I’ve struggled with anxiety for 20 years or so. While it has been a demon of mine, it has also been a great teacher.
*Has an anxiety
problem, easily overwhelmed, may need extra attention.
These were the words next to my new
student’s name at the kids yoga class I’m teaching this summer.
‘Me too’, was
my first thought.
with anxiety in different capacities for probably twenty years or so. While it
has been a demon of mine, it has forced me to move in ways I probably wouldn’t have otherwise—it’s been a great gift and teacher.
‘May need extra
Finally, well into my thirties, I’ve learned to accept this
piece of myself. I’ve learned to carefully tend to the delicate line between
anxiety and ease, to gingerly care for my broken pieces. I spend a lot more time NOT being anxious
these days, so when I do head down that track, I quickly notice the stark
I know now that my ability to navigate my world without
overwhelm depends on where I am walking, talking, doing, and being from. Am I in headspace? Or am I in heart space?
After years of dancing between the two I have tools more readily accessible to
keep my in my healthy place—the heart space.
The two places look something like this:
I’m in my brain I’m thinking. List making. Noticing all the details of a project not
yet complete. Calculating how long bedtime might take and how much is left to
do. When I navigate from headspace, I’m
generally snappier. I’m fearful. I worry. I never think I have enough time. And
then I commit to more.
magical place. The land where love flows like water, hearts are full, and worries
seem to slip away. When I’m here, in my
heart, days are full of ease. Answers open in front of me and I know what’s right. I
feel rested. I’m a patient mama when I’m here. I know, deep in my core, that so
long as we’ve loved that day—we’ve done enough. I go to bed satisfied, worn
out, heart full of gratitude.
It takes care and attention to stay in the heartspace. But the
pay off is immense. For both me and for my family—they notice the difference too.
Sometimes my head needs to do its logical work. That’s just
life. The brain needs to do its calculations and time management and all
that. But I’ve learned to stop listening
to everything my brain tells me. It’s a
trickster, that brain, wanting to tell me stories that aren’t even true. Things
like, ‘You have to do more.’ ‘You don’t have
enough time to play piano today.’ Stop, brain.
The beautiful truth is that I have exactly the right amount of time that I need.
The truth is that I’m in the center of
exactly where I need to be. When my heart is filled with love—I am filled with
trust and abundance. And the more I dance with the love in my heart, the more
it grows. I tend to it and it expands, pushing the brain and all her logic
back where she belongs—waiting in the wings for the next time I need to figure
out directions or what time to leave for the
airport. But not to tell me how to spend
the precious moments of my days. That’s not my brain’s job.
That is for my heart. For my soul to reach out and touch the
sun, the universe, to sparkle in all the poetry this world has to offer. This
is where I find my power, my grace, my truth.
My yoga teacher’s teacher, Baba Hari Dass, has a quote that
has been passing through my being often lately.
“Don’t think that you are carrying the whole world; make it easy, make it play, make it a prayer.”
This week, I needed this reminder—to remember
that I do have the power to commit to living with heart, with inspiration. That
is how I combat my anxiety; that is how I breathe again, how I give myself
It all depends on which place I am viewing the world—from
an inspired heart, or from an anxious mind. Nowadays, instead of allowing myself to spiral completely out of control
and into the abyss of all consuming anxiety, I stop. I breathe. I play gorgeous
music. I dance. I cry. I snuggle. I get out of my head.
*Has an anxiety problem, easily overwhelmed, may need extra attention.
You and me both, kid. But we can do this. We are fierce and
we are full of love in this wild and crazy world.