Apr01

Publisher - April 2020

Publisher0420What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
— Plutarch –

It’s easy to feel lost in the times we are going through, and feeling lost is scary. Did you ever get separated from your mother in a store, at a theme park, or wherever, when you were a child? Remember how terrifying that felt? Suddenly, everything looked unfamiliar and seemed so much bigger than you. Panic overwhelmed you as you raced around trying to find the security of your mom. As a child, we cried as we desperately searched. It was those tears that made another mom, or a clerk, stop to help us find our mommy.

Fear and panic, an infamous duo known for wreaking havoc, hinders us from finding our way. They manipulate us to be irrational, distort reality, they literally paralyze our mental strength. Fear and panic can become so overpowering, they convince us to give up, especially when the going get’s tough. Right about now kind of feels like a good time to give up as the world spins out of control. The fact of the matter is, the world is always spinning out of control when we allow the external (social media, news, gossip, materialism, etc.) to overtake our internal (heart, mind, emotions, meaningful connections).

When we let the external bully the internal, fear and panic pretend to be your solid ground, when in actuality they are sinking sand. I think I’ve told you this, but I fought panic disorder for almost 23 years. Though I never let it stop me, it was debilitating to the core. I have spent Christmas Eve’s in the ER, attempted to cancel family vacations while pulling out of the driveway with a packed car and avoided flying for 23 years, forfeiting a free trip to Paris and the wine country of France. Believe me, I have been intimate with fear and panic, and their best friends doom and gloom, but they were just using me.

Thankfully, through building my spirituality (internal) and confidence (external), I no longer experience panic attacks. However, I will never forget the misery they brought and how they controlled me.
No matter where your current emotional and mental state falls on the spectrum registering from I’ve totally got this to I just can’t handle this, there are some fun things you can do to keep fear and panic at bay, stuck in the pluff mud, where they belong and need to stay.

One way to start positively eking towards I’ve totally got this is to find a piece of yourself you have lost. At the recent Brain Heath Summit on Hilton Head, hosted by Memory Matters (Hilton Head), I was given a name tag that said: “Hello. I love to ________ and I’m pretty good at it. I had a really hard time filling it out. Confession: Mine is still blank. For me, I have spent most of my adulthood trying to survive and thrive, I have forgotten what I love to do. And, let’s clarify this as “love to do for myself.” In other words, you may need to reevaluate if your Hello. I love to…name tag reads: Hello. I love to do my children’s homework, and I’m pretty good at it, or Hello. I love to clean up after my family, and I’m pretty good at it. As I sit here and ponder, there are a few options that excite me.

More than 10 years ago I read Sandra Magsamen’s book, Artful Living. In it, she gave many ways to fill your life with joy and creativity. One of the chapters talked about how much her family wanted to go to Italy but couldn’t make it happen right then. So, they began living in their Baltimore home as if they were in Italy. They ate Italian foods, drank Italian wine, played Italian music, incorporated Italian decor, tablecloths, dishes—they brought Italy to them and had a blast. I have been thinking about this because I want to shift to the Mediterranean diet lifestyle, even more so since the Brain Health Summit reaffirmed it as the healthiest way to eat. So…Hello. I love to cook, and I’m pretty good at it.

Have you figured out what your I love to is? If so, the next question is what are you willing to do to nurture it? You have to nurture what you love, or it will go away. That’s why we sometimes forget what actually floats our boat. We forget to nurture, which is the equivalent to putting a tarp over our “boat,” placing it in storage and never taking it out for a joy ride.

But what is life without doing what we love? In nurturing my love for cooking and transitioning to a mostly Mediterranean lifestyle, I plan to take in the freshness of it all—the colors, the selecting, the smells, how it makes me feel, the energy it brings. I’m going to go to the market daily and use the little shopping basket instead of overflowing a buggy. And, yes, why not add the music and other things that turns the transition into a celebration? I’m tired of being focused on the destination and not the journey. Think about it this way: If you look at a map that tracks where you’ve been, usually there are dots on your destination. But it’s the line between the dots where life is lived—the life line!
Allow these crazy, unsure, even scary times be a life line for you between the dots of before Covid-19 to after. What do you want to do to make your line full of life—fun, fabulous, no regrets, no fear life? Figure out what you love and let that line be filled with the wonderful things you did to nurture it.

One more happy note, Pink Magazine turns 16 years old this month, and we had to cancel our birthday Partini. Did you know Pink was born in Hilton Head Plantation on March 31, 2004 in a little room in my house? Thank you for loving her, and please know, she (and I) love you right back! Let’s celebrate soon.

Think Pink,

Elizabeth Millen

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