Tag Archive: fear of the future

The Subway Effect

I’ve been in Manhattan a few times, and as a visitor who isn’t used to the vibrations of Manhattan, I am very aware of that underlying nervous vibrational hum that is ever-present. I imagine in my mind it’s caused by the subway system that runs the length and breadth of that island, but is so much a part of that space and the people living in Manhattan. So much so that it’s considered part of the Manhattan culture (quieted now because of what they’re suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic, and temporary).

Living in downtown Toronto – also high energy and constant – I was surprised to feel it. That heightened energy of the heart of New York City makes Toronto feel like a calm retreat.

Well, it used to feel that way. Here, even with the streets and sidewalks uncharacteristically quiet, that nervous vibration has come to town. I feel it whenever I pass someone as we jointly move to opposite sides of the walkway; when I notice my neighbor (who has seen and spoken to me for at least 5 years regularly) pass me fearfully by without recognition; even when I’m virtually with friends, clients and colleagues as they describe their fears.

People are beginning to want to stay home, to cloister themselves in their home cocoon and see no one. Preferring to spend hours reading, playing video games or watching Netflix rather than do anything creative – because they can’t think; because they don’t want to think … or feel.

This nervous vibration or “subway effect” is increasing.  I think it’s because we don’t know how long our shut down will last, or how it will impact our lives going forward.  As my husband put it when he discovered he wouldn’t be able cross the border to join me for at least 2 more weeks, “I’d be able to handle this a lot better if I knew it was only 2 more weeks. Or even 2 months. As long as I could see an end point.”

The good news is that many are beginning to look towards the future, which means that many communities are beginning to gain some control over the pandemic. Even so, it will likely be at least a month or 2 before we begin to have solid answers on next steps.

Meantime, it’s up to each of us to take steps to calm this nervous energy generated by the unknown ground we all find ourselves in. Here are some suggestions:

  • Begin each day with something grounding and calming. I have my own way, involving clearing my sinuses using a netipot of sterilized salt water, washing my hands and face, taking my temperature, and meditating (It doesn’t have to make sense to the world, just to you). Then I take half an hour to plan my day, never neglecting to acknowledge what is good in my life (Andy and I are both safe and healthy, for instance). What routine or ritual would help set the ground for you?
  • Set your focus on something hopeful. You may not be able to get out, but we all know this will end eventually; the and more we take good precautions, the sooner that will happen. Yes, it’s important to be realistic and understand possible difficulties, but there is no good reason to dwell on them if there is nothing to be done at this time.
  • Do something that gives you either pleasure or mastery ever day. It could be something as simple a making a latte, or taking a hot bath; or filing papers that have been on your to do list for months (or years). It could be writing friends, even if you don’t feel like it. These activities always end up making us feel good, and therefore reinforce that focus over feeling bad.
  • Then, at the end of the day, go to bed at your regular time. Since few of us need to get up and go somewhere daily, it’s tempting to stay up with a bowl of popcorn and watch endless movies – or whatever your favored means of blanking out is. But routine is part of mastery, and discipline helps you maintain routine.

Going to bed and getting up on time, beginning every day with something grounding and calming, setting your focus on something hopeful, and doing something daily that gives you either pleasure or mastery: this will definitely help you remove that “subway effect” in your own life, and even possibly help others do so too.

How we can face the future without fear together

 

Quote of the Week 

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
but don’t move the way fear makes you move.” 

― Rumi, The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here. If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co 

The Subway Effect

 

I’ve been in Manhattan a few times, and as a visitor who isn’t used to the vibrations of Manhattan, I am very aware of that underlying nervous vibrational hum that is ever-present. I imagine in my mind it’s caused by the subway system that runs the length and breadth of that island, but is so much a part of that space and the people living in Manhattan. So much so that it’s considered part of the Manhattan culture (quieted now because of what they’re suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic, and temporary).

Living in downtown Toronto – also high energy and constant – I was surprised to feel it. That heightened energy of the heart of New York City makes Toronto feel like a calm retreat.

Well, it used to feel that way. Here, even with the streets and sidewalks uncharacteristically quiet, that nervous vibration has come to town. I feel it whenever I pass someone as we jointly move to opposite sides of the walkway; when I notice my neighbor (who has seen and spoken to me for at least 5 years regularly) pass me fearfully by without recognition; even when I’m virtually with friends, clients and colleagues as they describe their fears.

People are beginning to want to stay home, to cloister themselves in their home cocoon and see no one. Preferring to spend hours reading, playing video games or watching Netflix rather than do anything creative – because they can’t think; because they don’t want to think … or feel.

This nervous vibration or “subway effect” is increasing.  I think it’s because we don’t know how long our shut down will last, or how it will impact our lives going forward.  As my husband put it when he discovered he wouldn’t be able cross the border to join me for at least 2 more weeks, “I’d be able to handle this a lot better if I knew it was only 2 more weeks. Or even 2 months. As long as I could see an end point.”

The good news is that many are beginning to look towards the future, which means that many communities are beginning to gain some control over the pandemic. Even so, it will likely be at least a month or 2 before we begin to have solid answers on next steps.

Meantime, it’s up to each of us to take steps to calm this nervous energy generated by the unknown ground we all find ourselves in. Here are some suggestions:

  • Begin each day with something grounding and calming. I have my own way, involving clearing my sinuses using a netipot of sterilized salt water, washing my hands and face, taking my temperature, and meditating (It doesn’t have to make sense to the world, just to you). Then I take half an hour to plan my day, never neglecting to acknowledge what is good in my life (Andy and I are both safe and healthy, for instance). What routine or ritual would help set the ground for you?
  • Set your focus on something hopeful. You may not be able to get out, but we all know this will end eventually; the and more we take good precautions, the sooner that will happen. Yes, it’s important to be realistic and understand possible difficulties, but there is no good reason to dwell on them if there is nothing to be done at this time.
  • Do something that gives you either pleasure or mastery ever day. It could be something as simple a making a latte, or taking a hot bath; or filing papers that have been on your to do list for months (or years). It could be writing friends, even if you don’t feel like it. These activities always end up making us feel good, and therefore reinforce that focus over feeling bad.
  • Then, at the end of the day, go to bed at your regular time. Since few of us need to get up and go somewhere daily, it’s tempting to stay up with a bowl of popcorn and watch endless movies – or whatever your favored means of blanking out is. But routine is part of mastery, and discipline helps you maintain routine.

Going to bed and getting up on time, beginning every day with something grounding and calming, setting your focus on something hopeful, and doing something daily that gives you either pleasure or mastery: this will definitely help you remove that “subway effect” in your own life, and even possibly help others do so too.

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here. If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co 

Time Travel – it’s exhausting!

 

time

I’ve been having trouble with US customs lately that apparently stems from a comment my boyfriend innocently made when he had crossed on his way home.  He’s American; I’m Canadian. In that comment, he mentioned my name, and for that reason, it appears, my name was written up. Since that time, I have been stopped, questioned, searched, etc.. It is aggressive and I don’t deserve it. And yet, as with many other travellers, it’s happening.

I tend to dwell on things that scare me, and unreasonable behavior scares me.  What’s happening at the border is to me unreasonable. So I find myself attempting to make it make sense, going over and over in my mind what could possibly be behind it.

The truth is – and I know it – that I might never know. So why dwell on it? The past events are past; the future events will be whatever they are going to be.  I have put into action what I can, and now it’s time to let it go. It’s out of my hands and will be whatever it’s going to be.

Well, it isn’t that easy.  I find myself asking: have I looked at every angle? Is there anything I haven’t tried? Then, at some point, I’ll think of something and won’t let it go till I try it out. I’m like a terroir latched onto its favorite bone, gnawing away relentlessly.

Then for some inexplicable reason, I’m tired.  Too tired to see friends, or work out, or even go for a walk. This gives me something more to worry about: my health.

It’s a pattern that you might be familiar with in your own life. If you were to begin to journal every time you found yourself worrying and dwelling, you might be astonished to find that the reason you’re so tired is because of all the energy used up on this activity.

It’s a form of time travel, the kind that uses up energy you could otherwise put to good use. It’s exhausting.

There’s a way of disconnecting ourselves from this pre-occupation. It isn’t easy. It involves coming to terms with our fears; in my case, it’s a fear of what isn’t reasonable, or seemingly logical. For you, it might be a fear of the unknown; of what’s around the corner that you can’t yet see.

It involves letting go of our plans, or our need for understanding and certainty, or for justice, or whatever it is that we feel is missing. It also involves retraining ourselves to re-focus on what we have the power to influence instead on what is out of our hands. Looking at new possibilities that we might otherwise never entertain.

When I begin to think that way, the fear that grips me disappears.

What about you?

The psychology of your future self

Quote of the Week

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.”
-John Lennon

Announcements 

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Time Travel – it’s exhausting!

 

time

I’ve been having trouble with US customs lately that apparently stems from a comment my boyfriend innocently made when he had crossed on his way home.  He’s American; I’m Canadian. In that comment, he mentioned my name, and for that reason, it appears, my name was written up. Since that time, I have been stopped, questioned, searched, etc.. It is aggressive and I don’t deserve it. And yet, as with many other travellers, it’s happening.

I tend to dwell on things that scare me, and unreasonable behavior scares me.  What’s happening at the border is to me unreasonable. So I find myself attempting to make it make sense, going over and over in my mind what could possibly be behind it.

The truth is – and I know it – that I might never know. So why dwell on it? The past events are past; the future events will be whatever they are going to be.  I have put into action what I can, and now it’s time to let it go. It’s out of my hands and will be whatever it’s going to be.

Well, it isn’t that easy.  I find myself asking: have I looked at every angle? Is there anything I haven’t tried? Then, at some point, I’ll think of something and won’t let it go till I try it out. I’m like a terroir latched onto its favorite bone, gnawing away relentlessly.

Then for some inexplicable reason, I’m tired.  Too tired to see friends, or work out, or even go for a walk. This gives me something more to worry about: my health.

It’s a pattern that you might be familiar with in your own life. If you were to begin to journal every time you found yourself worrying and dwelling, you might be astonished to find that the reason you’re so tired is because of all the energy used up on this activity.

It’s a form of time travel, the kind that uses up energy you could otherwise put to good use. It’s exhausting.

There’s a way of disconnecting ourselves from this pre-occupation. It isn’t easy. It involves coming to terms with our fears; in my case, it’s a fear of what isn’t reasonable, or seemingly logical. For you, it might be a fear of the unknown; of what’s around the corner that you can’t yet see.

It involves letting go of our plans, or our need for understanding and certainty, or for justice, or whatever it is that we feel is missing. It also involves retraining ourselves to re-focus on what we have the power to influence instead on what is out of our hands. Looking at new possibilities that we might otherwise never entertain.

When I begin to think that way, the fear that grips me disappears.

What about you?

 

Announcements 

If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for an sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!

Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .