a familiar tension in my stomach alerted me to the facts. anxiety, present again. it’s been a frequent visitor these past days, months, years...tight belly, shallow breath, tense muscles in my neck, face, shoulders, like i want to squeeze my hands close, grip reality, shape it to a safe, controllable form. but it’s like squeezing water, it always slips from my grasp. i can’t control things, and that seems like a terrifying thought, like life is this weird flying dream, and i’m suspended in midair, with no idea how to keep from falling.
so often, i will slip into distraction. pick up a book, turn on the tv, get a snack...turn on the laptop, browse social media. not now. it’s time to face this fear. i sit down to meditate, focusing in on my belly, center of the energy of fear in my body. i listen to myself, very closely. then i can hear it, a low murmur, like the sound of whispering voices in the wind, or a quiet river in the distance. i bend closer to myself, and i hear what the voices are whispering.
“you will fail.” “you will fail, and you will always be a failure.” “you will end up miserable all your life. you will not be fulfilled.” “you will have to work at walmart and never find meaningful work.” and with the voice I see images, of dismal futures, and of young girls and women, myself, at younger ages, curled up into fetal position, terrified of life, of its wild, uncontrollable nature. i hear these young ladies, so afraid of failing, and i recognize something. they are telling stories. just stories, and i’m so surprised i murmur this aloud to myself. “stories!”
i let go of the stories, because i know stories aren’t real. they are like dreams. then it is just the frightened young women and girls in my deep self, and i start to tell them a new story. “you never failed,” i whisper to them. “you are learning and growing. this is a beautiful journey. we are creating our own story, though there are many things we cannot control, we can always choose what our story is.
so, here is our story. "i can, and i will.” i repeat that phrase, and it seems to sink deep into my belly, echoing around the frightened fragmented younger parts of myself. then i sink into body sensation, and the fear is just an energy, just tension and pressure and movement, and all at once it is moving, releasing, and i am laughing and crying, both at once, as sometimes happens when a big release occurs. i can, and i will is moving deeper and deeper within me, weaving itself into my being.
since this day, i have taken "i can and I will" as the powerful tool that it is. this affirmation helps me to fight my anxiety, to push back against the inner critic, that terrible bully that is always trying to keep me small. but that's not who i am anymore. i am someone capable and powerful (thanks Nahko, for another of my inspirational phrases.)
when i have the patience and the compassion to really be there for myself, i have the ability to release the old negative programming, and to replace it with new, loving thoughts. this practice feels like it is empowering my life! i feel a surge of beautiful hope, even in the midst of anxiety, expanding my heart mind, and helping me to let go of my fear stories, when i remember to replace negative self-talk, with mindfulness of the emotion, coupled with positive, loving affirmations. i encourage you to experiment with using affirmations. I think you will be as glad as I am to have this helpful tool to work with anxiety.
What's your experience? Have you ever tried affirmations? If so, was it helpful?
So much love,
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Hi, I'm Jessie A...
I'm an energy healer with a passion for compassion, a sparkly love affair with crystals, and a deep commitment to evolving awareness.