Perhaps this is a normal day for you. You do all the things you ordinarily do and feel – nothing’s different. You feel no better. You feel no worse. I wonder why? Living without living is no way to live your life. I have what I like to call my “inner tantrum”. When things aren’t going my way and they usually aren’t, my inner tantrum comes out and sometimes I can’t get out of it. It’s a stuck place where nothing seems to go right and things keep getting worse and worse. Need I say this is an anxious time for me.
I just finished reading an article in September’s Yoga Journal that is entitled “Untangling Anxiety”. Of course, I was intrigued to see what a Yoga expert would say about my inner tantrum (anxiety). My anxiety is like a security blanket for me. I’m so used to it, I believe it has become a comfort. So, if self-talk won’t help, what do you do? Perhaps you’ve heard of the “tighten/release” soother for anxiety. You breathe in as you tighten and squeeze all your muscles and exhale and release the contractions. This works for some, but not for me so much. Other ways are dancing or taking a bath to soothe yourself. These methods also do not work for me. I carry tension in my shoulders, particularly my right shoulder blade. What can I do to soothe those muscles and tame that inner tantrum?
What is the difference between anxiety and diligence? Doesn’t anxiety keep us on our toes and help us not to forget those important things we must do? Since the “inner tantrum” has become a ritual we cannot seem to get away from we must first admit we have this anxiety and we want to rid ourselves of it.
One day, perhaps, you might notice that what you have perceived as anxiety is, at its core, just pure energy.
Good news! We have the choice to experience the anxiety as an inner tantrum or excitement such as a feeling of being ready for action. This energy could begin the growth we so desperately seek.
So to recap:
- Locate where anxiety is exhibiting in the body;
- Breathe and center in the heart;
- What is contributing to the anxiety?;
- Become aware of the thoughts – Can you let this go?;
- Tune into the feeling. Can this feeling also be let go?;
- Find a feeling of warmth and pleasure – counter the negative with a positive
This practice takes practice and you have to give yourself over to this new way of thinking for the method to possibly work. I, for one, think I will give it a try.
If you’d like to read the article it is in the September issue of Yoga Journal and written by Sally Kempton, an internationally recognized teacher of meditation and yoga philosophy. She is also the author of Meditation for the Love of It. Visit her at sallykempton.com.