Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Working with Anxiety

I thought I'd once again share a comment I made on another blog I've enjoyed greatly of late - Sacred West. We'd had a brief dialogue about a post on Stong Back, Soft Front, after which Sacred West was relating an experience from that morning:

Sacred West : "I awoke and thought of a stressful event to deal with this day, and I became anxious, I felt the pain of anxiety come into my gut and my stomach.

Then, thinking in terms of front and back I thought: pain just doesn’t belong here. And still in bed I moved this energy back into my spine and away from my organs, and it became strength, my resolve to stand up to the events of this day.

So, I don’t know, but the metaphor has its uses :)

What do you think about that?"

Chodpa : "Thanks for sharing that ...

what do I think? ... :-) ... I think that it’s great that this metaphor works for you, and affords you the means to work with conflicting emotions like anxiety, and find a means to transform that emotion into strength :-)

We all use different methods, right, whatever works and is appropriate at that time for where we are at?

For myself, when something like anxiety arises, then I simply allow it fully into awareness, as much as I’m able. Not pushing it away, not seeking to transform it, not in any way trying to grasp or reject it, but allowing awareness and what arises to mix fully.

When I’m fully and deeply aware of this arisen emotion, I tend to see it for what it is ... simply appearance, mirage-like appearance, devoid of any solidity, location or attributes in any way. It’s there, yet it’s not there. A dance of illusion.

Seeing thus, what seems to have arisen simply self-liberates ... it’s runs its course and melts away, without struggle, without conflict, without grasping or rejecting ... just what is, without the hooks into the psyche.

With that ... ease is neither won nor lost ... different flavours play and flicker, but what actually changes?

Well, that’s the way I go ... (or sometimes, try to go ;-)

One thing I’ve found very useful, is when an emotion arises, to see what is going on physically, emotionally, and at the level of storyline (or thought). Not analysing any of them, just allowing it fully into awareness, and watching if you like at all three levels. Doing thus takes all the ‘bite’ out of the emotion, allows us to see the way we habitually react to that which we don’t want to experience, and allows those patterns to dissolve in the sun of awareness, weakened, and less able to hold us in their habitual grip.

many thanks for your sharing ... and very best wishes to you!"

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