The Power of Slow

Embracing time so you have more of it

How to Release the Grip of Anxiety

Many people suffer from anxiety. Here's why it's all in your head.

Anxiety. It crawls up your scalp, threatening to devour your everything. It’s never satisfied, always looking for its next victim, a predator lurking beneath your skin.

Yes, I’ve had my share of anxiety in life. It never ceases to amaze me what we do to ourselves when we let anxiety in the front door.

Take a recent phone call I had. I was nervous about it as it involved some very sensitive issues, but something inside said “Trust. Take care. All is well.” So I followed that voice into the conversation et violà! We ended it with laughter, connection and a really good feeling.

You really do get what you’re looking for. If you fear pain, it comes. If you let go, magic occurs.

The fear of pain exacerbates the pain itself. Pain is a phenomenon. Our fear intensifies the experience of it.

When you allow for space between things, you create an energetic pathway for positive energy to run through you. The key is to become the channel through which all things flow. It’s a scary prospect to let pain in. But pain is a part of life. If you fear it, it will grow.

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A few weeks ago I had the most liberating experience while having a migraine. Sounds strange, right? Having suffered from migraines since I was a young adult, I typically would fear their onset. Once the blurred vision set in, I would panic, inevitably making the pain worse than it already was. But this time I decided to embrace the pain, really hug it out, as my dear friend Brian Hilliard likes to say. Lying there in the morning light, I envisioned what the migraine was trying to tell me.

“Slow down. It’s going to be alright. I need to do this for you right now. Be patient.” So I settled in for a while, listening to it talking to me like a good friend over coffee might. I thanked it for its immense courage to enter my life, knowing I would most likely reject it. But this time I didn’t. And I was filled with a level of gratitude I can barely describe.

And wouldn’t you know? That migraine left faster than ever before.

In less mindful times than the one I just mentioned, my Anxious Beast growls deep within, taking a stranglehold around my inner voice so all I see are shadows and the ever watchful eye of fear. It haunts me into the night, shaking the bed and my bones. But then, like the migraine that recently pierced my skull, I give that awful beast a gargantuan hug. I mean I really love it with all my might, looking it squarely in its beady eyes. That’s when I see the tears that motivate the beast in its incessant quest to torture everything in its midst. It fears being alone.

Silly beast. We’re never alone. How can we be? We are all one. Our shadow and our light dance together in a perpetual pirouette. When we feed the beast fear, it magnifies itself. When we feed it love, it slumbers.

The Anxious Beast may always reside within us whether it is asleep or awake, slinking quietly in the background, but if we bring love to it every time, it softens back into the fold of who we are. The result is a more profound connection with oneself and the world.

It’s all in our heads, really ~ migraines included. Now imagine a world led from the heart where pain, fear and ugliness get wrapped in a shroud of light.

Can you see it?

Christine Louise Hohlbaum is the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World.

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