Remember to take everything one day at a time and not catastrophize about the future. Often times with anxiety, most of the things we worry about never actually transpire in our physical reality. So our thoughts can be our worst enemies if we allow them to be. The key is to realize that the only way for them to disempower us is if we allow them to. We can choose to replace our anxious thoughts with thoughts that are peaceful, full of love, connection, and empowerment. High vibrational thoughts can replace anxious thoughts and serve us.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pamela Savino.
Pamela Savino is a spiritual teacher who founded Live Authentically, LLC with the mission to help others find their voice, speak their truth, and live authentically. She carries out this mission through coaching others individually, group coaching, public speaking, various writing platforms, and her podcast, the Live Authentically Show. She recently launched her first book, SOAR, which gives readers the tools for growth and transformation and ushers them to a place of peace and empowerment.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Idecided to pursue the career path of becoming a spiritual life coach because I have long felt the pull to help people. I actually felt that pull for decades, but I could never quite identify the exact path I needed to take to put myself in the role of service. In my twenties I worked in corporate America as a consulting actuary, and while that fulfilled certain things within me, I still felt the pull to do something for the greater good. Then, in my thirties, I became a stay-at-home mom full time.
It wasn’t until my early forties, after I got divorced, that I received tremendous clarity on the direction in which I wanted to take my future. It was actually through that experience that I received that clarity. The universe always knows the magnitude of the catalyst that’s necessary to launch you out of your current reality and into a truly authentic place where you’re living from the heart and soul, and serving the greater good. For me, that catalyst was my divorce. Although it was a harmonious divorce, the experience is still a major life experience that comes with a lot of change. For me, it was highly highly transformative. It catapulted me into my life’s purpose. I launched my life coaching business, wrote my book SOAR soon after, and I’m impacting thousands of people on a daily basis. It truly sets my soul on fire. I know that I found my passion because the more I pour into it, the more it fuels me. The more I pour into it, the more I get back.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
When I’m looking to do personal development work, I find myself being pulled towards videos or audio recordings. I love listening to audio recordings from some of my favorite spiritualists, people who have similar belief systems that I do, and people who are committed to growth and transformation. I feel as though videos and audio recordings lend themselves well to my lifestyle. I’m a super active mom and constantly on the move with my kids, so little video and audio clips are perfect for me while I’m on the move or driving. It allows me to incorporate learning into my day in a smooth and seamless way.
In terms of who I listen to, I sort of allow myself to be led along that path as I go. If I listen to one video that I’m led to, I pay attention to other recommendations and allow myself to follow my heart and listen to what calls to me. I don’t have one particular person or leader that I’m called to all the time, instead I let my mind and heart be open to what’s speaking to me. On Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, I do follow other spiritualists. I always have my ear out to videos and words of wisdom that others may be sharing. I prefer to look at personal development as a lifestyle and implement it as it comes.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
One of the most important things to remember at a time like this is that no challenging times last forever. This too shall pass. There’s a natural ebb and flow to life, a natural rhythm, and it’s important to remember that challenges are temporary and we will not be stuck here forever. It may be hard to see how we will be able to get past the fear and anxiety of today, but we must have faith that brighter days are ahead. We all have a story to tell about a challenging time we’ve gone through and eventually saw the fog start to lift. The key is to accept where we are, flow with the direction life is taking us, and try not to resist it. I know I found myself, especially when the Corona Crisis first started, pining for my pre-quarantine life. I was a little focused on what I couldn’t do. I knew I needed to recenter and refocus on today and remind myself that we will all get through this together. That’s one of the most important things to remember with navigating change. We need to remain focused on where we are headed in the future, with trust-filled knowingness and faith, instead of continuing to look back.
The second reason to stay hopeful is that there are hidden gems everywhere right now. There are huge opportunities for growth and transformation. This is a golden opportunity to enhance our lives on all fronts — physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. The universe has sent this time to us and it is an opportunity for us all to look within and start to do that soul work. Now is the time to take our present day challenges, doubts, and anxieties, and work through them. We can transmute those things into our personal power. Once you move to a path of growth and transformation, there really is no going back. It is a well that never, ever runs dry. Part of our natural societal conditioning is that we’re given a sort of checklist early on in our lives of things we think we need to do in order to achieve happiness, and I think a lot of people get disappointed when they’re nearing the end of the checklist and still not any closer to their happiness. For example, I had long had the mental image of what I thought a happy life looked like. I thought that the recipe for a happy life was going to college, getting a degree, getting a good job, get married, have kids, buy a car, maybe get a bigger house, and maybe aspire to continue to grow that list. So I decided to go down that path. I got married pretty young and thought I was doing all the right things. What I didn’t realize is that I was following society’s recipe for what I thought happiness was. I didn’t understand that each individual person had license to be as creative as he or she wants to be with regards to finding our happiness. There is no one-size-fits-all happiness recipe. I believe that’s because we’re conditioned to look to more egoic barometers for happiness. My wake-up call happened early in my forties, and I went through all of those enlightenment steps, and it was pretty disheartening to realize I was pouring my heart and soul into a reality that wasn’t going to give me back what I wanted it to. I had a choice to make at that point, and I decided to take a huge leap of faith. Once we step into the soul, and live life from that soul-based place and focus on growth and transformation and becoming a more refined version of the person we were yesterday, that’s when life starts to become much richer. There is never an end to what we can do to improve ourselves. So this is the perfect opportunity to do a hard reset and make conscious decisions on how we want to move forward. Looking back at my own story, I have no regrets. I don’t believe there are any mistakes along a spiritual path, everything is meaningful. My former husband and I came together to bring our four kids into the world and once that mission had been completed, we had a choice to make. We decided to go separate ways with our individual lives, and as a result we have both found our own individual happiness. Being happy parents is the greatest gift we can ever give our children.
A third reason to be hopeful is because this is a great opportunity to focus on connection. Truth be told, I have found certain aspects of this quarantine to be particularly challenging. As a spiritual life coach, I am not exempt from the same fears, doubts, or challenges that other people are experiencing. The only difference is that I have learned to transmute those things into power. I have found myself joking lately that my reality now is reminiscent of when I had four kids at the very young ages. During that time getting out of pajamas by noon was an accomplishment. I was tethered to the kitchen, home all the time, and always had a heap of dishes to wash regardless of how often I did them. It’s challenging to be reliving those days again, especially with my kids being home from school now. However, I keep reminding myself to look for those moments of connection. When we have a choice on what to do at any given moment, always choose connection. Those are the meaningful moments. Those are the moments that give our lives depth and richness and meaning. For example, my kids and I stayed up past their school-night bedtime playing trivia. I kept saying, “Five more questions. Five more questions.” We were laughing hysterically and we stayed up way past their bedtime, but we had a blast. They’ll remember that. They won’t remember the heap of dishes, but they’ll remember the connection. Those moments abound in our homes, online, and wherever we can find them. We’re not meant to be constantly running around and being busy, we’re meant to connect. That has been an unexpected benefit to all of this that I didn’t anticipate prior to this quarantine, and that’s something I intend to take with me after this is all over. I’ve been finding ways to connect with myself, others, and nature. Now is a great opportunity to slow down, pause, and really take time to focus on what’s important in life.
The fourth point I’d like to highlight is gratitude. I always like to harbor a mindset of gratitude anyways, but it is in this quarantine that I’ve become acutely aware of all the things I have to be grateful for. I’ve done a lot of work helping people shift their mindsets during this time. Instead of having that, “I’m stuck at home” mindset, shifting to “I’m safe at home.” Last night I was sitting on my couch thinking about how incredibly blessed I am to be sitting in a house that has everything I need. It’s warm. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. My family is around me and my fridge is full of food. The opportunities to be grateful abound, but the thing is we have to look for them. It’s so easy to go down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts, especially during a time like this current pandemic. It is challenging people on so many different fronts. I don’t mean to minimize the fear, complexity, or sadness of this moment, but there are always so many things to be grateful for even now. I didn’t always have a mindset of gratitude. I had some very negative programming in my head that I had to undo and rewrite the stories I was telling myself. I recall when my kids were toddlers. It was a very challenging time for me, as I had four kids within seven years and my husband was travelling a lot. I fell into a victim mindset and found myself complaining a lot because I was emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. I felt like I was doing a lot of the heavy lifting myself. One day, I just decided that mindset wasn’t serving me. It wasn’t helping at all for me to think about how tired I was or what I wasn’t able to do. I was so busy taking care of others that I wasn’t taking care of myself. It was also in that moment that I learned the importance of filling up my pitcher first, because I was trying to pour from an empty pitcher. So that one day I decided I couldn’t do that anymore. That’s when the biggest shifts come, when we are most stretched physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I reached that point then, and I feel like a lot of people are reaching that point now. I decided to focus on my mental and physical wellness, and for the first time in years I felt amazing. I felt energized, optimistic, and dramatically transformed. It all starts with the mind. If you want to change your current situation, the first thing to do is change your thoughts. Gratitude will get you there quickly.
Finally, it’s important to be hopeful because this is when our true potential can be revealed. Sometimes we don’t realize how much strength and power we have until we are in situations that challenge us on all levels. That’s when we learn to dig really deep. An example of this occurred in the midst of my divorce. Even though it was a harmonious process, it was challenging on a number of different fronts. It wasn’t until I was in that place that my true potential was revealed. I didn’t find my purpose until I was in the middle of restructuring our family, and our lives that we had built together over the last 20 years. I am certain that if I hadn’t gone through that challenging period, I wouldn’t be doing what I am today. I wouldn’t be in the position to be impacting the lives of other people in a powerful way. I wouldn’t be in a position of empowering other people, because I wasn’t living in that space of authenticity. I wasn’t feeling energized then in the way that I am today. I’m doing more now as a single mom than I even though I was capable of when I wasn’t living in that authentic space. So, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of really digging deep right now and asking yourself some really powerful questions. Ask yourself what you’re meant to learn in this situation, what direction do you want to take your life in, what resources are available to you, and what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? I was asking myself all of those questions during my divorce. Nothing makes you do some really serious soul searching like the breakdown of a long term, committed relationship. It’s a serious eye-opener, one of those moments in life that grabs you, shakes you, and shows you really have some work to do. So I dug deep and it launched me squarely into my purpose. It left me energized, untethered, liberated, and empowered. Every season in life serves a purpose, even the most challenging ones. It is often our most challenging experiences that are really whispered invitations from the universe to step into our greatness.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
I have talked to many people over the years who have struggled with anxiety, both diagnosed and not.
While I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety, I have long had a tendency to worry. I had crippling, chronic
worry about things when I was younger. I actually used to fabricate scenarios to be worried about because I felt like if I wasn’t worried about something, I was doing something wrong. I really had to learn to work through it and stop finding things to worry about. It has also helped me to coach others through it, and this is what I like to do:
- First, I think it’s important that our environments be conducive to working through anxieties. If you or someone you know is trying to work through anxieties, find a peaceful environment for them to do work through it. This could be a park bench, or a tranquil area, just some place that enables them to open up. Environment is so important. I personally prefer time outside because it is so peaceful and relaxing.
- Second, ask them to explain their fears. Ask a very general, open-ended question like, “what are you most anxious about?” Then just keep asking questions. I believe all human beings want to be heard, seen, and valued.
- Third, be an active listener. We can show other people that they are valued by simply listening. Consider your body language as well. Keep your arms unfolded, lean into them while they’re speaking, and just listen and validate them.
- Fourth, validate and acknowledge their anxieties and fears. None of us are living the exact same reality, so every situation is unique. Because of that, we can never truly understand another person’s feelings. We aren’t living their reality. However, we can validate that their reality may be challenging for them and that always makes people feel like they’ve been heard.
- Lastly, offer them suggestions for working through their anxiety. I’m a big proponent of not giving advice or telling them what to do, but instead empowering them. I like to give them all the options I see of things they can do and remind them that they’re the architect of their lives and the designers of their reality. Education and empowerment leads to sustainable behaviors over time.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
My observation is that as a society we are so conditioned to look outside of ourselves for answers. I’m such a firm believer in the idea that we already have the answers we need inside ourselves, and we just need to find the right key to unlock it. I prefer, rather than looking externally, to first start with a holistic approach that nourishes our mind, body, and spirit. Because, again, everything we need is already within us. On that note, the first thing we need to do is realize that our anxiety does not define us and we are not stuck there. There are conscious choices we can make every day to help usher ourselves out of that anxious place and into a place of peace. There are so many things we can do to get to that peace, and care for our mind, body, and spirit. The goal here is to learn how to self-soothe instead of looking to external sources to soothe us. The key is to harness that peace within us. Here are some ways I find useful in harnessing inner peace:
- One very simple thing we can do is to go to our breath and take deep inhales and extended exhales. It’s immensely calming and puts us in the right mindset.
- Another thing we can do is keep our bodies fueled properly with healthy foods. Focus on taking in enough vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy carbohydrates. Food is fuel. We often think of food as a way to satisfy hunger, but it is actually fuel for our bodies and we need to fuel it properly.
- We also need to make sure we’re getting adequate sleep. Sleep is essential to regulating our body systems and hormones.
- Becoming aware of our thoughts and how they may be fueling our fears is also life-changing. This goes back to getting in the right mindset. Become aware of your thoughts without judging them, and identify where the fear is coming from. Go deep with your questions and ask yourself if there are ways you can redirect your energy into something more productive. When I was younger, if I was waiting on test results, I would spend all of my time sitting and worrying. I realized that wasn’t a good use of my energy, so now I pour that into finding ways to nourish my mind, body, and spirit.
- Next, learn to reframe your experiences as learning opportunities. This can be done by asking yourself powerful questions, or even through journaling. I journal every single day, often without an agenda. I just let my stream of consciousness run and it helps me crystallize my thoughts.
- Finally, meditating is so beneficial and really helps to calm us. It only takes 5–10 minutes a day and there is no one right way to do it. There are many ways you can meditate. Any time you just sit with your thoughts it’s considered meditating.
Above all, remember to take everything one day at a time and not catastrophize about the future. Often times with anxiety, most of the things we worry about never actually transpire in our physical reality. So our thoughts can be our worst enemies if we allow them to be. The key is to realize that the only way for them to disempower us is if we allow them to. We can choose to replace our anxious thoughts with thoughts that are peaceful, full of love, connection, and empowerment. High vibrational thoughts can replace anxious thoughts and serve us.
We also need to focus on what is within our realm of management. I know that can be hard during a time like this pandemic, because there is so much outside of our realm of management and certain decisions are being made for us. Rather than focusing on that, or becoming anxious about that, it serves us better to focus on things we can manage. Take the fixed variables, or things we can’t manage, out of the equation. Those decisions have already been made. So we must focus on things like moments of connection, gratitude, finding peace in the chaos, and nourishing our mind, body and spirit. Circle back to all of the hidden gems in this moment.
We can also design our space so that it is conducive to a relaxed state of mind. I am at my best when my space is organized. I find when my space is cluttered, my mind is cluttered. Anything you can do to create a peaceful environment will help ease anxious thoughts. Clear away the clutter, put things away, and surround yourself with calming colors and ambiance.
Lastly, no one needs to feel like they need to go through this alone. I encourage people to seek out therapy if they feel like they can’t make it through this with holistic remedies. Therapists can be wonderful at helping us rewire our mindset to help us get through these challenging times.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
The quote that has long resonated with me is, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” I’ve carried that quote with me for decades so much so that I used to stencil it on canvases. I remember when my son was a newborn that I used to bring him out on the patio table in his little bouncer. I felt the need to accomplish something during the day, so I decided to stencil that quote. It spoke to that part of me that felt pulled to help people and do more for the greater good. It’s all-encompassing because it gives insight on the past, present, and encourages us to have hope for the future. I feel like that quote is interwoven in every cell of my body.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I love this question, and it actually gives me spiritual chills because it resonates so deeply. I actually describe what I’m doing right now as a movement. I want my legacy to be what I’m calling the “Authenticity Movement.” My wish for everyone is that they live an authentic life. I want every person to live a life that’s from their soul. I’ve been able to step into my truth and it has given me tremendous power and immense levels of happiness on a daily basis. I’m in a position to serve others and meet people where they are to begin ushering them to a place of authenticity. It is such a great honor to be a steward in their journey. I want to help others find their voice, speak their truth, and live authentically.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Book site: pamelasavino.com
Facebook group: liveauthentically.today/FB
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!