Let’s talk about Fear

Fear, it’s a funny thing; it keeps us safe, but it can also hold us back.

In an effort to work with my fears, I’ll be completely honest with you; right now, my fears are holding me back from achieving my highest potential. Part of this fear is a fear of the unknown; part of this fear is the fear of failure (whatever that means); and part of this fear is the fear that I will need to continue to live up to this heightened state – the status quo allows me to sit back and take breaks/rest/find balance and I fear that living a life where I strive to achieve my highest potential will mean losing the ability to relax.

Now the funny thing about fear is that it can be completely and utterly deceptive. Because fear keeps us from the unknown, only my imagination can “tell” me that these are fears to be concerned about. When, in reality, I don’t know if that’s what will happen. I’m sure there will be moments when I will feel the need to rest or take a break so I don’t think this fear is a rational fear.

Rational versus irrational fear. Rational fears keep us safe from physical danger. These are good fears to pay attention to – we can still take calculated/educated risks in life, but these are the fears we have to keep us alive.

Irrational fears, although they may present physical symptoms, hold us back from taking safe and calculated movements that take us outside of our comfort zone. Take a look at these fears, examine them – are they real? Are they rational? Are they irrational? What are we afraid of? What’s the underlying message behind the fear? What is the deeper emotion? What can you do, today, that is a baby toe step outside of a fear? What aren’t you going after because of your fear?

The most important step to take, is the first step.

In love,
Alannah

Advertisements

Finding Balance

Do we ever “find balance” in our lives?

I am often told that I seem to be good at finding balance in my life; I think it’s because I’m constantly making conscious choices – which are rarely easy to make.

One of my goals in life is to help others live happy, balanced lives – easier said than done. Finding balance is a constant practice; and sometimes when we think we’ve found balance, something happens and it’s gone – poof! Balance isn’t something we find and maintain! Life is constantly changing and so we’re constantly in this process of bringing ourselves back into balance. And sometimes that means there are stretches of time when we live out of balance – usually part of this time is unknowingly.

Each moment we are faced with decisions that will either help us find/remain in balance, or will knock something out of balance – and sometimes, that’s ok! In order to move forward, chase dreams, make changes in our lives, we, usually, have to knock ourselves out of balance. It’s about being aware of these choices.

Right now I’m rekindling my desire to live my life to it’s fullest potential; part of that is to set goals and check-in with them and yet, part of this is to also consciously make choices that will allow me to stay balanced.

So what is balance and how does one achieve it – while still following/finding your purpose/passion?

According to Merriam-Webster, balance is defined as: “the state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall; the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling; a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.”

That’s great! So…??

I find that it helps to know what my “end game” is – what are you striving to achieve? What is your purpose?

When I notice that I’m not living in balance, I like to think through my commitments and decide what matters most to me and what I can give up – sometimes these aren’t the same! That’s where the difficult choices come into play. If the things I can give up are the things that matter most to me, I ask if those commitments mean more to me than living in balance for a while – if they are, that’s fine, I’ve made the choice to continue until a new opportunity presents itself to adjust again.

If I realize that I’m ok giving up a few things to bring myself back into balance, most of the time, there is a lag. It’s important to act quickly because living consciously knowing what you need to do to bring your life closer to balance, being able to do it, and not doing it is agonizing (at least for me)!

Knowing that I’ve taken action to bring my life towards balance, or that I’ve consciously decided that I’m ok not living in balance for the moment due to the “importance” of what I’d be giving up is what helps me to feel like I’m, usually, living a balanced life.

I hope this helps!

 

 

A Vegan Experiment

A few months ago my best friend suggested going vegan for a month. My eating habits lean towards clean vegetarian most of the time so I figured it wouldn’t be that hard. Boy was I wrong!

As someone who makes ethical food choices and avoids restricting food (unless there is a physical reason to do so), restricting my food to this level has been more of a mental challenge than a physical one. Even with my busy and active schedule, my energy levels have been fine and I haven’t found any issues recovering from my activities. I also haven’t noticed a change in my mental capacity; what has changed though is my desire for foods I don’t normally eat!

Prior to starting this experiment, I don’t remember the last time I ate cheese; since starting this month of veganism, my brain has told me every day that I want cheese. Thankfully, these aren’t physical cravings (like I sometimes get for DQ Blizzards), but just the fact that “I can’t” means that “I want”.

This experiment is teaching me that, just like when we were children and someone told us we weren’t allowed to do something, when we put restrictions on ourselves, all we want is what has been restricted.

My overall philosophy on food is to eat good, healthy food that is enjoyable, but don’t deamonize “treat” foods.

If you don’t find healthy foods enjoyable, begin by making small transitions, not massive overhauls; and avoid labelling foods as “bad”. When we set strict rules, deprivation follows; and deprivation leads to binging on what has been placed off limits.

If I’m trying to adjust a recipe to make it healthier, I start by substituting one ingredient; if that works, I’ll try substituting two ingredients the next time. This can be done with a recipe, a snack, a meal, a day, a week…wherever you start is perfectly wonderful! It’s all about starting the journey to a life-long, sustainable change.

As for me, I will continue this experiment until February 6. After that I will be back to my normal food habits: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” (Michael Pollen); “I’m a human, I eat food” (Alannah). When I do eat meat, I try to select healthy, local, organic/wild meat. And I will do my best not to binge on everything I currently “want” because I know I actually only want it because I “can’t” have it.