Sean Ramey is my kind of guy: he is handsome,easy to talk to, loves his family, and cares about people. One of his big passions is teaching people of all ages self defense. Sean has been a martial arts instructor for many years and has his own Martial Arts school in Crestwood, Kentucky.
I recently had the good fortune to chat with Sean again on the phone….
Hello Sean! How are you?
I am well, Debra, thank you!
I know you are newly married and enjoying the family life?…
Absolutely, life is really good.
Well, congratulations again. I am very happy for you.
Sean, last time we spoke we chatted about your martial arts school and the importance of not being “too nice” and knowing how to defend ourselves. I would like to follow up with you about your self defense programs and the book you have been working on…
Sure thing. At our school, Kentucky Tae Kwon and Fitness Academy, Inc., we have our D.E.F.E.N.D self defense seminars. D.E.F.E.N.D. is a self defense course designed to teach individuals how to defend themselves FAST. No experience necessary! D.E.F.E.N.D. is an acronymn for Defending Effectively and Fighting Efficiently with No Delay.
We understand that weekly martial arts training and instruction is not for everyone, however, basic self defense principles should be learned and practiced by everyone. We have offered these seminars to many organizations from corporate groups such as Humana, Inc., and L.N.O. Credit Union to the Girl Scouts of America and church groups!
Well, now you have my attention. I used to be a Girl scout leader!
Yes, Debra, we work with kids and people of all ages.
Many of us who have a hard time sleeping at night are challenged from anxiety. I know (from my own experience) that anxiety stems from fear of some kind…
Fear can certainly steal one’s sense of security and I can see how that would lead to not being able to sleep very soundly at night.
For those of us who are challenged with feeling afraid, what can we do, Sean?
That’s a good question. I think it is real important to feel confident in yourself. The more confidence you have, the greater your peace of mind will be.
What can we do to get that confidence?
For starters, it is important to know that you can handle yourself in any situation. Learning self defense is something I obviously highly recommend.
My husband is a martial arts instructor as well. He speaks often about the importance of cultivating our awareness…
Awareness is so important. We need to be aware of our surroundings, ourselves, and the people around us.
That sounds like a lot of work.
With training, awareness becomes a part of you.
Sean, not all of us have the time or even the interest to train at a dojo and become martial artists. What can we do?
Debra, there are self defense seminars such as ours in Kentucky, and I do have a book coming out soon.
It is my understanding that 20% of the proceeds of your book will go to The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund?
Yes, that’s right. We are committed to donating 20% for the life of the book.
That’s really nice, Sean. I’m so glad I got to talk with you again.
Same here, Debra.
When you are not busy teaching martial arts, self defense, and writing books, how do you like to spend your time?
That’s easy. Spending time with my family. There is just nothing better.
Thank you, Debra
Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~Brendan Francis
Does fear keep you awake at night? Some of my worst nights have been ones full of scared anxious thoughts about: health, my children, money, the economy, world affairs, getting older, my parents, feeling fat, etc. You name it, I have probably feared or worried about it.
These days I have far fewer angst filled sleepless nights. There are tools we can develop that really do work.
You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith. ~Mary Manin Morrissey
If fearful thoughts are robbing you of a good night sleep, here are some ideas to help:
1. Meditate. Take some time to be still and quiet. You don’t need any special equipment or mantras or anything. Just close your eyes and breathe. Try to become the observer of your own thoughts. If they come, let them pass, and breathe….
2. Condition your mind with the use of affirmations. You can write these down on sticky notes, cards, or in your journal. You may include them in your prayers and use them when you meditate if you find it useful for your mind to have something to focus on.
I have used several affirmations over the years. A few that I am currently using that are working well for me are:
I expect success
I Am safe
Life supports me
3. Limit your media exposure. I still get the morning newspaper but I am very selective about what I read in it. It is no longer the first thing I look at when pouring my first cup of coffee. Instead, I write in my journal, read something spiritual and uplifting, or write a morning prayer for The Warm Milk Journal. I have never watched the news on television. I am very picky about what I read on the internet too.
Our experience is what we believe it is. The “bad news” out there that is constantly being reported (because it sells papers and advertising) does not have to be our focus or personal experience.
4. Limit your exposure to negative people. We are who we spend time with.
5. If you are overwhelmed with worry write your concerns down in your journal. Then let them go before bedtime.
6. Get plenty of exercise during the day. A well exercised body makes for a more calm and centered mind.
7. Focus on the things you love. Love and fear are opposites. Which do you want to steer you?
8. Focus on gratitude and the good that is all around you.
9. Look for and see beauty.
10. Let things go.
11. Be present.
Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~Usman B. Asif
12. Light will always overcome the darkness. In the morning, things will not seem anywhere near as bad as they do in the middle of the night.
Anxiety can be subtle and sneaky at times. It may show up unassuming at first…a funny feeling in your stomach, a slight headache, a worry starting up in your mind…
If we let it, anxiety will continue on this journey until it grips, bites, and attacks you in the form of: panic attacks, sleepless nights, depression, and the feeling of helplessness.
Newsflash: we are far from helpless.
Anxiety and the fear it promotes does not become anything of consequence if we don’t grant it a ticket for its reckless ride on us (our bodies, our peace of mind,our jobs, our relationships, our sleep, our health, our life)!
When you first feel that first hint of anxiety presenting itself, here are eight ways to shoo the offender away:
1. Breathe deeply and slowly
2. Realize you are bigger than this. YOU are the one with all of the control and power.
3. Each time you focus you create a new reality. You can choose to not put any energy into anxiety’s arrival.
4. Laugh at it and look it straight on! Fears can’t get much of a grip on us if we face them. So often we will look back and think “why was I so worried or what was I panicked about”?
5. Get busy doing something: exercise, a project, helping someone else.. Keeping our minds and bodies busy at something will often help.
6. You can take John Parkin’s advice in his book: f**ck it . Essentially the message of this great little book is not to care or attach meaning of things in our lives so much and we will be free…let it go, release. Peace!
7. Write in your journal. Writing can be very healing. If you feel worried about something or feel something is not quite right, get it out on paper.
8. Always remember that fear is not real. This too shall pass. Let those anxious thoughts that are flirting with you right now pass by like the clouds on a beautiful breezy Spring day. They will go away!
During times in my life when I have struggled with insomnia it is usually because I was afraid of something. I would be feeling fears about my health, my finances, my kids, my job, the world’s affairs, what others thought of me, etc.
I feel like I don’t lose sleep that much anymore because of these fears. I may still think about them but I don’t get “stuck” with them like I used to (especially at bedtime).
Here are a few things that have helped me shrink my fears:
1. Read things at bedtime that inspire me and feed me spiritually.
2. Turn off the day (I rarely bring work home anymore for instance)
3. Limit my media exposure. I still like to know what is going on in the world but I don’t consume it like I used to. There are actually mornings when I don’t read the newspaper (at one time in my life that would have been unheard of).
4. Exercise and practice yoga
5. Write in my journal (you will find many ideas here at The Warm Milk Journal).
6. Push my edge regularly. Doing something that is challenging really increases self confidence. Self confident people are less prone to losing sleep at night from fear.
7. Surrounding myself with loving and supportive people. Not feeling alone really helps us to feel more secure and less scared.
8. A hot bath at night is always a good thing to relax your body and mind before bed.
Goodnight relaxed and fearless one.
Debra ; )
Five years ago, I was really working on getting a handle on my anxiety. I learned about meditation which helped me tremendously. Meditation is a wonderful tool to train, focus, and calm your mind.
There are many meditation techniques out there. This morning I would like to share with you one that is very simple to do and has worked very well for me.
I discovered indigo when I began to meditate on the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet….
I always sensed a greater concentration when I focused on indigo. Perhaps it is because blue has always been my favorite color and indigo is a very rich shade of blue. Some say indigo is a very spiritual and powerful color. At the end of this post I will share some links to sites about indigo if you would like to learn more about it.
My meditation technique is this: Letting Go With Indigo
I will close my eyes and simply visualize the inner deep indigo layer of a fire flame. That is it.
If I am taking a bath I will burn a candle and focus on the flame. In our living room we enjoy lighting candles or using our fireplace too.
Even if you are not near an actual burning flame, this technique works very well.
Recently when I had an uncomfortable medical procedure done, I had the nurse hold my hand and I closed my eyes , breathed, and concentrated on the indigo in a candle flame the entire time. I was surprised when my doctor told me it was over. The dreaded procedure went by much quicker and painless than I had imagined.
The power of indigo! Try this meditation when:
1. You are feeling afraid
2. You are feeling anxious
3. Your mind is overly active
4. You feel disconnected
5. You wish to develop your intuition or need an answer to a question
6. Anytime you want to be calm, focused, and in touch with the divine and your own power.
I find you can reap the benefits by doing this for only a minute or two. It is truly amazing.
Some resources if you want to learn more about indigo:
We all share these things in common:
1. The desire to express ourselves
2. The need to be accepted for who we are.
3. The need to “cut loose” and not worry about things for a while.
4. We all are doing our best
5. None of us are perfect (and thank goodness, right?)
6. We all have lot’s to offer this world
7. We all want to be loved
8. The desire for good health and a good night sleep
9. We all have our fears and our masks that we wear
10. We all have an opportunity each day to start anew
Have a blessed day, everybody!
To be vigilant: ” alertly watchful especially to avoid danger” (Merriam-Webster)
Even when I am at my happiest and most centered- I am always aware that the monkey mind and anxiety monster are not ever too far away… ready to tickle and tease and taunt me with their utter nonsense!
I must be ever so vigilant to keep these foes at bay.
For general prevention of anxiety and maintenance of an anxiety free state I:
1. Exercise daily
2. Connect with others
3. Spend time outdoors
4. Have some daily down time: on my computer, journal, a good book, a hot bath, a nice glass of wine, good movie with family, etc.
5. Spend time doing tasks that are meaningful to me (such as my writing).
6. Helping others (getting my head out of thinking of myself)
If I do feel an anxiety attack coming on (it does happen), here’s what I do to extinguish it before it catches fire and gets me…
2. Talk it aloud with my husband while he just listens and holds me ( I feel affirmed and loved and safe and the anxiety usually dissipates).
3. A brisk walk outside does wonders
4. Jump on my mini-rebounder trampoline to music
5. Stretch and do some yoga
6. pet my cat
7. call my mom
9. Write down my fears in my journal
10. Put a few drops of Newton homeopathic drops under my tongue. There are two I like: “Blues & Mood Support” and “Stage Fright – Fear” (www.NetwonLabs.net)
I only use these drops if I feel a strong upset or panic attack coming on (thankfully it does not happen very frequently)
Life is too short to let anxiety, over thinking monkey minds, and the resulting insomnia and stress that accompanies them occupy our lives.
Be ever vigilant and you will live a well balanced and happy life and sleep well at night.
For those of us with anxiety issues, we often get little pangs of self doubt, un-ease, worry, or outright panic. For tonight and anytime you are feeling a little afraid, unsure of yourself, or uneasy… here are five affirmations for you…
I AM enough.
I AM safe.
I AM where I am supposed to be right now.
I AM supported.
I AM loved.
When will you loosen your grip on me?
When will ideas and dreams become reality
because action and confidence win over you?
Oh unwanted companion,
in the fog
and in the light.
You are there when I am not even thinking about you-
do you ever just take a break?
Perhaps you’ll shrink when you
that I mean business: the business of
claiming my life
on terms that suit me
and not others out of misguided duty