Anxiety and Worry
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
'The best use of our imagination is creativity and the worst use of our imagination is worry'.
Am not sure who to quote on this, but I've seen this time and time again rehashed by many people over many years. I have both understood and been totally oblivious of, or forgotten this principle throughout my whole life. I guess I was never taught it by example or through anyone even sharing it with me for most of my life until I came across it myself in my early 30s.
We understand the same principles to varying degrees of depth at different stages of our life. I understood it superficially at first, as that was my capacity, and then I understood intellectually, then I felt it, and then I knew I had to apply it, but the resistance was still there from years of habit. Then at some point I realised there really is not much of a choice actually because of the energy of suffering that goes with not acting on it. And then back to the resistance and back and forth, and that's ok. The known feels more cosy, albeit stiflingly so, and the unknown like an uncomfortable out of key tune.
I've realised that there really is something so compelling about worry and getting sucked into the drama of humanness. Even sometimes when finding lightness and peace amidst a hugely challenging situation, I am suspicious! Why my ego asks.. why would I feel peaceful here when by all accounts this looks terrible on paper? It would be that point in the movie where everyone is shocked, emotions are completely captivated by the unfairness, the volume turned up on anger, sadness, frustration and, the worry... and this is what the human mind loves to buy into. It is so compelling. Plugging right into our primal survival instinct.
All that is new is scary, if I am so peaceful what would I do.. would I have drive or desire, would I even care about anything or anyone, what would I do with all this energy and time freed up in my mind body and emotions??
Hooking into a repeating pattern that does not serve our mental, physical, emotional, and or spiritual health is an addiction.
So whilst there is a lot of grey area in life (and grey matter in the brain) there are ultimately two polarities for us to tune into, that of growth, creativity and ultimately evolution, or that of stuckness, worry, and ultimately more stuckness. And that is not to judge or say that in choosing to worry there isn't much of value, learning, protectiveness and protection, tenderness and compassion for others and oneself, in the experience. However, the question to ask is where is this prolonging the suffering and when and where is it nibbling away at our own and others' sanity, health and joy. Where does it go from an anxious feeling to a thief robbing us of our vitality.
And we all have our own bespoke thief. The prolonged worry aspect underlies most isms and issues...worry about others who are different or have different opinions, worry we won't get what we want, worry we will be trapped, worry we will get rejected or abandoned or betrayed, worry we won't do it 'right' or perfectly, worry others might judge us, worry we don't look ok, worry we're too old or young, worry we cannot possibly start again or start something new, we don't or won't have time and energy, that we're just not capable of that whatever it is, worry around finances and the economy, etc. And the deep set worry can manifest in different ways such as anger, anxiety, superstition, paranoia, illness somatised in the body or general physical problems, repeated injury, ocd, unhealthy eating or working habits, insecurity, self sabotage, suppression and repression, the list is extensive.
Spiritually, worry comes from a contract with lack. A fundamental feeling lack as a result of not trusting in Spirit/Universe/God/Life. And when we are not connected to Spirit, we are not connecting to something bigger than us, and when we are not connecting to something bigger than our ego and will, we only have the other option, which is to control. And control and worry skip happily down the yellow brick road into delusion.
It is so natural to worry and that really is not the issue. The issue is how do we soften, let go more, trust, have faith, follow the thread of joy, and relax.
We can find the profound wisdom of creativity in nature. As humans, our home is planet earth and it always will br our most experiential teacher. Every creature, plant, mineral, has its own unique way of being creative in the face of favourable and less favourable conditions, and as humans we can learn from all of it by observing.
We have such a rich tapestry of imagination as humans that it makes sense to use it in the direction of what we want rather than what we do not. Letting go of any layers which energetically might be preventing us from doing that.
I find poses in yoga that are more passive and surrendering, the Yin poses, are really good for letting go of control and worry. Sometimes, if we are quite fully in these qualities, we can go through the resistance wave in Yin, where control and worry come up even more strongly before ultimately yielding. I also find heart openers essential for worry and anxiety as I align myself to heart wisdom which always feels spacious and all embracing. Coming into the fluidity of a flow is a great way to move the energy into a more positive creative patterning, as long as the movement is authentic and grounded. Held Yang positions are also great for getting empowered and centered viscerally.
It's good to pace yourself if you are starting out or going through a challenging time. Stay within your range physically mentally and emotionally, and stay there until you feel ready to explore more range. Finding the creativity however subtle or small in each little step into unfamiliar territory, having a little fun and adventure in the process!