The Swirl – It’s Part of the Unraveling

Shame storm, shit show – call it what you will. When the day gets dark and the clouds are closing in, it’s just plain scary. It becomes a show-down between your feelings, thoughts and reality! The hurricane inside your head, your stomach and your body swirls like a category 5 –  And only YOU have control.

I’ve been through my share of what Brene Brown calls shame storms – albeit most of them self-imposed. Or I have allowed it to happen. Someone once said to me in the heat of the moment, “I can’t make you feel anything, but I sure can try.”


Time stopped. The air became still. My head began spinning. Was it realizing this person I had trusted was manipulating my feelings? Sure, I could have played the blame game.  But NO, it was the moment I realized that only I had control of my feelings, thoughts and reactions. It empowered me to take back my power and stop leaving it on the table for someone else to control.

Here are two things I learned…

  • Are you seeing what is really reality?
    There are times when what we perceive is not really reality. Maybe a text message or email – or even the tone with which something is said or how something happens, can send us spinning, feeling shame, guilt and even rejection. Or perhaps we respond based on how we are feeling that day with the challenges we are facing. Maybe we are even seeing it through the lens of our past experiences.

    STOP. Hit pause. Instead of immediately going into the swirl, and you KNOW you are when your body reacts, review. I can’t tell you how many times I would have saved myself massive anxiety if I had just checked in – with myself or the situation or the person. We can get into a place of fear and anxiety that will only feed on itself if we don’t get out of our heads and into our hearts.

  • Empower Yourself with Boundaries
    Boundaries are critical self-care. Sometimes we let them slip or don’t create them at all and we find ourselves having our unspoken boundaries crossed. That can become painful and leave us feeling empty and broken. If we are lacking in the areas of self-respect, self-love and self-worth, we can allow boundaries to be stomped on. Creating boundaries – physical, virtual and relational boundaries, is critical. If we allow others to question our space, our time, our values, we are allowing them to cross lines that should never be crossed. Consider why you allow the boundary to be crossed. Is it in the hope of acceptance, love or fitting in? And when you discover the reason, how can you empower yourself in that area?

The swirl is an uncomfortable, horrible place to be. It has taken me down at times. Head racing, heart pumping, can’t breath… DOWN! I admit I’ve had recent days of the swirl… I’m human. But I’ve also learned how to pull up hard when it begins to hit. I reach out to my inner circle and ask for support. I take time out to reflect and contemplate why. I check-in and ask is what I’m experiencing really reality – or is it just my perception? And then I adjust my boundary. It’s all part of the process of living the best life you can.

Before the next time your body tenses and your heart rate skyrockets and your headed into the eye of the hurricane, give some thought to how you too can pull yourself out. Don’t get caught in the swirl without the tools to turn it around!

Join me Thursday, May 4th at 9amPT for a FREE CALL – Unraveling Unfolding: The 4 Keys to Reclaiming Happiness.

Register by clicking here!


  1. I have been there, too, my friend. I am thankful that my husband taught me to “sit” on it and not even reply to these situations. It’s hard to do, but when you put two hours between the gut reaction and emotion, you can then bring in the reality and a totally different perspective.

    Hope you had FUN in the snow…. YES I CAN!

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