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Issue 98

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In this issue ~~

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Using Creativity to Life Your Fears

There's no doubt, we are living in difficult times. We're constantly warned to be vigilant of terrorist attacks. Banks are closing and the stock market is a roller coaster ride. Storms and tsunamis are battering coastlines. When we look around us, there's plenty of evidence to make us fearful.

What makes it worse is when our imagination takes hold, and we begin to envision desperate futures. Our fear escalates, and we start to make fearful choices. Before long, we feel mired in fear, with no resolution in sight.

It's in times like this that our creativity can be our greatest ally.

When we're in the midst of fear, it often doesn't occur to us that our bleak images of the future are not real they come from our imagination! So, why not harness that same imagination to envision positive futures?

It may take some work to pull yourself out of the downward spiral, but the effort can help you refocus your energies, be more productive and feel more optimistic. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Journal all your fears and negative thoughts. Getting them out of your head and on paper often helps you to calm down and see more clearly.

  • Now, write out affirmations that reflect the future you want to create. Take each of your negative thoughts and turn them into a positive. It's okay if you don't believe them yet.

  • Put your affirmations in places where you see them frequently on the bathroom mirror, around your computer monitor or laptop keyboard, on the dashboard of your car or over the kitchen sink.

  • Use your creative imagination to write out a positive, exciting vision for your future. If you're more visual, create a picture or dream board. You can also record your vision, or have someone record it for you. Read, look at or listen to your vision at the beginning and end of each day, when your subconscious is most open.

  • Limit your exposure to sensationalized news. Trust me, if there's something you really need to know, that information will get to you. Instead, feed your soul with positive, uplifting programs.

So now, you've pulled yourself out of the fear and gotten more grounded. The next step is to practice responding to situations with creativity, rather than panic and fear.

  • If you hear bad news or feel frightened, before you do anything, stop and breathe. Taking 10 breaths deep into your belly will do wonders to dispel the anxiety.

  • Do a reality check. What's really true about this situation? People often respond emotionally, making up their own "facts," and fear is contagious. Remember 99% of the things we worry about never happen.

  • Don't give away your power. Take the time to think things through for yourself, rather than buying into what everyone else is saying. The majority isn't always right, and what's true for someone else may not be true for you.

  • Make a list of 5 10 ways that you could handle any situation. This will give you options you can choose from, and you'll be able to make creative choices, rather than just reacting out of panic and doing the first thing that comes to mind.

Whatever you do, don't let the fear shut you down. Keep moving forward with your dreams and goals, even if you need to modify them or lengthen the time line. Rather than going into survival mode, continue to focus on creating your positive future. The crisis will pass, and you'll be in a better place by continuing to take steps forward.

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For additional support and information, see the following past issues:

Issue 54: Transition and Change

Issue 55: What Really Matters

Issue 68: Dealing With Turmoil

Issue 72: Moving Ahead in Troubled Times

Issue 82: Keeping Your Spirits Up . . . And Making a Difference in the World

Issue 89: Learning to Endure

 

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Action Challenge

What's your vision for yourself and your world? Take time to write, draw or compose a piece that's uplifting for yourself and others.

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Wise Words

"The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them."

~ Bernard M. Baruch

"We can either be scared or thinking of ways to reshape things."

~ Judy Crookes

"Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The heart prefers to move against the grain of circumstance; perversity is the soul's very life."

~ John Updike

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Bookshelf

(click on the book to see a description at Amazon.com)

Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises . . . Bob Goudzwaard, Mark Vander Vennen, David Van Heemst

Beyond Rationality: The Search for Wisdom in a Troubled Time . . . Kenneth R. Hammond

A Way Forward: Spiritual Guidance for Our Troubled Times . . . Anna Voigt & Nevill Drury

Creativity Revealed: Discovering the Source of Inspiration . . . Scott Jeffrey

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative . . . Ken Robinson

Your Soul's Compass . . . Joan Borysenko, PhD & Gordon Dveirin, EdD

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future . . . Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future . . . Daniel H. Pink

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© 2008 Sharon Good. All rights reserved.

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