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Day 327: The Visceral Language of Anxiety

“This we can all bear witness to, living as we do plagued by unremitting anxiety. It becomes more and more imperative that the life of the spirit be avowed as the only firm basis upon to establish happiness and peace.” -Dalai Lama

I have been studying the experience of anxiety lately, and thanks to arriving at day 327 of this positivity quest, I am able to be a reliable witness. I am not spinning tales, justifying or blaming when the waves of anxiety come over me. I am trying to learn what my body is teaching me through the energetic currents that feel ever present these days. 

Richard Abell wisely defined this visceral experience when he said, “Anxiety is the space between the “now” and the “then.” Life transitions that catch you off guard and leave you unsure of where you are headed qualify time in the space of now and then. The only time that feels grounded at all during anxious periods is right now.

However, it takes great vigilance to stay with the physical experience of anxiety. It has almost an off balance pull to it. Even in my meditation times, the pull off center happens, which seems to feed a whole range of erroneous thinking. It feels easier to chase the thoughts than to stay present in a body buzzing with anticipation trying not to turn to fear.

T.S Eliot, one of my favorite poets wrote, “Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity.”  I believe this is the gift of anxiety if we are willing to pay attention to it and not try to push it away. Combining attentive presence to anxiety begs for creative thinking. In fact, I have had more good ideas in the last few days then in the weeks before.

Truly, this may well be one of the biggest tests I have faced in this positivity quest and I am so inspired by the optimism and urge towards the positive vision I hold so strongly now, that regardless of the outcome, I would have to testify,  the quest does indeed change the mind. I have no reason to quit. Just imagine what the positivity quest might look like on day 1327…