Anxiety can feel like living on the edge of a cliff
I know: I used to wake up every day feeling a pervasive sense of dread. Even when the anxiety let up for a while, the dread didn’t, because I knew that at any moment, something could happen—an incident, or even just a thought—that could push me off the cliff again, into a downward spiral of shame and self-criticism.
You know you are living too close to the edge when—
- You know you are anxious and overwhelmed, but your awareness has not translated into relief
- You feel increasingly exhausted and alone. You are reluctant to turn to family or friends, afraid of overwhelming them or of being judged as “too emotional” or “too intense”, or “too sensitive”
- Your body is showing persistent signs of stress. You find yourself putting your head down and trying to get through, despite more frequent colds, a stiff neck or back pain, an upset stomach, interrupted sleep, or other physical symptoms
How do you cope with anxiety?
Being anxious is physically painful for anyone. For a sensitive person, it is excruciating. If you try to gut it out, you’ll end up doing whatever you can to push the anxiety away. This is a tempting strategy, because numbing the painful thoughts and feelings with food or Netflix binges can get you some relief—on the short term.
But afterwards you feel even worse. Why? Because anxiety always brings a deeper message…and it will persist until you “get it”. This pattern holds true for subtler messengers like uneasiness, indecision, or feeling “off”. All these feelings are signs your inner world is trying to get through to you, and you haven’t heard it yet.
To master the language of your inner world, you’ll need —
Your inner messengers are not always verbal. You can learn to attune to the subtler messages sent by your body, mind, and imagination. You need support to experience this, then practice to do it yourself.
If you are sensitive person, your trait affects the way you experience anxiety. Understanding exactly how this plays out for you can make all the difference in getting you out of the anxiety spiral.
A sturdy spiritual connection
Your spiritual intuition is your most powerful resource of wisdom and self-care. When you connect to it, you’ve found the true source of inner peace and well-being.
And above all, you need support
As a child, did you have handle intense emotions on your own? If so, you may have learned to shut down in the face of anxiety, grief, or shame, for fear of feeling that awful overwhelm yet again.
You need company while you rebuild your sense of inner safety. Together, we create a safe container in which you can be with the parts of you that are terrified to feel your feelings. Over time, these frightened “inner kids”, who have been home alone, begin to trust you to hold them with compassion and acceptance.
This work we are doing is really enabling me to see where I have been stuck in old patterns and then to shift out of them as time goes on, making the way for new life!
– KE, Ottawa, Ontario
HI, I’m Emily Agnew.
I’m a Focusing teacher and Inner Bonding facilitator. Translated, that means I’m skilled at creating a space of radical acceptance in which you feel safe to connect deeply to yourself. I also help you understand how your sensitive trait may be impacting you’re life, including your anxiety and your relationships. In this video, I explain more about my approach to sessions.
Sometimes a therapist has an agenda of what they want you to get to. It seems to me this process is about someone finding their own truth, not the facilitator’s agenda like, “This person is so co-dependent.” You have a knack for getting to the heart of the matter…
– SD Canandaigua, New York
What you’ll experience in our sessions
Feel the safety of radical acceptance
- Learn to hold anxiety, self-doubt, shame, and “resistance” in a new way
- Experience the calm that arises when you listen to yourself with compassion and curiosity
- Feel the reassurance of “solid ground” under your feet, as a sense of rightness, clarity, and self-confidence emerges
Re-connect to your spiritual intuition
- Experience the relief from anxiety and shame that comes when you connect to your true Self
- Sense what you need to do and do it, even if a part of you is still scared
- Reconnect to your best “YES!” energy, which draws to you what you need
Move beyond anxiety, into creativity
- Confirm important decisions in your body so you can clearly tell when you are on the right track before taking action
- Discover surprising, elegant, effective solutions to your most stuck, complex problems
- Nurture creative projects by sensing what is needed to move forward
What you create with me is a sense of wholeness…any pieces of the puzzle that are missing get completed. You have such a depth of experience. It is so clear, and the way you state things and frame things—what you do is unique. I really appreciate you!
– BS, Waterloo, Ontario
Ready to take the next step?
Contact me to schedule an exploratory call—
In this complimentary call, you can tell me more about your situation. I’ll let you know how I might be able to support you, we’ll sense if it feels like a good fit, and I’ll explain how my services are structured.
Needing more information?
Read what clients are saying about one-to-one sessions with Emily:
My Inner Child is no longer anxious!
As a pediatrician, I know that I’m not alone amongst health professionals, in having been highly rewarded for ‘caretaking’ behavior: i.e. I focused on others’ needs first and foremost and most of the time ‘only’ as it is what a ‘good doctor’/’good person’ does. Isn’t this what it means ‘to love’? It caused a lot of anxiety as my Inner Child was left abandoned all day long, year upon year.
With Emily’s help I shifted my focus to ensure that my needs and feelings were attended to by me! This has allowed me to be available to tend to the needs and feelings of others when truly needed… without abandoning myself; my Inner Child is no longer anxious! This shift has been a herculean task! It has been an incredible journey and Emily has used her myriad of listening, observational, Inner Bonding and Focusing skills to provide a mirror so that I can, in the end, navigate, understand, accept, love and integrate all of the ‘parts’ of my inner terrain. Thank you, Emily!
– PC, pediatrician, Boston,MA
Now, I find myself able to express myself and my wants very easily with people in my life, with awareness of what I feel...
I started this work with Emily because I sensed her realness, strength, and kindness and her acceptance of what I bring to the table. My issue was about pleasing other people and I felt guilty to be someone different from others. In our sessions, I experienced those deep qualities of being real and strong and honest, and then I was able to find them in myself.
Emily helped me connect to my own knowing, and then I developed my own confidence in myself and strength to go forward. As result of our sessions I feel comfortable to be who I am, while respecting the way that other people choose to be.
This work is subtle. Focusing untangles things slowly…it’s not overnight. I was confused during the journey, but now, looking back, I see that big changes have happened. There is a quality of strength I have now, going forward.
– NA, Kuwait
Working with Emily has changed my life for the better in ways that are hard to describe in words...
Working with Emily has changed my life for the better in ways that are hard to describe in words. Through her compassion, listening and wisdom, she has helped me tune into my own compassion, wisdom and listening. She has taught me to learn to trust myself, my intuition and my guidance and the result has been a richness of self-love and compassion and I am on my way to living a Spirit-Led Life instead of a life driven by my unconscious fears. I have been in therapy for many many years, off and on, and this was the next step in becoming the healthy adult I long to be.
– NN, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
I feel very ‘met’ by you, perhaps more so than anyone I’ve worked with therapeutically in the past…
I just wanted to take a moment to say how much I’ve appreciated our sessions.
I’m finding them deeply helpful. I’m also very grateful for your presence, care and genuineness. I feel very ‘met’ by you, perhaps more so than anyone I’ve worked with therapeutically in the past, and so it’s a great support to have found you right now given I’m experiencing such disharmony and difficulty within my family, and I have very few people I can turn to for understanding and attunement. Having the benefit of your knowledge in Focusing, HSP and Inner Bonding is a huge advantage too, and perhaps also its been important for me to work with women at this time (including my therapist here) as I start to strengthen a sense of my own womanhood.
It’s also interesting that even though you couldn’t be further away in terms of geography and we are engaging online, it still works quite powerfully! It seems to me it’s because of the way you put yourself so meaningfully into your work, that I’m gaining so much.
I still feel pretty vulnerable and there is much to work through before I feel I’m on steady ground within myself, but I do feel grateful to be where I am today as well and want to honour that too :-),
– JW, Melbourne, Australia
You’ve legitimized my sensitivity and brought it out of the shadows, and you are teaching me how to have perspective on it and how to manage it...
Being heard, in itself, is a giant step for me, to be able to relax and to get the validation that whatever kooky, crazy feeling I might be feeling is OK. Compassionate, empathic listening is a beautiful thing. It’s not like you are just a human tape recorder. You are a compassionate human being who cares about me and wants to help me move forward. As you’ve held that space for me, I’ve learned how hold that same space for the intense feelings or bullying voices that are threatening to take over. It’s like you act as a Loving Adult towards me, and that helps me be a Loving Adult to myself.
When I am able to hold myself in this Loving Adult way, the feelings that had been overwhelming me open up into something much, much bigger, that is not yet seen. Somehow, magically, you help me open up to the wisdom and perspective of the bigger picture. It’s like a fresh, new vision emerges for the situation at hand—something that wasn’t there before.
This kind of new vision is closely connected to divine insight. That’s one of the biggest things you’ve taught me: how to open up to the divine, by pausing, waiting, inviting, and allowing.
When we started working together, I related to my husband like I was a frightened child and he was the angry father. Now, instead of cowering and then feeling trapped and resentful towards him, I share my needs, my wants, and my ideas. I show up more as an equal. I had to work hard to get there, but now it is a lot easier and a lot more fun.
I have a concrete example of this—literally. We have a hundred-year-old farm house, and the front porch has been sagging like the San Andreas fault. For several years, I’ve been suggesting we get it fixed, and being met with some resistance. Today, my husband hired a concrete guy to do the barn, and I saw he was out there tearing up the steps too. We hadn’t even talked about it, but I knew we couldn’t just take the steps out and not replace them. It would leave an unsafe drop from the porch to the ground. When I said to him, “We really have to do the steps too,” he immediately got angry, saying how expensive it would be. Thanks to the work we’ve one, I showed up like an adult. I said, “Look we haven’t had a chance to talk about this. I respect you have so much going on with the farm right now, but I just want you to know that I am showing up in this discussion with you. I don’t have to get my way, but I have an opinion. I think that while we are doing the porch, we need to do the concrete too, so the whole thing is fixed together. I think it would be better. But I get that you are busy.” And he responded well to that! He walked outside and told the guy we needed new steps too. I see that to be a Loving Adult to myself, I have to participate as an adult, like I did in that situation.
There’s one other thing I want to mention. I came to you because I heard you did Focusing, and that you work with highly sensitive people. My previous attitude towards my sensitivity was, “Oh, you are too sensitive! What’s wrong with you?! Other people shrug their shoulders and walk on, and you are curled up in a ball on the floor! Why can’t you get a grip?” I was ashamed. I hated a big part of myself because of these extreme feeling states that would come up.
What you’ve done for me is help me to accept and embrace my sensitivity, and not to shame it and reject it. You have built a platform under me that includes more of me: it includes my sensitivity, which affects everything I’ve experienced. You’ve legitimized my sensitivity and brought it out of the shadows, and you are teaching me how to have perspective on it and how to manage it. I’m learning to build extra time and space around myself, so that when my emotions get intense, I can stop and say, “Oh, what just happened?!” I take time to regulate myself and assimilate. I’m learning how honor and respect my sensitivity so it can be sustainable.
—YK, LAURA, OHIO
You are making such a difference in my life Emily…
You are making such a difference in my life Emily, both with the skills and awareness you are teaching me and your loving presence which is a model for me. I feel blessed by the gifts of reflection, insight, practical wisdom, humour and encouragement that you bring to our work together -I am very grateful.
– KM, Halifax, Nova Scotia
I recommend Emily to anyone who is seeking a higher level of well-being...
She helped me through what was perhaps the most challenging year of my life. She assisted me in identifying a number of behaviors and ways of thinking that were keeping me stuck in emotional pain, and helped me change them. She is compassionate, gentle, insightful and non-judgmental.
– CF, Rochester, NY
You helped me see my strengths and language them in such an eloquent way that I think it helped me change how I thought about myself...
You helped me see my strengths and language them in such an eloquent way that I think it helped me change how I thought about myself. You were able to get what was going on with me very quickly—you are an amazing listener. You helped me see my strengths and language them in such an eloquent way that I think it helped me change how I thought about myself. It really helped raise my confidence.
– CV, Oakland, CA