Here we go, right on cue, after tastes of fabulous freedom recently, anxiety provoking thoughts arrive a day or two later. That sense of ‘concern’ trying to regain the lost ground.
Thoughts arrived at a what seemed like a machine gun pace earlier in bed. I felt myself trying to shrink away from them. “Oh noooooo INCOMING!” These were various random thoughts of doom and disaster (e.g. the world is a mess, bad things are going to happen to us all, its too late, and it can’t be fixed).
I become scared of my own thoughts. ‘Oh no, what’s coming next” then pensively waiting. And that’s a lot of suffering of a position to occupy. To tighten up and contract away from my own thoughts and the uncomfortable feelings those thoughts might bring. And this attempt at closing or contracting away….THAT is perhaps even more painful.
Shrinking away. That never works. So I did the opposite, opened myself to what is being felt….no thinking about it, just feeling into it. And. Just. Slowed. Right. Down. Breathe.
Add a large dash of Curiosity. What is this here? This swirling threatening energy? I have no idea what this tornado is but it’s interesting. Oh look, I can watch it. That means I’m not it. I’m the observer as well as the experiencer of it.
This dear amygdala of mine is a threat detection system on full alert these days. It does have my best interests at heart I know. This old part of the brain that evolved to identify tigers behind bushes now sees tigers everywhere.
The incoming stimuli of info from our screens from the news, government, media etc. well they know all about that old amygdala and it’s threat detection skills and they know exactly how to get our attention. And the pandemic has turned that volume right up.
It’s not our fault. What we do with it is our choice however.
We can use this. This is an opportunity. It is fertile fuel to be used to call on our innate courage and increase willingness to trust, love and surrender. Leverage to use and rise above the monkey mind. “Thanks for the extra motivation pain!”.
This slight shift in perspective from “oh no get away scary feeling/thought!”
To “oh great here’s an opportunity, welcome. Thank you. I can use this” creates an immediate shift inside. A space opens up. Add more curiosity, ‘oh interesting’. I feel more spaciousness inside’.
How else am I going to become fully trusting and fearless except in the face of this terror and fear? This is my friend and ally, not an enemy.
I put my hand on my heart, take a breath, pause and send some compassion my way, our way. All of us in this strange wonderful beautiful scary life here together on this planet.
May we be well
May we be safe
May we be at ease
May we be free
The anxiety subsides somewhat. With the light on the thoughts, they sort of fritter away. For now. I’m ready though, can feel that courage kicking back in.
‘The battle must be won again and again’ as it says in Light on the Path.