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You never had control, all you had was anxiety

I came across this quote (by Elizabeth Gilbert) on socials yesterday:

You are afraid of surrender because you don't want to lose control. But you never had control; all you had was anxiety.

Isn't this just too true?

Whenever we face a challenge in our lives, whether it is work, our health, relationships or just life in general, we feel like it is so hard to surrender to what IS. And what is really in store for us, and we want to plan everything, we want to control everything. Because we believe that the answers are in our minds. 

I've talked about this a lot in my past sharings, regarding control. It is an illusion when we think we can have control over our lives, in reality, we never can and never will. We can only manage our perspective and manage how we handle situations as they come up. When we try to force our way with our plans, nothing ever works out. We think others seem to have it all worked out: everything happened as planned, no, they didn't, they only seemed that way.

So what is this thing then, that nags us inside our heads and our hearts that tell us that we have control over things and we cannot just surrender, it is anxiety. Simply anxiety.

We are anxious and stressed because we don't know how things will work out. And we seek the advice of fortune-tellers, and the only reason why we do that is to appease our anxious minds. We have a need to know because we think knowing will take away our problems. But guess what, you are still left with anxiety because you then wonder if what the fortune-teller told you is going to come true?

So how do we really deal with anxiety? Anxiety is a built-up of nervous energies in and around a person, and you can usually spot it in yourself or others through their behaviour ranging from needing an outlet via an addiction, sleeplessness, tensed up muscles (especially the neck and shoulders, and jaws), pacing, shaking of legs when seated, repetitive movement of arms and/or legs, and much more. 

In general, there are six broad categories of anxiety: 

  1. General anxiety disorders - this is what most people face in their lives at one time or another, and for some, it is a daily occurrence
  2. Social anxiety - fear of social interaction
  3. Specific phobias
  4. Panic disorder
  5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  6. Post-traumatic stress disorder - this can happen from big traumas or long term exposure to trauma (even childhood)

All of these above is about a need to control due to past experiences of feeling out of control. Now, I'm no expert on this topic, but as a life coach, I do psychotherapy work to assist my clients to move to a point where they are better able to function, so this could range from mindfulness practices, deep visualization practices to shedding light onto shadow parts of self. Once we release some pent up nervous energies, usually the client can get to a space where they have room to manoeuvre into a space of more freedom and eventually surrender. 

On your own, you could try this, a mindfulness practice:

  • Keep your focus on your breathing.
  • Be mindful of every in-breath (count of 5) and feel expanded as you do.
  • With every out-breath (count of 5), release all the stress and tension you are experiencing in your body and mind.
  • Be sure to keep your breaths even and consistent. Do this for a full 5-min practice.
  • When you are keeping a focus on your breathing, you are allowing your mind to rest.
  • (As an additional benefit, deep breathing over practice and time, builds positive energies in your entire aura, body mind and spirit and this, in turn, can keep your mind alert and can have an anti-ageing effect too!)

As you keep this practice up, you may increase the 5-min practice to a much longer time, and even extending it to a full 30-min practice. And soon, you will have an energy that is more zen-like and being able to surrender to what IS.

Living in the present moment, every moment of your life is what will give you the quality of life most people are looking for. 

©2020 Shamala Tan

Let me know how I can assist you if you have any questions [email protected]

Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.

One of her success stories as an author is to being featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.

Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.


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