We all have varying degrees of anxiety these days. In the midsts of a global pandemic, self-isolation and fear of Covid 19, anxiety has become commonplace.
Anxiety is a word with broad definition, but if we are honest with ourselves and willing to look a little closer, anxiety is often a result of deeper thoughts and feelings like worry, apprehension, unease—the notion that things are not going the way they are “supposed to.”
The virus, this invisible intruder, has produced anxiety in many. On the lighter end of the spectrum, one could be anxious about not having enough…food, water, companionship. On the heavier end of the spectrum, anxiety could come from worrisome thoughts like, “Do I have the virus? I can’t be near the people I love.” Or, “Oh no, someone I know and love is going to die from it.”
Here’s the helpful point that will not make sense at first: The thing we perceive to be the problem is NOT causative! Not once do we stop to consider the thought of __________ (anxiety, fear, depression, guilt, hate, etc.) preexisted the event that triggers us.
In the Avita Yoga practice, we use the shape to bring the sensation (mild, tolerable, healing form of pain) to the surface of our awareness so that it can lead us to the problem where it can be solved.
If we don’t know where the problem is, and rarely if ever do we really know, then how can we ever expect to solve it?
If we don’t know what or where the problem is, we blindly try to extinguish the symptoms with various “feel good” methods, pills or even surgery, none of which are wrong, and can be helpful. In short however, the pain and the problem are rarely if ever in the same place.
In life, it’s no different. The pain, fear or anxiety is NOT a result of the thing we see.
The thing itself (in this case the corona virus) is not scary or frightening. The monster in a bad dream is not scary. It’s the thought of fear behind it that makes it scary.
- The fear comes first (cause) and then it gets projected out (effect).
- We repress the fear or anxiety (as individuals and as a collective) until finally the form of the thought is produced, or manifested in form.
- We then point our finger at the effect and blame it for our problems. “See,” we say to ourselves, “there’s the reason I’m scared and anxious!” And now my feelings are validated and I get to maintain my anxiety while keeping the real source of the anxiety hidden and at bay.
The outer, justifies the inner. This is the ego at work. It does it constantly to uphold a false and helpless sense of separation.
And so the world turns, until one day we decide to see it differently. We’ll stay imprisoned by our own thoughts, blaming outer circumstances until we realize we’re caught in a time loop, as individuals and as a collective whole.
Remember Ground Hog Day? How did Phil, faultlessly performed by Bill Murray, get out of his hell realm? How did he get out of the time loop? He started to observe his thoughts and the way he reacted to outer circumstances. He slowly began to realize the miraculous benefits of changing his perspective! As he disarmed the triggering events, he began to see the “real world” waiting to take care of him and show him a better way. Love “showed up” because love became his goal and Guide.
This is our yoga! It does no long-term good to keep finding short-term solutions to the fear and anxiety. Instead use the situation at hand as an opportunity to change your mind and choose a different inner teacher.
- You have to want a better way. If you don’t really want a way out of your pain, then the attraction to pain is still too great and that’s ok. I’m not being facetious. Stay at step one and notice your attraction to the pain, without judging it as wrong or bad.
- Don’t change a thing. This is important. Don’t demand that others change. Remember, the outer thing, which includes your behavior and what you do are not the problem. Changing the outer is a trap to keep us from looking at the inner.
- Look at the thing that seems to be causing the fear, without fear. This takes trust and courage. Look at the problem as it is, not the way you set it up. You might say to yourself, “It seems like I’m afraid of this___________(financial situation, feeling of loneliness, lack, fear, loss, guilt, depression, anxiety, relationship, opportunity, etc..) but instead, I’m going to use it to show me the ancient self-defeating thought that I hold beneath it. This is the gift! Open it. Look at it. Once this old, dark thought is held to the light, it disappears! This is the silver lining waiting to be known in every tribulation. Once you get a glimmer of the love and light that is waiting to be known, you’ll want more. Life becomes a classroom where every seeming problem becomes a learning opportunity to choose the healing, joining power of love. Step 4 is helpful if the gift doesn’t seem to open for you.
- Ask for love’s help. We are desperately accustomed to asking fear for help. The ego always responds first with the loudest most self-indulging suggestions. Be still a moment and wait. Ask love for help. Delay your decision a while. The fear will begin to waft away like parting clouds just waiting to let in the light.
This has been a practice that has worked for me and for many others. It is based on the timeless teaching of A Course in Miracles. Don’t take my word for it. Try it. Let this be your ongoing practice and meditation. It’s a fast track to freedom…peace and lasting joy. It’s a way to awaken and surely navigate the dream we call life. It forms the foundation of my life and the deeply healing practice of Avita Yoga®.
With love and light,