I have experienced a couple of days of heightened wellbeing.
I’m consciously allowing it in, and noticing fears and discomforts that arise amid this – the old urge to return to an emotional state struggle, a physical state of on alert for danger, and the mind’s tendency to search for problems. And breathing deeply from my stomach in response. It’s okay to feel happy. I’m safe, I am well. Breathe deeply….
‘You are not out of a job dear mind, there are other more fun jobs I can give you’.
‘You are safe and warm and comfy dear body. A very low likelihood of danger to you here, you can relax’.
‘Dear emotions, I know you are used to distress, and it’s familiar ground so seems to be attractive. We can together at our own pace, explore new ways and create a different familiar ground, and you will get used to it’.
Very much noticing how much it changes how I view. What I see. The doors and possibilities that open when I’m not in the grip of fear. Fear constricts my view. I go into survival mode. And that is totally acceptable too. I know what to do. How to soothe myself. I’ve written about this a lot – here’s a quick summary of my anxiety first aid.
When anxious, I have cosy socks, a gorgeous new sofa blanket, the soothing words of Tara Brach (who I listen to every single day of my life), I fill the room with light, flowers, plants, a lit candle. 2 daily walks in the woods, a special daylight lamp, endless cups of tea, reading enriching educational or comforting material mostly about how I can improve my therapy skills at the moment. I talk to strangers in the park and the supermarket and we all benefit. I take my focus off of myself, this has been important to learn. So for example, I listen to BBC World Service ‘Outlook’, about other people’s lives.
I’m very curious about the way that doors seemingly magically open up when the anxiety subsides. Possibilities come to mind that stay hidden when I feel afraid for myself. It’s not magic really though. Fear is a boa constrictor. Love is a release of its grip into expansiveness and creativity. I’m loving myself through all states these days.
It doesn’t mean that the anxiety switches off right away, but multiple tools become automatic and kick in when I’m in any distress.
And this helps me hold the tension of the contradictions – breathing through the self doubt, the belief that I’m not good enough, that I’m unlovable, and knowing this is not true even though it ‘feels’ very real.
And aware that sometimes we use the emotions as ‘evidence’ that the belief or thought is true when it’s not.
And the fear I experience is almost always based on lies, and yet fear and anxiety feel very real. So I love myself including the part of me that reckons I’m unlovable, unworthy, inadequate, scared.
So to the last couple of days, what shifted? Well it’s partly that the wheel just turns and keeps on turning. Our states change, and I eventually get bored of feeling low and scared and decide to do something different.
In this case I completed pricing two projects I had been procrastinating about. For ages. And ages. And the more I put it off, the more anxious I became, knowing the clients were waiting, knowing the negative consequences and possibility of them losing patience with me, and losing the work, and also increasing the temptation towards self derision for not doing the work.
In my state of anxiety, that part of me didn’t want to submit the price and set myself up for possible rejection. And before they had the price the job was theoretically a go-ahead. So big time avoidance. And part of me ‘likes’ that state of anxiety, or at least is somewhat attached to it in its juicy adrenaline pumping angst. It’s like a drug.
So now. I await to hear back from those clients. I am relieved of a big chunk of anxiety from being willing to give up the procrastination. And I am aware of the feeling of release.
I feel a little lost out here in wellbeing. It’s big. Its new. I breathe again deeply. I am safe, I am well.
what kind of work do you do? i feel like that when completing an art commission pice or submitting work to a show…anxiety….in fact, it has been a relief the past few months to take a sabbatical from it…