We went to the mall in the evening after I was done work. I wanted to check out Ikea and I knew she wouldn’t enjoy the brisk paced walk I was intending, so I left her at the day care in the food court. It was crowded and I mean jam packed. I gave her strict instructions not to come out unless I came for her. But when I came back from Ikea, Kinza was no where to be seen in the sea of people – I had only been gone an hour. The supervisors didn’t know where she was – it was sign language mostly as they didn’t have much English and I had zero Arabic. This is Dubai 20 years back – they didn’t speak as much English back then.
I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I was scheduled to leave the next morning. I wasn’t carrying my passport or any ID on me. I couldn’t speak the language and I didn’t know anyone in Dubai – not really, and it being the weekend, I couldn’t call the office for help.
These were the thoughts going through my head. I knew I had to calm down in order to function. So I started saying to myself “she knows what to do – if she is lost, she will try to find a policeman” and the voice in my head kept saying “but what if someone took her”. Every time that voice chimed in, I said, “no, it’s going to be okay, I will find her – she knows what to do”. I knew what to do too – I had to get a hold of mall security and report a missing child. I looked around frantically for someone in a uniform. I saw a guard on the far side of the food court and started making my way towards him through the crowd, hoping that he would be able to communicate in English.
I was only about 20 feet away from him when I saw a little girl walk up to him – my little girl! It was my little girl. I won the lottery many times over that night. I was so grateful. All of this happened in less than 20 minutes.
Looking back at that incident now through the lens of the Law of Attraction I can see the vibrational links. I know that leaving her in a crowded new place wasn’t sitting well with me – so I had already put a negative vibration out there. But then, I listened to my gut feel and returned much earlier than I had planned to, because of the discomfort I was feeling. First and foremost, even though I was terrified, my self-talk was soothing. I trusted that my daughter would know what to do. I trusted that things would work out. And they did.
Over the years as I have learnt more about emotional frequencies and how we create our own reality, I have developed strategies to cope with difficult situations. “PANIC” is a situation in which your brain freezes and you don’t know what to do. How we get to a state of panic and anxiety and how to avoid going there are a different subject and before we tackle it, let’s first focus on learning a strategy that delivers immediate improvement from that feeling you get when you life seems to be spinning out of control. I call this strategy the “Fire Drill for your Mind”. It is like a switch that you flip when you need it, that is based on the law of attraction and produces consistent results.
You know why we rehearse fire drills in public buildings and apartment blocks – right? The main premise behind a fire drill is that our brains freeze when we are in a state of panic. Our decision making capability is compromised and we can do things without thinking about their consequences. Abraham calls this “jumping out of an aircraft without a parachute”. So, we practice fire drill and learn a sequence of action that we need to take in a panic that we don’t need to think about – we just do, and the doing saves our lives.
Here’s where I find a lot of people get mixed up with the teachings of Abraham which seems to tell us that we shouldn’t take action until and unless we have done the vibrational “thinking” work to bring ourselves up the emotional scale and into alignment. What they forget is that Abraham also teaches us that when we are in the middle of a panic situation and have already made the jump from the air craft or let the car go speeding down the hill, that is not the time to do vibrational work – at that time you had better get out of the way of the car as it goes crashing down the hill.
The Fire Drill for your Mind is a process that I developed as part of my coaching practice may years ago. Basically, this process helps us find a soft place to land after we’ve already made that jump from the aircraft or get out of the way of that car that’s gathering negative momentum.
If you want something really badly and when you think about it, you feel helpless and hopeless and you practice the fire drill enough times, eventually you will be able to keep yourself from hitting that panic button, and you will develop the mindfulness to put the brakes on before the car starts its downhill run.
Typically, when panic hits us we are looking at things in front of us without actually seeing them. The first thing you need to do is to interrupt that thought pattern. In other words, you create your own “intervention”- forcing yourself to look away from the problem. In my coaching sessions I teach people to draw a smiley face on the palm of their hands as their fire drill. Read more about it here.
The next thing to do is to look at something that has nothing to do with the subject of your panic and direct yourself to see it. You do this by observing its physical characteristics. For example, my fire drill involves looking out of the closest window to find something outside my personal environment like a tree or a wall. Then I describe what it looks like to myself. As I do this, I have actually shifted my thoughts away from the panic on to something that is unemotional or even pleasant. This immediately dissipates the panic and allows me to go up the emotional scale a notch. And that is all we need to do to rescue ourselves – just go up a notch. Other things that help are revisiting in your mind a peaceful place that you have been before or imagined before and describing it to yourself; looking at pictures of beautiful places, people or things and focusing on their features and describing them, petting your cat or dog, noticing their features and talking to them aloud – you get the drift… (watch the video for a fuller explanation).
We need to decide what our fire drill involves before we are in a situation that involves using it. Once we decide what we’re going to do when the panic hits us, then all we have to do is to do it. It is helpful to save your modus operandi for your fire drill on your phone or write it on a card that you can have handy, and pull out soon as you feel that panic attack coming on. Practice your fire drill a few times everyday (outside of panic situations) so that it becomes a learned response that you can do – then it will be easier for you to do it in the middle of an anxiety attack. That’s exactly why we practice our fire drills and not wait until there is an actual fire to do the practicing.
You will find that if you practice the fire drill often enough, the reasons for you to put it into action will start becoming less and less frequent. The only reason we get anxiety attacks is because we allow the anxiousness to continue because we don’t have the tools to deal with the situation.
Much love and appreciation,