Escapism (and the fear behind it)
What do you fear?
Right now, you’re likely reading this on your phone killing time between one errand and another. To write this, I pulled myself from binge watching Doctor Who. (Don’t you just love David Tennant?)
But why do we need to escape? Or more accurately, why have we made a habit of escaping from our thoughts with phones, programs, and the unending chatter from the Kardashians? Because no one needs to read or hear about the Kardashians, right?
The fear is different for each of us. It may be a fear of failure or confronting a problem (intimacy issues, anyone?). But it’s all the same. It’s fear.
The trick is noticing when we’re using escape mechanisms (like checking Facebook for the zillionth time). But we can’t notice until we start connecting with ourselves. To connect, we must be mindful of what we’re doing, and make a habit of taking time for ourselves to cultivate this mindfulness. Only then will we create the ability to figure out our fear(s) and address it.
I wish “Me Time” was taught in school. Since I was a kid, I was taught to work hard, but I wasn’t taught how to create balance in my life or listen to my intuition. I was never taught to carve time out for myself to simply be.
When I took time off from work for chemotherapy, I was forced to take Me Time. Only then did I realize that I had worked so hard for so long that I had become disconnected from myself and the people surrounding me.
When you’re connected, your perceptions are clearer, you’re able to see harmful influences in your life, and your mind processes stress better. This connectivity also allows you to invite positive people and experiences into your life because you’ve prioritized what you want mindfully.
If you’re thinking, “That sounds nice, but I don’t have time for that,” you need this technique.
I’ve been there. Who has time for relaxing when so much need to get done? Trust the process. In the long run, becoming connected to yourself and learning what your fears are make you more productive and creative.
How to stop avoiding your fears and connect with yourself?
Schedule Me Time.
Choose a time that works best for you, and make a habit of hiding all distractions at the same time every day. If the only time you can get quiet time is in the early morning, then try a new routine for your mornings.
Find a place where you can relax and create a mini sanctuary. For me, it’s my breakfast nook where I sip my tea and look out my window. Add details to make your sanctuary soothing (think flowers, scented candles, etc.).
Put away books, newspapers, your phone, anything that distracts. Let your mind wander over a cup of tea or observe your breath. For some thoughts on sitting quietly or meditating, read #5 in this article.
This is your time to contemplate. If you see your mind wandering off to your to do list for the day, go ahead and write that down, then go back to sitting quietly. Writing it down appeases your brain, so you can go back to relaxing.
Schedule it, and the rest falls into place. You don’t have to have high expectations for how this will affect your life. Trust the process.
Trust that taking time away from your phone and other distractions will help you pinpoint your fears and ultimately give you the ability to overcome them consciously.
Lots of love & gratitude,
P.S. Need to beat stress throughout your day, but don’t have time for a Me Time session? Click here to get 10 Quick Mental Tricks to Reduce Stress Instantly.