow down.

Disaster mind: COVID-19 is going to kill us all, change the world for the worse, ruin my dating/business/family life forever.
Intuitive heart: Respect this virus. Pay attention to signs from me of how to proceed forward.

Disaster mind: The world is unsafe I have to protect myself and not trust anyone!
Intuitive heart: Stay present and listen to me about who to trust and how.

Your intuitive heart also accepts calmly something your disaster mind is terrified of: death.

Disaster mind: I will never think about death and do everything perfectly and that will keep me safe! Death is evil and the enemy!
Intuitive heart: You are going to die one day. Let’s live fully until then.

 

So how do you swap out disaster mind for intuitive heart?

One way is to turn and face our demons and then move on. Demons like: our own death, the end of the world, being abandoned forever, losing our beloveds, or running out of toilet paper.

If we want to be free of disaster mind, then we need to stop running away from it. This practice changed my life, and my hope is that it will change yours as well.

But first a warning: this it is not an easy, blink-three-times-and-twirl-around fix, but a truly effective one. It does take courage and persistence, but when done correctly and with patience, you will reconnect to your ever-present intuitive heart which includes your own creative knowing and loving, wise instincts.

Here are the steps to release disaster mind and live fully from intuitive heart:

1. Set time aside. Have a journal and pen ready. Make sure you are not going to be interrupted. Turn off your phone, close down your computer.

2. Connect to your intuitive heart. The best way to do this is to think of something you are grateful for. Breath that gratitude into your heart for ten slow, steady breaths.

3. Now, give your disaster mind full permission to go all-out on your personal worst case scenario. Whatever you are feeling anxious about, whether it is the pandemic, your job/finances, or your health/partner/kids, turn towards the fear and name it. Go all the way through the story to the last chapter (which will probably take you to some variation of: we’re all going to die).

The key here is that instead of letting your disaster mind work in the background and poison you slowly, you are shining a light on the story it is telling you, with all its fears and fallacies.

4. As you are doing this, stay connected to your heart and continue to breathe deeply. Don’t abandon yourself by believing what your mind is telling you. Let your heart say to your mind over and over again: I will be with you. I will be with you. I will be with you.

6. Once you’ve followed the winding pathway down your worst fears, come back into the present moment. Breathe into your heart. Now imagine where you want to go, your best case scenario, your most creative vision, the desires of your heart.

7. Make the commitment to NOT let your mind go down that disaster path again. Anytime your mind goes towards disaster, tell it firmly but lovingly, over and over again, “Nope, we’ve already gone down there once. Come back. Stay here.” Listen to your intuition intuitive heart on how to proceed forward. And if there are tangible and helpful actions you can do to soothe your mind or support your body, take them.

As disaster mind learns to trust the strength and wisdom of intuitive heart again, you’ll find your mind shifts from worrying about the apocalypse to creatively wondering how to navigate whatever arises.

And therein lies your power to change the world: in facing your worst fears you’ll open up your most potent inner gifts: your imagination, your creative intent, and your courage to know and take your next right action, from your wise, intuitive heart.