Me in Tokyo with the Sky Tree
This past July my partners (I am ethically non-monogamous and have several wonderful partners in my life) asked me to accompany them on their trip to Japan. I had been in a session not thirty minutes before with a client who is also a healer. I got the message for him and for me that we were going to be given opportunities soon that were too big for us to accept, but that we needed to say yes, then heal up to being able to actually do them. I had no idea what that meant, but as I was on the phone with my partners minutes later, I couldn't have been more shocked it was SO BIG, and I couldn't believe what I'd just told that client was happening already! I had no idea it would be that big!
My first ever view of Mt. Fuji in person!
I instantly wanted to say HELL YES!! But here's the thing. I have terrible--and I mean terrible--travel anxiety. When I get on a plane, my whole body and energy starts shutting down like it would rather literally die than be confined and trapped in a plane for even one second. It is a PTSD response that happened to me after the last unsuccessful attempt I made to escape my marriage. It took me eleven years to leave after that attempt, but during those eleven years, I developed anxiety so bad, it was hard to pick the kids up from school or get milk at the store. There was no way I could get on planes and go anywhere. Even the drive to the airport would have me in a full blown panic attack. After I got free of that marriage once and for all, I started to heal and now I only have that level of anxiety on airplanes, not in every part of my life anymore. This trip to Japan, though, was going to be a total of 32 hours of being in a plane in a space of two weeks, not to mention the lesser anxiety I have of public transportation as well--any kind of travel can trigger my panic, but not as much as planes. I knew we'd be spending probably the same amount of time or more on subways, trollies, cabs, busses, and trains--and that was accurate. I knew I was not healed enough, but I also knew that there was no place in the world I wanted to go more than Tokyo and no people I would be happier going with. I wanted to say YES!
Tokyo at night
I gave it a couple of weeks to decide, then I said yes and they got the ticket. I didn't tell many people because I was afraid I would bail. No part of me could imagine that this would happen. I started a five month intense healing process to get ready to go on this trip. It worked and I did it, and it changed my life!
Me at a royal palace in Kyoto
I'm sure there is something, some big goal or dream that you would like to do, but maybe you have some big and valid excuses to not do it--like me with my travel anxiety. What if I told you, you can do it and it starts with three steps. These are the things I used to get myself to Japan and heal myself enough that now I know I can travel anywhere I want. Even though I might still have anxiety, it can't hold me back the same way again.
Ready to hear the three steps I used? Okay, grab pen and paper and think about the big dream you want to accomplish and let's go.
I got a beautiful new tattoo in the middle of the night in Tokyo to commemorate my trip.
This one seems a little silly, but I was surprised how effective it was. It was a step that had fast measurable results for me. I got a piece of paper and wrote down, the sentences "I want permission to go to Japan and enjoy it. I want permission to be excited about going to Japan." I realized that when I thought about going, all my money fears and my travel fears came up like huge concrete blocks. I didn't know how to surmount those worries or break those blocks, so I just told my higher self or guides or the universe that I wanted permission to not think of it that way, and to just be excited and let the details take care of themselves separately. I put the paper on my bedside table and read it a few times a day. It started working very quickly.
I believe there are energetic parts of us that think they are protecting us and keeping us safe, but that are really keeping us from some of the full, rich experiences of life. Sometimes we need to face those parts, thank them for trying to keep us safe, but ask permission for them to step aside and to think of the situation a different way so it can feel a different way. You can also use that permission to make some tangible goals like I give myself permission to write for one hour a day five days a week, or I give myself permission to take that class every Thursday, and then follow through and see how it feels. You might get resistance at first, but that resistance will eventually leave when it sees it won't work anymore and you are safe taking those steps.
What parts of you might be over-protecting? It's okay to give yourself permission to achieve your big dream. I give you permission to give yourself permission. Remember to write it down so you can see it several times a day as a reminder that you have permission to do this.
The bamboo forest
Get help. The real truth is, 99.9999999% of the time you have a big dream, it takes a team to get you there. That's okay. That's how things work. I knew how severe my anxiety was and that it was trauma based, so I got a psychiatrist to work with me to find some anti-anxiety rescue medicine, and talked with him about my life so I had a professional to understand the scope of this. I got healing sessions and even took more healing courses from healers I know and love. I did EMDR. I talked with loved ones when I had days I didn't think I could do this. I let my partners practically babysit me on the flights, even down to Andres putting one hand on my heart and one on my back and breathing with me when I had a panic attack before my meds could kick in on the plane home. I had my sweet neighbor take care of my cat so I knew he and my apartment would be okay. I talked with my partner Patrick almost every day I was in Japan so I could talk out this experience with someone who cares about me and I can trust. I got the things I needed for the trip with Christmas money from my parents. I had so many people tell me they were excited for me and were so supportive and acted like of course I can do this, even when I had a hard time believing I could. If you are going to accomplish your big dream, you have to realize that some parts will be your job and your job alone, but that some parts will be group efforts.
For this part, make a list of people in your life that support you. Maybe that is family or friends or community. Maybe it is paid professional help like a psychiatrist, an energy worker like me, and other specialists who have the training and skills to help you get where you want to go. Even if you only have one friend in your life, or only a paid helper to assist you, at least you have that, and that is a lovely and very valuable thing. Let the people in your life support you and help you. It's good for them and it's good for you. I know we all hate to get help, but it's worth it. I promise.
A few of the 1,200 stone Buddahs at a temple on a mountainside in Kyoto
Put a timeline on it. I was taking a walk a few weeks before my trip. It felt weirdly like a spring day here in Houston. I suddenly had the thought that in the spring, my trip to Japan will be a memory. I realized that my anxieties make this trip seem like it will last for my entire life. It was two weeks. Yes. That is the longest vacation I've ever had, but two weeks is a very small part of my fifty years of life. I told myself that if I could just realize that it's not forever, just two amazing weeks, it would be easier to manage. I realized that before I knew it, it would be actual spring and the trip would be long over and I would be so glad I did it and didn't miss out because of my fears.
For your big dream, is there a timeline? Try setting a time limit around it. For example, if you want to write that book, give yourself no more than two months to write that first draft. It doesn't have to be a good first draft (I'm a novelist and I don't believe in good first drafts), just use that time to crank out whatever comes out. If you want to move some place new, give yourself a timeframe, that by a certain time, maybe a year or two, you will be in your new place, then visualize being in your new place at that time every day, it can help the process. Everything in our lives has a time limit, including our lives themselves, so we can use time to our advantage when we have a scary leap to take. Hell, I used this method to do small things, too, like my dishes, my most hated of chores. I tell myself I can handle doing this for fifteen minutes and that's all I need to do, so I watch the clock and hate every second, but knowing it will be over in fifteen minutes or less, helps me just do it.
I found that when I went to Japan, once I got there, I wanted the trip to last forever, but alas it didn't. I was ready by the time it was over, but it felt like I got a life time of amazing experience in those two weeks. I used the shortness of two weeks to get myself there and deal with the anxiety, and I used the luxuriously long idea of two weeks to fully embrace and enjoy every moment of the trip while I was there. Let time be your friend and motivator.
The magnificent Torii Gates
So there you have it, three steps to accomplish your grand goal. I hope you will share with me what your goal is and what parts of this method worked for you and if you expanded on it. You can do it. You are reading this post for a reason, because you can do this!
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You are on your way! I can't wait to see the results you get and the dreams you are able to fulfill!