Anxiety for Breakfast
Written By Cristina DiMeglio
The perfect cup of coffee this morning is ruined. Nothing has happened. The train is chugging along its merry way and boom, a wall of confusion bubbles to the surface, drowning my presence away. I feel the struggle of choice happening between sips. I want to enjoy this coffee and allow it to wake me up further BUT the chatter in my mind is awfully loud and I am too tired to shut it down. The double edge sword of awareness is admitting sometimes you just have no control and awareness at times means complete fucking surrender. So I’m in a position where I am battling my choice of peace versus the anxiety that has loomed around in my mind doing ballet all weekend.
“What do you want NOW?” I ask myself. My anxiety is like a bratty kid that nudges me at every inconvenient time. It does not care that I need to focus on work or deadlines or even writing this blog. It’s a beautiful day out and I feel this invisible doom cloud storming over my happy thoughts and telling them all to shove it. I focus on my breathing. I take a few deep breaths, coaching myself that there is no immediate danger around me. I feel my heart beat start to regulate from rapid to slowing down. The anxiety gremlins are dancing around with what I should have said, could have done, differently. “Nyah nyah you suck.”
Ughhh. So is this an opportunity to dig in and ask myself why I feel this? YES.
Here is how I choose to figure it out.
I close my eyes and drop into my heart. I allow my mind to fall into a place of silence and I place my left hand over my heart and I ask the question “how can I take care of you today?” I listen for an answer. You always have the answer you’re looking for, and while coaches like myself help this process along, at the end of the day, YOU already have the answer. You already know and seeking any answer outside yourself, be it through advice from a friend or confidant, it will never be the right one for you. The one your higher self can give you. Anxiety is born from the space in between living on auto-pilot and not tuning into your intuition. Anxiety is bred from mis-alignment.
When I have anxiety that is rooted in an idea or belief, true or not, a thought pops up in my mind, an idea, a memory that wants to be acknowledged. Whatever it is, its wrapped up in “Pandora’s box” asking simply to be seen. So all the fuss and rapid heartbeat and feelings of fear and anxiousness for me have been a sort of alarm system on my person. An alarm of my subconscious mind and the Cirque du Soleil acts that happen in there.
This is a good day. When I can break it down and navigate the anxiety like this. But let me be honest, some days it feels impossible to do. Because there are thoughts and feelings, irrational and rational, that need to act out their characters. And some days you just feel like a mess.
How did I navigate these days?
Well, my answer was to set up shop for a nice pity party where only myself is invited and FEEL it all. I journaled. I cried until I couldn’t anymore. And then when the timer was up I said ENOUGH. The key for me was to stop trying to avoid it. To stop trying to distract myself from feeling like shit. I still sometimes do it. I am not perfect. You wont die from all the emotion coming up but it will certainly feel like it. Its sloppy. I take it now as a time to recoil and detox myself of all my subconscious crap so that I’m not inadvertently trying to project it onto someone else. It’s the responsible thing to do, to tend to your emotional outpourings and its an act of self LOVE and bravery. Not everyone can get a handle on themselves. Most of the time people wander around pleading with their eyes “Love me. Love me. Save me from myself. ”
If you are or were one of these people, I can help you. I have been there. And what I know is this: It’s utterly painful and exhausting setting yourself up to be cared for by someone else when your expectations can never be met in the ideal way your mind imagines it. We come from a medicated culture. If you want to get a grip on your emotions, numbing out has not and never will be the answer. The answer really is about stepping into your own fire. We are the creators of our emotions, not the circumstances we so easily point at. And in being creators, we have the innate ability to heal and transform ourselves from the embers of anxiety and illusion to absolute presence and peace no matter what is happening around us.