We’ve set our intentions for the New Year 2008. Now that the holidays are over, we’re back from vacation into the every day rhythm of our lives. And right about now, our minds start to wonder – how exactly are our intentions going to become manifested? What changes will come into our lives? How will our loved ones react? What will our employers, our coworkers or our clients think of the changes we want to make? Before we know it, worry sets in.

Worry happens when the mind tries to resolve what is currently beyond its control. Worry is re-examining decisions we have already made. Worry is concern over choices that are still in our future. And finally, worry is our mind weighing in on decisions that are not ours to make to begin with. We can put a positive spin on this, and tell ourselves that we’re just preparing ourselves for future eventualities or worst-case scenarios. We can tell ourselves that we’re trying to learn from past choices, or that we are just concerned for our loved ones. In truth, however, worry removes us from our own present moment and distracts us from the choices that are actually currently before us.

Here are a few ways to turn off the worrying thoughts that are taking up your valuable mental energy:

Ask yourself: “Is this a decision that I can make right now?” Sometimes we are so busy thinking about what we will do in two weeks or two months in some imagined scenario that we actually start losing sleep – all over something that isn’t even present in our current reality! But if we ask ourselves if this is a choice that lies before us right now, we can bring ourselves back into the present moment. The mind that is so busy worrying will turn its attention to the question, creating a space within which you can come back to your here and now.

Ask yourself: “What choice or decision can I make right in this moment that will lead me towards the desired outcome?” Sometimes there are in fact small things we can take action on. We can inform ourselves, do a little research on the Internet, or take some other small but necessary preparatory steps. And sometimes the best thing we can do toward the desired outcome is to get a good night’s sleep. If there is something you can do or decide right now, no matter how small – then do it. Make the choice that is before you. By doing what you can in the present moment, the mind is satisfied that its concerns have been addressed.Â

One of my favorite exercises is to take all those thoughts and concerns about the future, and imagine placing them all into a box – preferably one that I can put a lid on! I imagine the jumbled mess of thought patterns going into that box and sealing it tightly. Then I imagine handing the whole thing over to one of my Spirit Guides. I imagine asking my Guide to hold these thought patterns in trust for me until the time comes that I can act on them. I give the worry away, and know that these thought patterns will come back into my mind when the time has come to make actual choices about the issue that I’ve been worrying over.

Worry happens when we try to make choices and decisions that are simply not ours, at least not in this moment. Taking this perspective reminds us that the true power of creating our experience lies in mindfully addressing those choices that are available to us, right where we are, right now.

Blessings,
Andrea

14 Comments

  • David says:

    I just finished reading \’The Power of Now\’ by Eckhart Tolle. He talks about how when we are not in the moment we are actually unconscious, completely cut off from our Source. When we are in the future we are incapable of affecting anything. We are powerless. The future is the realm of the ego. This moment is where our true power is.

    I like your idea of turning these thoughts over to a Guide until we can do something about it.

    Thanks again Andrea. Your posting is spot on as usual.

    Yours in Metta,
    David

  • Many years ago, a friend told me about her God Box. You make or use any box of your choice. You can decorate it all pretty or leave it plain. Mine was actually a metal can that I had and liked. What do you do with the box? When you have something that worries you, write it on a piece of paper. Fold the paper and put it in your God Box. Then you let go and ask God to handle it. At the end of the year, you get your God Box and read all of the pieces of paper that are in the Box. You will be surprised at how many are no longer problems simply because you let go of them and let God handle the problem.

  • Pat R says:

    Andrea – thank you so much for your post today on eliminating worry. It was what I needed to round out what I had been experiencing. I stumbled your post and wrote a post of my own linking your article. Great advice!

  • One way I try to keep worry under control is to assess the probability of the worry coming true. I ask myself “What are the odds of it happening?”

  • Michael.H says:

    Thanks for speaking into my life tonight with this blog entry. Today has been a battle, a battle for prespective, a battle for faith and a battle against worry and doubt. I just finished dealing with this issue on my blog and I come here to find such a beautiful answer, thank you!

    You stated, “In truth, however, worry removes us from our own present moment and distracts us from the choices that are actually currently before us”.

    And to add to this, when we become distracted we become stagnant, drawn inward instead of shining our light outward. Our worry robs others of the gifts we are obligated to share with those who are desperate for hope. Good words!

  • Tom Volkar says:

    Andrea, thank you for this post and its inherent wisdom. It reminded me of Louise Hay’s great quote. “Your only point of power is in the present moment.”

    I’m grateful for your decisive questions and the powerful present that they place us in.

  • Again, I really enjoy your material and writing style, Andi! Short and to the point, and yet full of goodness. You’re right, worry is one of the biggest wastes of energy and time ever, and some action steps will go a long way towards eliminating it.

  • Susan says:

    Once again, I read realizing your eliminating worry was right on target with me! Today has been difficult. “Making the choice that is before me” hit the nail on the head as there was no immediate choice. The visual involving handing my worry box to my Spirit Guides…thank you!
    Susan

  • Andrea says:

    David – thank you so much for that comment. You know, the more I work with my coaching clients and their Spirit Guides, the more exactly what you (or Tolle) is saying becomes apparent. Guidance only happens in the moment. Change happens in the moment. Action happens in the moment … and so often, we’re not there to experience any of that!

    Patricia – I love that image of a “God box.” What I always am concerned about, though, is that fine line between appropriate surrender, and abdicating our responsibility as Creator of our experience. Any thoughts?

    Pat – thank you! Always appreciate the stumble, and I will definitely do the same for you!!!

    Shamelle – I guess my question would be what your mind does with the answer … or are “the odds” always so low that it allows you to dismiss the worry?

    Michael – so true! Worry does create stagnation, and worst of all, we rob ourselves of our experience.

    Tom – I love, love, love that quote! Thank you so much for sharing those words here.

    Albert – thank you! You’re right, worrying is exhausting as well as unproductive! I do think it’s a mental behavior that we can learn to let go, as long as we create some consciousness around it.

    Thank you all for commenting – I always appreciate your insights.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

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  • Andrea, I do believe in taking the appropriate action on my part before putting my problem in the God Box. I believe in taking responsibility for being a Co-creator of my reality. Putting something in my God Box is so that I give God the space to do his part rather than worrying it to death and creating the opposite of what I want. The God Box gets ego out of the way. It stops any obsessive behaviors from getting out of hand. Worry just makes the situation worse. Once it goes in the God Box, I am able to stop the worry. First I do my part, then I turn it over to God for the results.

  • Andrea says:

    Patricia – that’s beautifully explained! Thank you! Taking action and then handing the outcome over to God … I think that’s a wonderful balance of conscious creation/surrender. I’m going to use this in my class on “Practicing Detachment” tomorrow, if you don’t mind!

    Blessings,
    Andrea

  • Andrea, I don’t mind at all. I often tell others about it. I have written about the idea of the God Box in several comment sections on other blogs over the past few months. I think it is time for me to do a blog article about it. I will come back and add the link when I do get around to writing the article. Thanks for reminding me of it. It is a great tool for surrender and letting go of worry. Feel free to pass it on to others. Let me know how others respond to the idea. If you don’t have a special box or tin that you want to use, it is also fun to get together with others with and make your own special God Box.

  • Andrea, here is the link that I said I would leave when I posted my article about the God Box. Here is my link
    http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com/2008/01/surrender-ising-god-box.html

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