October 27, 2015

“What If”: A Simple Technique for Worriers.


2015 has been my “Dark Night of The Soul”/Spiritual Awakening.

Years of living a comfortable, safe (some would say “easy”) life had me stuck with little spiritual growth. The universe had been sending me subtle signals to continue on my higher path but I had been ignoring it, safe in my little bubble, thinking I was living the dream.

Then 2015 hit like a tornado that threw my entire life into chaos and forced me to confront all my worst fears and insecurities. I didn’t want to change, but the universe had other plans for me! The cleanup began months ago. I realized I wanted to live my life not from my ego, but from my heart, feeling all the emotions that come and go with the universal flow. I want to feel and trust my intuition and do things that scare me if they call out to me. I want to share myself and connect with others.

I have been practicing daily meditation, reconnecting with good friends and finding new friends along the way, hiking and spending as much time in nature and with animals as I can (what I call “Nature Therapy”), and doing things that get my creative juices flowing. I have been putting myself out there and taking action to keep moving down the path my heart is guiding me on.

Progress has been steady, some days extremely profound, but I still have days where I feel stuck, where my lovely large brain will not stop throwing out negative scenarios and barbs. There are days when all the affirmations in the world ring hollow, when my mind is squawking during meditation, when the stream of all the scary “what ifs” don’t stop as I am trying to sleep or driving down the road.

“What if my husband leaves me…?”
“What if the pain in my body never goes away…?”
“What if I don’t get that job I applied for…?”
“What if I am never good enough…?”

I had an “Aha!” moment. When I am stuck in this mindset and all the other tools I have don’t seem to be working, I stop fighting the “what ifs”. Instead, I turn whatever I am worrying about on its head.

“What if my husband and I live happily ever after…?”
“What if I am in perfect health…?”
“What if I have the job of my dreams…?”
“What if I have everything I need…?”

By steering my imagination toward something amazing rather than a dark scary path, I completely change where my thoughts follow. If I can’t be present in the moment, at least my imagination is taking me someplace magical and bright. It has been a profound shift for me. It’s one more tool I’ve gained along the way to stay with my higher self, to let go of fear and lead with my heart.


Author: Valerie Byers

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Image: Flickr

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Valerie Byers