In this episode, I will be sharing my experiences and insights on managing anxiety as part of our spiritual journey. We’ll be exploring the link between spirituality and anxiety, the importance of self-trust, and how ‘full body joy’ can guide us in discerning answers from God.
We’ll also be discussing how the model of circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, and outcomes plays a significant role in our spiritual growth. The journey towards a spiritually enriched life isn’t always easy, but remember, we are co-creators with God in shaping our future. Join me in this enlightening journey and trust in the blessings He has in store for us.
This Episode is For You If:
- You’ve questioned if it’s a premonition or just being stuck in an anxiety spiral?
- You’ve thought if “it’s God’s will or just something that I want to do his will?”
- You ever get stuck in when is this fear or when is this God speaking to me
- You’ve ever had the thought “was that my own brain or was that something that came from God?”
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Listen to the Full Episode:
Welcome to the Mom On Purpose Podcast. I’m Lara Johnson and I’m here to teach you how to get out of your funk, be in a better mood, and play more with your kids. Manage your home better. Get your to-do list done and live your life on purpose with my proven method. This is possible for you, and I’ll show you how. You’re not alone anymore. We’re in this together. Hello, hello. Whoa. It’s so good to talk to you today. This is Lara Johnson and I have something really special to talk with you about today. This was something that came up while I was coaching a client this last week, and she said, “I wish this was something that we talked about more. And what she brought up was just absolutely brilliant. And she’s right. It is something that I wish we talked about more. And so, I wanted to do an episode on it today. And that is. It’s just. It’s. It’s. I’ll share with you my experience, and then we’ll talk about how I work through it for myself and also with my clients. So, you’ll know this episode is for you is if you’ve ever had the thought, was that my own brain or was that something that came from God? Or if you ever get stuck in when is this fear or when is this God speaking to me and that this is a no, that I shouldn’t move forward on this thing. Or if you’ve ever had the thought on like, is this God’s will or is this just something that I want to do and I want to do His will. So then do I have to let go of the things that I want? Or if you’ve ever questioned, is this like a premonition or is this just stuck in like an anxiety spiral? And then the last one, you’ll know this episode is for you is if you, if you have a lot of confusion on what an answer is, what it looks like, what it feels like, how will you know when it’s an answer? And there’s just a lot of confusion and not much clarity or peace when you talk about this, and we see this a lot when we’re working towards our purpose. I see this all the time when like my clients are moving towards something and they feel like they’re moving towards their purpose until they hit a roadblock and they’re not sure if that’s an answer to step back and focus more on their family or if they should keep going. Again, that’s also, we coach a lot on that. It’s never either or it’s always and. But at the moment, that’s what’s happening in their brain. And so, I think it’s important to recognize that so much of receiving answers when, when we don’t have that clarity on it, we’ll feel a lot of confusion. Is it this, or is it that, is it this or that? Hey, and that’s. When you know that there is a level of self-trust that needs to be developed, as well as just experience on how you receive answers and, and that strengthening of your relationship with God. And so, I wanted to share just briefly a couple, um, experiences that I’ve had over the years on how I’ve been able to receive answers from God and the things that has taught me in the process. So, the first experience was when I was going to college, and I didn’t know which college I should attend. I spent a lot of time praying about this and I was very concerned about this. I was sure that if I picked the wrong college then my life would be miserable and I would not have a good future and there was so much pressure that I had put on myself to Follow God’s will based on, on the things that I had learned, you know, growing up and being very religious. And I remember at one point I had a conversation with my dad about. My family’s decision to move from Louisiana and Texas. So, I was born in Louisiana, all my family’s from Texas, and then they were moving to Utah, you know, for my dad’s work. And I remember my dad telling me this story on how he really didn’t know where my mom and him should move and feeling very confused about that decision, especially as it impacted the entire family. And would impact our futures in so many of the years to come. And he said it was interesting because he felt as he was praying about it, that he really felt like God didn’t care. God had no say on the matter. He just didn’t care as long as. They were doing what they felt was right. And, you know, keeping that connection close with God and as long as they were serving him, then it, the location didn’t matter. And I was really grateful. He shared that story. Eventually they transplanted to Utah and that’s how we got here. And I was mostly raised in Utah, and it was just. Interesting to think about that story and then sharing that with me where I was deciding, you know, which college to attend. And at that point, that’s when I decided, like, God doesn’t care about the location for me in this scenario, he may for you, and you may have had a very different experience. So, I’m just sharing my experience. And so that was the first time I realized that. Lots of times God doesn’t care and the choice is totally up to us and what we want, but sometimes it’s easier to feel like we need to be told. And that’s where I want you to step back and realize, like, knowing yourself and your desires and the things that you want. is very important in this process of receiving answers when you have anxiety. So, the next came when I was deciding to serve a mission for my church. I was 20, almost 21 at the time. And when you serve a mission for our church, it’s for an 18 month to two-year period. And you. Um, you move away from your family, sometimes you’re, you go somewhere in the United States, which is where we live, or you can go anywhere in the world. And at this point, I decided to go on this mission. I was called to Canada, which, uh, in Alberta, which is where I lived for 18 months. And my sole purpose of being there was to teach people about Jesus Christ and to. Minister as Jesus Christ would to serve, to help. And it was, it was such a life-changing experience. But during that time, you’re not working, you’re not dating. Uh, your sole focus is, is teaching people about Jesus Christ. And during that time, I felt very connected to, uh, the spirit. I felt very connected to my savior, Jesus Christ. And I had to learn how to. follow promptings, you know, promptings, I mean, is like feelings in my body. I feel, you know, is there somebody that I could help today and where could that person be? Can you help guide me? And I think the thing that I learned the most about receiving answers at that time was that we are always being guided and that we’re not left alone. It felt like there was a constant companionship. And. Uh, working a collaboration with our savior. And I think about that in terms of working towards our purpose, we can really become an instrument in God’s hands, and we can be guided, and it can be very collaborative. So that’s the other way that I learned to receive answers is that it didn’t necessarily matter what the thing was. It more mattered that it was this constant companionship, this open communication at all times. So then once I got home from my mission, my husband and I started dating and we decided to get married and I felt like I needed to pray about it and get an answer before I felt comfortable marrying my husband and I prayed and prayed and prayed and no answers came and it was really frustrating because I thought this is the biggest decision of my life this This is, this is a decision I’m making for the rest of my life. This is who I’m choosing to do life with and have children with and like, God, why don’t you, why aren’t you answering these prayers? And I was very stressed about it until I realized that, you know, kind of going back to that first one that didn’t matter necessarily for me, it mattered what I wanted to do and what. The choice was for me, and I was very grateful for that experience because for me, I had to learn that lots of times the choice is mine and I chose my husband. I wanted to be with him and at that point, that’s where, you know, I, I said a prayer and I said, okay, I’m not really getting an answer on this. But I know what I want. This is what I want. I chose him. Can you offer your blessing to me? And later on, during our engagement, that’s when I did receive like that confirmation that, yeah, this is a great decision and I support you in your decision. And I was very grateful for that because I, it was what I wanted and I, and I had that confirmation down the road, but I was willing to marry my husband without it because. It was what I felt was right for me. It was the choice that I wanted. So then, you know, later on we decided to buy a townhome. And at the time I was having some struggles getting pregnant and I was taking a job about. Oh, I’m sorry. You know, an hour from our house and I mean, there were just like a lot of moving pieces. So, we decided, well, pregnancy isn’t happening. We might as well, you know, start working on buying our first home. And we decided to look at this town’s home. And when we looked at this town home. Again, we prayed and prayed and prayed and never got an answer. We were very frustrated. Like this is a lot of money, you know, at the time we’re like, oh, looking back, you’re like, oh, that was nothing. You can’t even buy a boat for what we were going to buy that house for. But at the time it was a lot of money for us. And I remember my husband and I kneeling down and saying a prayer, being like, okay, we don’t feel anything. So, we feel, you know, the choice must be ours and we’re going to move forward. Let us know if this isn’t right. And it was so interesting because a week before we were to close on that house, I don’t remember who found it, but somewhere in the process, there was one small clause that in this specific area, you could only have this number of loans and they’ve already maxed that out. And so, we couldn’t get the loan we needed to buy this house in this particular Complex. It was so out of the blue. It was nothing that realtors on either side had ever heard of, and immediately the house stopped. There was no moving forward on that, and it was like the coolest experience on it. That was something that we felt was right. We moved forward on that, and we asked for God’s confirmation or to let us know otherwise. And he let us know otherwise. And then a week later after that house fell through, I found out that I was pregnant and we would have been, it was only a two-bedroom house, and we would have been. You know, maxed out capacity on that. And then within, gosh, I don’t know, maybe the next year we will find the house that we ended up living in for nine years in the city that we still live in. And so, it was just really neat to see how in that experience, like the way that God answered prayers was that he stopped going forward. It was very concrete and there was no moving around that. Okay. So, another experience, like that’s an experience of where God will step in and allow things to stop if it’s not right. And there was something else that we didn’t know was coming. And that was my pregnancy. So then then, the next experience, this was, you know, I, I had two kids at the time. My daughter was probably 18 months to two years old and as, as long as she’s been able to stand, she’s been wanting to cook and to bake and whatever she could. So, I got very used to, um, cooking everything on the back burners no matter what. She was standing there at all times and so all the cooking always happened on the two back burners where she couldn’t reach, and she was always safe. And so, I can’t remember what I was cooking, but she was standing right there, and I had to get something in the sink, and I went to go turn. And immediately I felt get her away, get her away from the stove. And at first it was like, Oh, it’s not that big of a deal. She’s here all the time. And I’ve very distinctly, it was told to me again, get her away from the stove. And so, I moved her away from the stove. I put her on the other side of the sink. I turned and did what I needed to in the sink. And then by the time I turned back to the front, I had accidentally turned the front burner on, not the back burner. And had I not Listened to that very distinct thing that I was told that came out of left field, then she would have touched that burner and gotten very, uh, she would have been very injured. And so, it was really cool in that experience on like, that’s another way that like very few times, but there have been times where something comes in out of left field and you’re left wondering, is that just my thought? But in my experience, it doesn’t matter if it comes out of left field like that, just act on it. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? And so, in that moment, it was like, oh, it just took me five seconds to move her. And then she was safe at that moment. And so that’s another way that we can receive answers being told. So, the next thing is when, and this is probably the way that I receive answers. The most, um, is when I’m coaching a client, for example, or I’m playing with my kids on the floor and I’m happy. And I think so often we overlook that as an answer that we can receive is that sometimes our soul is filled with joy and that is an answer. I am like full body happy. I am Doing exactly what I want to do and feeling like I’m doing exactly what God wants me to do. And it’s this full body experience of being very joyful. So, this isn’t a whole comprehensive list. I’m using this just as examples to illustrate that answers come in so many different ways. So, I want you to pause and just think about for yourself, how have you received answers? And oftentimes it’s not one set way, but I want you to explore. I’m going to maybe they’re similar to mine. Maybe they’re very different, but the more you get comfortable knowing how you have received answers and you do receive answers, it will make it easier to know if it’s your anxiety speaking. Or if there’s something else that God is trying to tell you. So, let’s first look at what anxiety is when we’re talking about it in terms of this podcast. Okay. So, we talk about the model a lot in coaching, meaning there’s a circumstance and we have thoughts about that circumstance, which then creates a feeling. And then we start acting on that, which produces. And that’s the model that we use a lot in coaching. And when I think about anxiety, it’s interesting to think anxiety can go anywhere in that model. Like you may have been diagnosed with anxiety that may be the circumstance of your life. You may also have some thoughts about that circumstance. Like I feel I have anxiety being able to just stop and like say that that is a thought. I have anxiety and seeing what happens in your body. I know the first time I looked at that thought for myself. It was a level of acceptance of like understanding, like I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, looking back at my childhood. I’m like, oh, that’s what it was. I had no idea. I’m a very anxious person. And so, when I finally like had that thought, I have anxiety. It was such a level of acceptance that happened, and it settled in my body. But then you can also feel anxious. That’s where it can show up. There is like a buzz within your body. Like your heart is racing. There might be a pit in your stomach. And then like the action of anxiety might be you’re spinning out. Your brain’s not turning off. I know when I’m feeling anxious and then like my actions of anxiety is like, I’m moving around the house, but not doing a lot. There’s like, that’s where I talk about that Ernie energy. I started getting really frantic in a lot of ways. But then the result is. You could also have a result of anxiety. And I think about this in terms of like, when I’ve had to get on, um, anxiety meds, uh, especially during, um, like pregnancy and postpartum, those are very, uh, those are times where my body is more susceptible to higher levels of anxiety that can be very debilitating towards me for my body. And so, in those moments, that’s where the result might be anxiety when I’m testing out different medications and something’s not working or I’m trying different supplements, you know, too, in order to support my body. And so, the result can even be anxiety. So that’s where, when we talk about like receiving answers, when you have anxiety, it’s important to recognize where does anxiety fits in your model. Right now, it can move at different times, but when I think about anxiety, I think about it in terms of a spiritual sense. I believe that there is a spiritual soul that gives us life that exists outside. side of this body. And then we have our physical body. And I believe anxiety exists in our physical body. It is part of being a human on this earth, but we also have our soul that resides in that physical body. So, when it comes down to receiving answers, when you have anxiety, there’s two very important parts that you are considering, and that is developing communication with yourself and developing communication with God. And in this moment, when I talk about self, I talk more about it in terms of like your physical body. So, there’s a couple of things that I know, and I want you to think about the patterns of behaviors for yourself as you’re considering this. I know that my physical self, my body, my human side is stuck in anxiety and not necessarily spending time in the spiritual receiving answers with God because there are very specific things and patterns that happen. One of them is some kind of iteration of what if. There’s some kind of like catastrophizing. There’s also a lot of worrying without all the information pieces. Like I’m feeling very uncertain or out of control, and I start to worry about those things. I know I’m not receiving answers from God in that place because the worry is part of my anxiety by human nature, and it will, um, it gets very loud. It feels like it’s yelling at me. The other thing I also know when I’m in anxiety versus like having a conversation with God or like receiving answers, for me it’s a lot of second guessing. If I’m spending a lot of time going back and thinking about decisions I’ve already made, uh, that’s Almost always my anxiety speaking up. So, I want you to think about this for yourself. And this is why I mentioned the model. It’s important for you to know your model very intimately with anxiety. What does it look like if anxiety is a circumstance for you? What does it look like if you’re feeling? Anxious. Okay. What does it look like? Like when you were doing actions of anxiety and so the more you get comfortable and familiar with that, then it’s easier to know and understand if you are in anxiety or if you’re like receiving answers or questions from God. So, then the other thing is developing that communication with God, and this has probably been the most. The most challenging thing, but also the most fun aspect of receiving answers is learning the patterns of my spiritual side and letting my natural side of things sit for a moment and spending time in my spiritual side. I know for me. That when I am an open channel with God, it’s, it’s easier to know and recognize the answers that come. I know when I’m being told something like I mentioned before, because it will come out of left field. It feels very strange, but it feels very calm. And almost grounded in my body, like very tender, like a loving parent kind of tender. I know if I have intrusive thoughts, those again are very worrisome, very catastrophized in my brain. Those feel very different there. Again, they have that. frantic energy. Whereas with God, it feels very solid. Like when I got the answer to move my daughter away from the stove, it was very solid. There was no worrying about it. It was just do this. And it like, yeah, that’s the best way to like, just describe it. It feels so grounded and strong inside of my core. When those things come, the other thing that I know is that when I’m working with God and I’m receiving answers, it feels very collaborative. And I mentioned this before, like there’s opportunity for me to present my desires and ask for blessings. There are times where I’m solely the one choosing. And, and I would argue more often than not, we get to choose what we want. As long as we’re, we’re still staying connected with God, he leaves so many decisions up to us. We don’t have to be like, we’re always being co-creators. I feel like our future. And very rarely does God step in and say, no, like do this, you know, like it’s, it’s very kind of going back to what I said about our house on like, it comes out of left. Feel like nobody had ever heard of that. It was so concrete. It’s a full body experience. It’s a full body. No. Oftentimes that’s when I’m like moving forward. If there are things that I want to do, it’s like joyful and it feels like a full body. Yes. Okay. So, when I think about that, that’s where. I want you to practice spending time learning your patterns because once you start learning those patterns, then it’s very easy to know if you’re receiving answers or if you are feeling anxious or in like an Anxiety spiral. And, and I will say that this takes time and practice and sometimes forgiveness, it’s forgiveness on yourself. Sometimes it’s forgiveness. You’re asking for forgiveness because you’re moving forward and sometimes you make mistakes, but more often than not, we are in control, and we are the ones. Moving forward in our life, seeking God’s blessing as we go. If you are doing the right things, meaning you are staying connected with God, you’re serving other people, your heart is full of love. You’re focused on Jesus Christ, anything you choose to do. Going forward will be a blessing to many people, and I guarantee it is sanctioned by God and recognize your patterns of anxiety. And when they creep in, that will allow you to immediately see, okay, that’s not an answer. That’s just my brain being anxious. All right. I hope that helps anybody else that has struggled with this and knows how to receive answers. Really spend time in communication with yourself, learning your patterns and that communication with God and being co-creators for your future. Have a wonderful day. Thank you for listening. Please share, review, and subscribe to this podcast so that together we can live life on purpose.
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Work with Lara: www.larajohnsoncoaching.com/work-with-me/