Over the past few weeks, maybe even the past month, I have had times of feeling very anxious. In the past I frequently had boughts of anxiety, but over the past year or so that has become rare.
I felt anxiety about some specific things, in particular two decisions I had made about the direction in which I wanted to take my business. One decision was to start an Internet TV show on the Real Coaching Network platform. The other was to completely rebrand my business and have a new website built.
Both of these required somewhat large outlays of money, so I told myself that I was anxious about spending the money. Both of these decisions were made about four or five weeks ago.
As I moved forward with each of these projects, I encountered bumps in the road and sometimes roadblocks. I would have moments where I would wake up first thing in the morning overcome with anxiety which was usually related to one of these projects.
I did what I felt I could do to relieve the anxiety. Sometimes this took the form of asking a question of the provider of the service. Other times it was “talking myself down.” The anxiety continued to occur, so nothing I was doing was getting at the root of the problem.
In each case I agonized over whether I had made the right decision. I was never sure. I was full of self-doubt. I kept asking my higher self for guidance, but never seemed to receive it.
I had avoided asking for deliverable dates and sharing some of my concerns with the owner of Real Coaching Network because I was afraid of his reaction. I had several interactions with him fairly early on where he became defensive and blaming when I questioned his process or didn’t want to do something the way he wanted it done.
In one case this was about security. He wanted my login information, including passwords for all my social media accounts, and he wanted me to put them in his online project management tool. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to be overly worried about Internet security, but I do know enough not to put my passwords in writing, even on a supposedly secure site! I wasn’t keen on giving them to him at all, and I outright refused to put them somewhere online.
His reaction was to argue with me, to tell me why I had to do it that way, to tell me that no one else he worked with had a problem (are they stupid?), and to tell me that at some point I had to trust someone.
Well, let’s see. I’ve known you for about two weeks, and you are the person I am supposed to trust with all my passwords? Um, no. Anyway, that is just one example of the types of interactions I had with this person that led to me being reluctant to raise issues with him.
Separate from his belligerent attitude, I realized I wasn’t receiving many of the services from him that he was supposed to provide. I was paying a monthly fee for these services and the next month’s payment was coming up in a few days.
I sent him an email with a list of all the services I was supposed to receive and asking for a status on each of them. I also listed things that had been done incorrectly (professionalism is not his strong suit) that needed to be corrected, and asked for a response. I then waited anxiously for the eruption that I was sure I had set off.
I received a response from him a day and a half later. I was getting ready to go out of town for the weekend, and I was fearful that reading his response would lead to more anxiety, and that I would not be in a place where I could respond to him since I was going to be out of town. So I sent him a note that I would respond when I returned.
The morning of my first day back I awoke with tons of anxiety. I tried to go about my morning routine, but finally decided I had to see how he had responded. My expectation was that he would attack and blame me somehow.
I opened up the document and saw that yes, he did blame me for much of what was undone, but that he hadn’t really attacked me. Whew. But…aside from the tweaks to fix things he had done incorrectly, he hadn’t done any of the other things that were due, nor told me when they would be complete.
I realize this has become a very long story. To cut to the chase, I stood up to him. I canceled my subscription and asked him to refund the payment that had been made a few days earlier. I did all of this nicely and respectfully, saying that it was not a good fit for me.
He first responded by trying to cajole me, offering to have a phone call that he would come to with an “open heart.” When I said it was too late for that, then the hammer came down. “No refunds. What a bad person you are, Laura, you don’t walk your talk.”
I stood my ground. I contacted an attorney. I called Visa to dispute the charge.
And all the while I was spinning on the idea that I was wrong, I was to blame, I was bad. I realized that this man reminded me of my ex-husband, and that was why I had all the anxiety about interacting with him. His patterns of interacting with me matched my ex-husband’s. And even being aware of this I couldn’t get out of the place of self-blame.
The rest of the day was a very uncomfortable, upsetting one for me. There were moments of crying uncontrollably. Mostly I just felt sick to my stomach. I could see how I was stuck in my head, and stuck in this place of taking responsibility for something that was not my fault, but I couldn’t stop.
That evening I went to Kundalini yoga. If you’ve never tried it, please do! The last thirty minutes is a gonging session where we lay on the floor with pillow and blanket and just feel the vibrations of the gong. These vibrations release stuck emotions and energy. At the very end of the session I heard a voice inside say, “You have every right to be angry.”
I finished the session feeling significantly better than when I had started. When I woke up the next morning I felt calm and peaceful, and spent most of the day in that state. I realized that this situation had been testing my resolve to be authentic, and to speak my truth regardless of my fears.
The following day as I woke up I saw that the feeling of being cut off from the guidance of my higher self was because I wasn’t paying attention to the guidance I was receiving. All the anxiety I had felt was guidance. Because I was afraid to confront the situation, the anxiety grew and grew, trying to tell me to pay attention.
I realized that I also needed to deal with my concerns about my website project. I sent an email off to the project manager asking to halt the project while I re-evaluated. I felt calm and at peace.
Soon after sending this email, I went for my regular morning walk. As I approached the road that runs along a bluff above Puget Sound, I saw a single bird flying towards me. As I looked up at this bird I saw it was blue heron.
A sign of self determination, following my path, speaking my truth. I knew I was back on track. My intuition had been there all the time, waiting for me to pay attention, and now I had.
And that’s how Laura got her groove back.