I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.”
Are you feeling more anxious these days than usual? I’m sure you’re not alone.
These are times of uncertainty, which means we just don’t know what the future will bring.
And when we don’t know, what happens? The mind starts creating every possible scary scenario. What if this happens…what if that happens… Then anxiety lodges itself in your body.
Let’s first take a moment to thank the mind, as it’s only doing its job as part of our human survival system. It tries to think about all the bad things that could happen so we’ll be prepared to act. The survival system doesn’t want to be surprised by an unknown threat. It wants to feel safe and secure.
But here’s the catch—we’re not just a human survival system. We’re expressions of the unbounded aliveness that’s beyond human form. The momentum of this aliveness beckons us to return to our natural being and expand into the love, peace, and happiness we somehow know are possible.
When we believe what anxious thoughts tell us, we’re living in a fear-fueled fantasy in our minds, separate from aliveness, awareness, and truth.
The more we think these thoughts, the more we reinforce false views of ourselves and the world. And the more we’re contracted into fear and stress.
Being stuck in anxiety about the future is different from doing what you need to do. Maybe a scary scenario will actually happen—and then you will deal with it in practical ways the best you can. Anxiety comes from spinning in stressful thoughts.
So how do we untangle ourselves from these anxious thoughts and return to the
truth of ourselves? Ready? Get fed up with the suffering they bring to you and learn to not believe what they’re telling you.
Your attention is like the most nourishing food. What you pay attention to is what grows in your awareness.
Pay attention to a hypervigilant mind that’s trying to keep you safe, and all those fears and what if’s become your living reality.
But stop believing the content of your thoughts, and your attention is free to come back to the actual here-and-now reality, not the false one living in your head.
It was a turning point in my path when I realized that just about all of my thoughts:
- Were not actually true; and
- Didn’t bring peace and happiness to my life.
I wanted peace more than anything, so I started experimenting with not believing what my thoughts were telling me. I just gave up letting them take over my experience. They kept appearing, but I saw them as random noise in my head, rather than something important I needed to pay attention to.
Instead, I stayed present in the actual moments of life right here, right now, and I discovered that everything was just fine. In fact, only here do I find enjoyment, enthusiasm, contentment, gratitude, and love. I stopped worrying about the future, trusting I could deal with whatever comes.
Right now, take a moment to recognize the thoughts that are making you anxious. Notice how persistent they are and how you feel when you’re thinking them.
Then stop feeding them with your attention.
There’s no magic, no fairy dust or special technique that will take these thoughts away. You just need to stop being interested in them as much as possible.
What do you do instead? Appreciate the life that’s here right now. Take a breath…feel the physical sensations in you body, but don’t give them any meaning. Maybe even stop using the word “anxiety.”
With your attention in deep connection with the present moment, you’re simply here with what’s real…alive, breathing, and grateful…
Don’t be concerned when the anxious thoughts keep reappearing, because that’s what they do. Each time is fresh. Each time is your opportunity to lose interest in them and return to peace.
Keep trusting in the life force that is infinitely greater than your false personal self. Keep returning to the aliveness that is who you are.
This is the anchor that will set you free.