Since we are still getting to know each other on this platform, I’d like to say a warm hello and offer a reminder that Care-notes are informal letters, and act as bridges between our longer publications.
Meanwhile, our publication was granted permission to be part of the Beta testers for video. As some of you know, I sent the first test video last Wednesday and I’ve heard there were glitches while viewing it. I’ll inform Substack and their awesome team can continue to work it out—and I hope soon because I have some really exciting videos planned!
For this Sunday, I’ve created a short meditation to ease anxiety, which is above. And to help the meditation take deeper root, I wrote a short Care-note below.
To dance with anxiety.
I was asked this week what I did for anxiety. I get this question often, and I fear the answer is overwhelming for many because it points to the dreadful truth that we have to be pro-active in our dance with anxiety. No sweet sayings we scroll past on social media, or pretty guided meditations, are going to fix our relationship with this gripping experience of unease. We must confront the dragon, not in a battle, but in a dance of non-resistance.
When I consider the concept of non-resistance, I imagine martial art techniques that employ redirecting energy to gain control of a situation. For example; someone throws a punch and instead of countering it with a punch back, we step to the side and allow the aggressor to stumble into empty space by the momentum of their punch.
Redirecting a punch is an intuitive way to understand non-resistance, yet it’s challenging to apply this concept to not resisting anxiety. In my experience, it’s easier to train our bodies how to step aside from a punch than train our minds how to accept the awful experience of anxiety. The challenge rests in the more subtle aspects of ourselves; the unhealthy mental and emotional habit patterns. We’ve developed these habits throughout our lifetime, and they are the root cause of many anxiety challenges.
When we attempt to not resist anxiety, the habit patterns rally together and scream at us to resist anxiety.
“Resist,” they say, “anxiety is bad!”
They think they are protecting us. Furthermore, their very existence depends on us grasping onto them with an iron fist. But this iron fist of resisting anxiety empowers our unhealthy habit patterns and, in turn, strengthens anxiety. Non-resistance relaxes the fist and allows the dissolving of unhealthy habit patterns. That means their death. Without our unhealthy habit patterns alive, much of our anxiety dissolves, too.
Allow anxiety to arise, the fist softens. Allow anxiety to dissolve, there is no more iron fist.
Allowing anxiety to arise, and then dissolve naturally, is how we can dance with this unwanted house guest. When we learn to dance in this way, we take the lead, and when we lead, we face the dragon. Facing the dragon is part of being a bad-ass and carrying the sword of a warrior. I will never lie to you and say this dance isn’t hard. I know it is because anxiety is my shadow-twin. But I promise, non-resistance gets easier and more natural.
Guided meditations, like the one for today, can help us integrate methods that calm our anxiety. They help us learn to take the lead in the dance and realize we are so much more than panic and unease that often capture our minds and bodies.
And because we are so much more, we can subdue the anxiety patterns.
I will be thinking of all of you this week as I edit next week’s publication. Thank you for being here. I appreciate each one of you and I send you all of my love.
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