The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

The Roots of Anxiety

In Billbergia, Conscious Living, Homework, Puya, Vriesea on February 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Today I had to make a decision on a rather benign and non-life threatening business issue. As I approached the point of commitment, I noticed that I was extremely anxious about what I was about to do.

As my practice is to ‘notice and not judge’ what I do, I decided to get to the bottom of the anxiety. Now when I say this, I wasn’t looking for a clear answer or a “memory of the time I…” which set up the current axiety. What I was looking for was a simple comfort with what I was about to undertake. After all, anxiety didn’t fit the situation… but it did fit my perception of the situation.

I was nervous.

My usual practice whenever something is stressful or emotional is to ‘sit with it’. By this I mean I sit with my ill feelings and allow them to float up into my awareness. If I don’t have time right then and there, I sit down at a later date and review the ill feelings when I can. Usually before bed.

My point is that I always review my inner stress the day that it happens. And it doesn’t take long to do so and bring closer either.

The Nature of Anxiety

In todays review of my feelings, I learned something interesting. ( As I always do when doing inner work ). As I closed my eyes and felt my anxiety and worry, I ‘saw’ how anxiety works and what it is as an emotion.

In todays session, ( which lasted for all of about 5 or 6 mins ) I noticed that my mind was trying to piece together the situation from multiple lines of thought… “what if this happens?” “What if that happens?” “If I do this then that may happen”.

In my observation of my anxiety, I noticed that my mind was trying to calculate the situation. And plot the best way forward. However, all of this mental math was being done at a below-conscious level using pre-defined values ( beliefs ) and not from conscious computations. What I mean here is that my mind was thinking all by itself…

Worry and Anxiety Exposed

As I delved deeper into my anxiety, choosing to feel it, I noticed that my mind was trying to make up a picture perfect model of what was happening… as well as what might happen. So there was a mix of truths and falsehoods, probabilities and guesses going on.

This is what gives anxiety and worry that characteristic feel whereby you feel your mind racing, you feel overwrought, highly charged, confused and depleted all at the same time.

In other words, there’s too much going on! And because there’s too much going on, you become less clear… and more fearful as a result. And that’s when panic sets in. As well as a new round of mental calculations in the attempt to ‘work out where you are’… and so on the cycle continues.

This is how worry works. So why do you become less clear the more you think?

What is My Worry Based Upon?

As I noticed in todays session, my mind was trying to piece together my perceived situation. And I use the word percieved here because when I looked at my thoughts, there was a mix of reality and futurisms all mixed together. In other words, I wasn’t focussed on what was actually happening right now; which in my case was making a simple decision about website hosting.

As I watched my mind in the grips of worry, I watched as I tried to make up a full working model of the situation… out of what appeared to be mirror-like shards of thought. I was building a mosaic in my mind and because there were so many pieces and things to factor for, I was having a hard time making my mental picture fit with actual reality.

Getting Support for Your Inner Work

It should be said at this point that observing your emotions – especially your strong issues – can be hard. It takes practice! I’ve been ‘practicing being present’ for 20 years now. That’s why I can resolve ( some ) of my issues in 5-10 mins these days. I’ve become somewhat of an expert in how to deal with emotions.

For those who find it hard to observe their emotions without getting lost in them, I suggest several flower essences which will help you to defuse your anxieties while helping you to practice defusing your stress just by simple observation.

First, I suggest Queens Tears, Billbergia nutans flower essence remedy. Queens tears helps to settle your emotions. Another good flower remedies are The Flower of Calm, Vriesea heterandra which works to calm the mind and curb mental excess. These 2 flowers are great together and are part of the emotional trauma combination called Emotion.

For those who wish to be able to peel the layers of the mind and examine its content like I have described, the add Puya Mirabilis to the blend. If you just want some relief from your stress, then use the first 2. If you are intentionally working with a stres pattern that has arisen and you are relatively anchored when facing your emotions, then use all 3. My suggestion is practice with these 3 to build up your ability to withstand the ‘outer shell’ of your emotions so that you can go inside them and discover the active consciousness within them.

Now back to our article.

The Roots of Fear

As I mentioned before, my mind was trying to create a working model of the situation out of various lines-of-thought. Some true, some not. Which lead me to my final understanding. And it’s interesting that I use that word, for I realized what stands-under my anxiety.

The final thing I noticed when delving into my anxiety was that my mind was trying to create a model of my situation… from outside of the situation. I.e. Before it had happened. It was like I was standing just outside of the scene BUT expecting to be clear about it and able to respond easily and without stress.

The words your not in ‘position‘ floated into my mind. And in my work with the terrestrial, ground-growing bromeliads, I knew what this meant.

I was trying to stabilize the situation from outside of the situation. And then, in my plan at least, once all was safe, THEN I would step into it. nice plan, but no cigar!

The Stabilizing Nature of Presence

As I remained calm amidst the commotion, I dropped into the heart of my story and realized that I was nervous about something that I was not clear on… and I was not clear because I was too afraid to step forward and discover for myself what was actually going on. And then once I was  informed, respond and change things as I saw fit.

What I was taught today was not how to handle my business decisions. I was shown how to handle myself when I became anxious. And what anxiety and worry is; i.e. you thinking about a situation that you’re not actually experiencing.

As I remained present, aware and receptive ( non-resistant ) to my anxiety and worry, this produced an antidote to the situation. And the layers of my fear peeled away; doing so because I was present.

Presence is like that. By being present, you are positioned centrally to the situation or whatever you are focusing upon. And when you place yourself inside your situation – whether it be an outer, material circumstance or an internal, mental happening- by being present, you are privy to the realities that lay at the heart of the situation. In other words, your mind can see what is truly there. And therefore, respond in a wise-and-concise way.

By being fully present, you place your minds eye in the centre of whatever you turn your attention to. And in that way, everything in relation to your conscious experience unfolds within your mind.

You Don’t Have to Be Einstein to Find Answers-to-Your-Issues

Einstein used the same method of re-positioning his mind to discover the theory of relativity or E=MC2. By positioning his mind on the end of a light beam, he was able to experience the phenomena of travelling at the speed of light and therefore, produce a mathematical equation of his experience.

In Einsteins case, he positioned his presence to produce a mathematical equation. you can use yours to defuse the stresses in you life, all by using the innate abilities of your own mind…


Once one layer of anxiety is dealt with, it often leads to another layer beneath that layer. A sub-layer of another emotion; that of panic or hysteria. If the process is not too much for you continue on. If you feel that you need some support, enlist a qualified practitioner or therapist to guide and stabilize you as you journey inside your own mind.

The key thing to remember here is that you need to be receptive to what your mind shows to you. You cannot force the process for you will end up adding more stress on top of the old. You must be like an air-bubble  that floats up through your inner world, gathering insight as it rises-in-consciousness…

More later.

  1. Have to laugh…decided on friday to enter ‘Off the Wall’…gallery comp set up at the Melb art fair for artists not yet signed to a gallery. There are about 500 entries and they pick 10. I thought i have lost my chance by selling the recent pink paintings…reread the fine print and turns out i can enter photos of unavailable for sale work if it represents my ‘style’. Well the past 24 hrs have been org cv, exhibition history…painting submission details, dimensions, medium, pricing and printing A4 copies of 6 chosen works…. Arghhh…Have feel anxious in my belly the whole way through! Have a few minutes of printing left before running to an shop/post office to postmark it (needs to be prior to mon 1st) and get it in the overnight for delivery mon/tues…ok as long as post marked prior to 1st! Truely! Will sit with it after it is off on it’s way!

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