Stop Feelings Helpless and Start Making A Difference in the World

Light Bringer it is time to step into the Light

The world is struggling. Every day the news tells us of another tragic story that slaps us in the face. The pressure cooker of life is compounding and we are left with no relief! According to the CDC 13.2% of adults over 18 took an antidepressant drug over the last 30 days. And ladies 40+ are twice as likely to fall into this statistic. As a nation, it’s easy to look around and feel completely helpless. 

We are hurting…

  • Mentally
  • Physically
  • Spiritually
  • Economically

Last Tuesday’s horrific shootings at Robb Elementary School in Avalde TX was the last straw for me. I was listening to NPR when the story broke, and I was broken. The feeling of despair fell over me and I sat down and cried. 

We have failed our children.

We have failed each other.

We have failed. 

We all know something must be done, yet we all feel helpless to do anything at all. Where do you begin to repair a system completely broken? Who do we look to blame? 

  • I’m tired of the people defending their guns and calling this a mental health issue.
  • I’m tired of our elected officials sending thoughts and prayers and doing nothing when there have been 27 school shootings this year alone!
  • I’m tired of having to explain to kids what’s happened at another school.

This is not the children’s fault, yet we put all the burden on them.

Since Columbine in 1999 More than 311,000 students have experienced gun violence while at school.

The Washington Post has a scary visual you can view here. 

This is the new normal and I’m tired.

It is time to demand more of ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities, and our elected officials. 

Feeling helpless and depressed isn’t doing anyone any good, and it’s time to move from me to we. It’s time to start holding ourselves and each other accountable. It’s time to rise up and shine more love and compassion out to our communities. 

You matter and it’s time to start acting like it. Not in an arrogant or entitled way, but for the greatest good for the most amount of people. 

You have the power right now to lessen the burden of this world for your family, friends, co-workers, and communities just by shining your love and compassion out and asking others to rise up and do the same.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha

Here are 3 ways you can put your feelings of helplessness aside and start making a difference in your world.

  1. GET INVOLVED

I know you are living at your limit. I understand that it feels impossible to give any more of yourself out. But what are you gaining by having the attitude that “humans suck”? Or blaming a politician or your boss or your city or your neighbor or a gender or race of people? 

What are you gaining by continuing with a victim mentality?

When you rage online about the wrongs of the world, do you follow it up by getting involved? Are you placing your rage in a healthy way by contacting your council members or congressperson? 

You should.

Don’t know what to say? You can look up any Senator here and find their contact information. If you look up a certain issue you’d like to express your opinion about you can google that and find a nice pre-done script to use for or against most major issues in your community. 

Sign up to speak at a local council meeting. They always have time for public input and most cities give you 5 minutes. And if that doesn’t work, write them. 

The only way to start making change is to quit complaining and start getting involved. Others will see this and it will give them motivation to do the same. 

Doing this simple and effective task will turn you from feeling helpless into an instant advocate for change. 

  1. BE A GOOD LISTENER

Study after study will show us that we listen only to respond. What if you got in the practice of listening to understand? What kind of impact do you think that would have on the people around you? 

You know when someone is engaged and interested in what you have to say. You also know when someone is just waiting for their turn to talk. We all do it. 

Once you get in the practice of listening you will start to notice all kinds of things happen. 

  • You will learn new things 
  • You will see from a new perspective
  • You will have more patience
  • You will feel less judgment
  • You will become a more desirable person to be around

When you listen generously you become more compassionate. Allowing people space to talk without constant interruption, or without making judgments you are really giving them space to hear their own truth. You also get to know yourself a little better too. 

This simple, but challenging at first, skill will win you the hearts of people because you are giving others space to be seen. When you listen to understand instead of listening to react you see the world from a view other than your own. It’s easy to get stuck in “me” and “I” statements, and listening can help you move beyond your self-referencing statements to find more common ground with those around you. 

Becoming a good listener will help you feel less alone because you are giving your judgments a break. You will feel less alone in this world because you’ve opened your mind and heart to hear and think in new ways, connecting you to more people. 

Bonus! The more others see you are interested in them, the more they will be interested in you.

  1. FIND A WAY TO SERVE

The world needs more inspired humans! People who are passionate about their lives and the lives of others. People, just like you, who have found a way to serve.

This might feel counter to what you have been taught. You might be so buried in the rat race that the thought of finding time to serve feels unimportant. 

As a life-long volunteer, I have discovered this to be one of my greatest achievements. People in my community know me, and they recommend me for jobs, they elect me to boards, and they respect my opinion. Why? Because they know I care about my community. They see me getting involved and call me when they want to know what’s happening around town. 

Not only is getting involved in my local community rewarding, but it helps me see how I’m making a difference in the lives of everyone who lives there. It helps me to step outside of judgment and complaining and helps me focus on a positive change for my community.

Believe Your Voice Matters

Nothing you do will matter if you don’t believe that you matter. This is a huge issue in America today. We are polarized by both an inflated ego and a lack of faith in ourselves and each other. Most of us have a harsh critic inside our head. One that is constantly judging us and telling us that we are not enough. Most people are beating themselves up so badly that they find it difficult to be compassionate with others. 

We forget that we are all imperfect and worthy. 

Learning to love yourself, forgive yourself, and hold yourself responsible is necessary for you to step into a life worthy of you. YOU! Because you are the only one who can truly decide what your life will be. 

Now is the time to reconnect with your inner fire. Allow life to be messy and embrace it anyway. Stand up for what you believe and you will discover an army of like-minded people who live compassionately. You will align yourself with humans on a mission greater than themselves, and you too will find the strength to live bolder and with more purpose. If you can do this, your days of feeling helpless will visit far less frequently because you won’t want to waste any more of this precious life in old self-serving stories. 

You have the power, and I cannot wait to see how you use it to shine. As ZIg Ziglar famously said: “You can have everything in life you want – if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

If you are looking for a great breath practice to help you reconnect with your power and open your heart, try 5×5 breathing and check out my blog, When Grief Closes Your Heart, Open it with Slow Mindful Breaths.

Breaking the Habit of Hesitation

Release the Idea of Needing Motivation, and Start Taking Action Today!

Many aspiring entrepreneurs constantly live in a state of limbo. They have great ideas, but they’re not quite sure if they should pursue them or not because it could be too risky. The thought of taking the leap into something new is paralyzing to some people– and for good reason! It can be an intimidating task, which is why I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to hesitate anymore. 

You don’t have to keep waiting around for someone else to invest in your idea; just take action and start making things happen. If you’re uncomfortable then you are on the right track. If this sounds like you then this blog post is perfect because it’s time we break the habit of hesitation once and for all.

It’s easy to look at someone you admire who has success and start to believe that they possess something you don’t. That success came easy to them or that they are full of motivation. You’ve bought into this idea that at some point you too will have the courage and confidence to pursue your dreams. 

You know how it goes… 

  • Once I have more money I will do it.
  • Once I lose weight I will start.
  • Once the kids are out of the house I can focus on myself.
  • Once I get that promotion things will change.

These hesitations are keeping you stuck. I know because I’ve been there too, and I know that someday will never come unless you decide to make it happen. 

Right now.

Where you are.

With what you have.

Begin Today!

I have a lifelong friend who is such an inspiration. She’s a single mom who started her custom clothing line while living in a 500 square-foot studio apartment. She’d always wanted to go for it, but the time was never right. Stuck at home with an infant and in a place of needing to figure it out, she went all in. 

Today she has a successful clothing line making custom clothes exclusively for the wives, girlfriends, parents, and children of professional athletes. A niche industry that caters to helping family members stand out in the stadium on game day. 

She created a market out of need and found success when she let hesitation go. 

She was not confident when she was setting up her printer between the baby’s crib and the small kitchen surface she had. But she decided to go for it and it completely changed her life. 

Hesitation Brings Doubt

Somewhere along the line, we decided it was more comfortable to stay stuck dreaming about our future lives than actually taking the steps to create that dream life. We started relying on the voice of hesitation. Our brains are designed to protect us from danger and anything unknown is a potential threat. Hesitation is our reasoning mind thinking it’s keeping us safe. But in order to start that business, be that partner, follow that dream, you are going to have to spend a little time in uncertainty.

Mel Robbin’s book, “The 5 Second Rule”, talks about this. She says it’s responsible for changing the course of her life. She says “If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.” She suggests when you have an idea you give yourself 5 seconds to act on it. Literally doing a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown to propel you into action. 

When you think about all the things you’re going to do tomorrow it’s easy. Your mind is motivated to say…

  • I’m going to get up early and meditate tomorrow
  • I’m going to start eating healthily tomorrow
  • I’m starting my gym routine tomorrow
  • I’m starting to put pen to paper on my book tomorrow

And you really mean it! You’re seriously ready. But then the next day you just aren’t motivated to do it. You’ve already hesitated on the idea, what’s one more day? You can always start tomorrow. And it’s true, you can always start tomorrow, but if you’re waiting for motivation or courage, or confidence to get started then you will never begin.

As amazing as your ideas are, nothing happens if you don’t get yourself up and moving. 

You’re never going to feel like doing the scary stuff–the stuff that requires learning new skills that intimidate you like taking control of your finances or learning the dynamics of solid SEO skills. You will always only feel motivated to do the things that are easy and that feel good. But I’m sorry to tell you that is not the way to success. 

Successful people show up and do the work even when they aren’t motivated or sure what will happen. They understand that it’s more important to be consistent than to be motivated or confident. They just keep on keepin on.

Breathwork for Hesitation

When you feel a strong urge to move on something and hesitate, your brain starts to rationalize all the reasons why you are right for hesitating. You can train yourself to act by utilizing Mel Robbins 5 Second rule, or you can turn to your breath. 

Whenever I have a big decision to make I sit down on my mat and breathe. I ask for clarity and do alternate nostril breathing, balancing out the two hemispheres of my brain so I can get in tune with my inner knowing. Using that knowledge–that gut feeling that my heart is leading me to do–I can easily begin down a road without hesitation. Now having a foundation of trust within my heart. 

Intuitively I always know which way I want to go, but when I hesitate doubt will have me sitting in limbo for far too long. Alternate nostril breathing has helped push that mind-chatter out, leaving me clear and concise on the direction I need to go. 

Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Find a comfortable seat on a meditation pillow.
  • Be sure you are sitting with a nice straight spine, shoulders rolled back and down, with your chin slightly tucked. 
  • Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath.
  • Ask yourself: Why am I hesitating on this decision?
  • Place your right hand in a pranayama mudra (fancy hand placement) by tucking your first two fingers into the palm of your hand, allowing the ring and pinky to remain as straight as possible. 
  • Bring your right thumb up to plug your right nostril and inhale for 4 seconds starting through the left nostril only. 
  • Use your ring and pinky figures to pinch the left nostril as you hold your breath.
  • Release your thumb from the right side and exhale for 4 seconds. 
  • Stay here and inhale into your right nostril for 4 seconds.
  • Pinch your thumb to your right nostril while holding your breath.
  • Release your ring and pinky fingers and exhale 4 seconds out of your left nostril.
  • You have completed 1 full round. 
  • Repeat these steps for 5-10 more rounds to find balance and clarity.

However you decide to work on your habit of hesitation is fine. We all have different ways of moving into clarity. The reality is that there is more information in this world and choices to be made than you have time for. So decide what is the right path for you and then get out of your way so you can do the work. 

Doubt will always be there, but it doesn’t need to be behind the wheel. Take control of your life by moving into a place of action and see how quickly things begin to change. 

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know how alternate nostril breathing is working for your decision-making or what other tips and tricks you use to help beat the hesitation within you.