You Do You

Dear Sheilah: On Guilt, Anxiety & Excitement

Dear Sheilah,
I'm a relatively healthy woman. I don't smoke, drink rarely (only on weekends counts as rarely, right? Maybe?) and I tryyyy to exercise semi-regularly. That being said, I get sick - all the time. Like, once every 2 months. It's gotten to a point where I expect this flu/cold/generally goopy cocktail, and it often drags me down for a solid week. My coworkers are starting to take notice. One even left a meeting today in fear she would catch my cough (which I've appropriately renamed a Seal Bark).    
Any tips or advice on how to stay healthy and avoid my reoccurring, uninvited bug? 
Yours always,
Buggy In Brooklyn  


Dear Buggy,

Wait one minute, let me put on a medical mask.  
Buggy, Buggy, Buggy - you may think that nasty organism was uninvited, however you may have had something to do with it (on a subconscious level, of course). Some Physical illnesses can be an indicator of chronic thought.
That is to say, if you expect your Seal Bark to come every 2 months because goopy loves and adores you, it doesn’t want to let you down. The rule of the Universe is "you get what you think about whether you want it or not." Thoughts become things.
If that’s the case (and it is) why not expect wellness instead of illness? You have that choice.
Hang on, I have to get this mask off I’m hyperventilating...how do Dr’s wear these for hours at a time? My mask is off to them!  
Back to you, my little bug-a-boo. It takes 17 seconds to change a thought. "Come onnnn!" I hear you say, but really, just try this: As soon as you hear yourself thinking any thought that doesn’t serve you to your highest good, get on those 17 seconds. Start talking to yourself about anything, like how good you feel, what you want to eat, or just start counting to 17. You are going to retrain your brain. It takes time, so be kind to yourself, but in the end you'll be in charge of your thoughts. Once you become aware of what you are thinking you are well on your way to a beautiful mind.
Then do 1 push up and drink a glass of wine. Soon you will be singing my praises, and hopefully not coughing them. By the way, I was born in Brooklyn!


Hey Lady Diamond and all fun things,
I've now gained confidence to ask this question after reading your insightful answers that you gave to all the other daring gals. Basically, I've come into a point in my life (aka a yung 23) where I've started feeling guilty or overly selfish for doing things just for myself or striding away from the social scene every now again. 
When did you start to just say "oh well" and pull away from what you have to do and start doing what you wanted to do? Is this just the patriarchy making me feel all that guilt?!
Yung n' Silly
Oh to be Yung n’Silly again. How lucky you are to have found out at such a tender age its not selfish to make yourself happy.
One of the definitions of selfish is lack of consideration for the feelings of others. By feeling guilty, you must be considering someone’s feelings. I just don’t know why you would feel guilty? Guilt only makes the other person more powerful. Don’t ever give your power away. At 23, you should be living the life you choose for yourself. And how fantastic you enjoy your own company and don’t have to depend on others to amuse you.
You stated you want to pull away from what you have to do. Do you really have to do what ever it is? Does someone’s life depend on you staying or does your life depend on your going?
... Now go spread your wings and fly!
P.S. I was 60 when I said "Fuck it!" I wish I was 23.


Dear Sheilah,

I'm a pretty confident woman. I have a job I love, a good relationship, and wonderful friends. But I'm struggling with feeling anxious and worried for no reason. It's hindering my ability to be creative and take risks because I'm worried. Not necessarily that I'll fail, but just that I'm somehow not yet ready. How do you balance your sense of self-worth and confidence against the self-doubt and worry? How do I turn off the part of my brain that I know is holding me back through fear?

Nervous Nelly

You are not alone N.N. The pharmaceutical companies love people with anxiety...and so do I. Because I’m an expert on feeling worried for no reason. Because I have Anxiety too.
Take off the gloves and stop fighting against yourself, that’s what I told myself. I realized that I am not afraid off failing either. What I am afraid of is committing to something. I payed for art classes, gym memberships, and countless other things I never used. I knew that if I started, I had to finish, so I never started. 
Then one day I realized most of my fear was unfounded, just like yours. Getting past any type of fear requires getting excited about the unknown. Its easy for me to say and hard to do. Creativity feeds the soul, and it sounds like you are starving yours. But it takes practice. You have convinced yourself of something that isn’t true. Now is the time to start letting yourself know that you're ready and excited for whatever comes your way. Make that your Mantra. Just like Buggy, you must retrain your brain. One of the ways that helped me was Tapping. Go on youtube and see if it resonates with you.
It takes time to feel comfortable with fear. Practice makes perfect, and I know that you are perfect. And no matter what, everything always works out for you.


Dear Sheilah,

What are you currently really excited about?
Hello Enthusiastic!
I am eager to let you know that each new day is one I will never get back. Yes, eager to either do the same ol' thing with a smile, or try something new. I know that as you get older, and the time goes faster, one has to just love life even if it seems like the world is against you. You know it never is. The decisions we make take us to the next, and the next, and the next.
So, I am enthusiastic about knowing that life can’t pass me by unless I let it. I'm excited to see where I take myself. 

~* Have any burning questions for Sheilah? Send her your ?s: dearsheilah@iconundies.com *~

Meet Sheilah: our pot-smoking, straight-talking, completely uncertified advice columnist. From seasoning humor into a cooking column, to pitching NBC game shows, Sheilah's always had a way with words. She's discovered her calling of helping others heal, through massage and writing this column. Sprinkling wisdom upon Icon readers saved her from living a boring, damp life. Sheilah is the proud mother of 2, grandmother of 3, and lives in California with her beloved yorkie, Max.

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