If you feel anxious, the first thing to do is to come into Presence with the part of you that is anxious. Focusing offers you specific skills you can use right away to help find the “bigger you”—Presence—so you can be with any feelings that come, even intense ones.
If your anxious feelings are short-lived and situational, this bigger Presence may be all you need to get relief.
But if anxiety keeps cropping up, that’s a clear sign something important in your life is locked up, bound tight or limited. In this case, there’s a key next step you need once you’ve moved into Presence: you need perspective.
To get perspective, you step back from the daily details of your life and look at the whole picture. You take the kind of bigger-picture view your doctor takes at your annual physical exam: a quick survey of your reflexes, your heartbeat, your breathing. Then more questions about pain, concerns, and new developments.
You need two things to give yourself this existential physical: clear intent and imagination. Assume the curious, kind, yet impartial attitude of your favorite doctor and give yourself an existential physical. Gently lay hands on your own life and sense what is swollen and tender, what is atrophied, what is healthy and solid. Notice where you feel free and alive and where you ache or chafe.
The key is to do this quickly and expertly. Don’t labor over it. Grab a piece of paper and a pen, set a timer, and sit down for no more than five minutes.
Get quiet and go inside
Say, “I’m inviting the whole sense of my life right now…whatever needs my awareness now….”
Then wait. Soften your focus and notice what glints at you, what calls to you. Listen to what comes and jot down a few notes as a reminder. Then let the next thing come.
Caution: if you go into overwhelm, you’ve lost Presence. Take a breath and reground yourself. This is just a scan. There is nothing you have to do: any action is completely optional.
What stands out most for you?
Is it something about a relationship in your life? or your work? your health? your living situation? It may be something entirely unexpected. …or something else. Sense if there’s action you need to take, or if you need support.
I recommend you do this proactively, and regularly. Once a week would be great. If you find it tricky to do on your own, have your partner or a friend sit with you.
Get help if you need it
If doing this at all feels too scary, you may need skilled company to hold enough Presence to learn what your anxiety is trying to tell you. That’s what I’m here for.
With proactive perspective, you can unlock the creative energy that is hidden in your anxiety. That’s when the fun really starts!
Thank you Kaitlyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), for another beautiful photo