The 6 Step Process Of Facing Your Anxiety
“The only way out, is through.” -Unknown
Anxiety is a debilitating experience amongst nearly all age groups and across the world. In a matter of moments, it can seemingly bring the world around you crumbling down. To those who have never experienced it, anxiety comes across as misunderstood and almost unbelievable, meaning those who don’t or haven’t experienced it, usually question—”why can’t you just make it stop?”—or control the mind and step out of it.
While for those who have experienced it, we know all too well how this feels: like these energies more or less have a grip on you, meaning the anxiety is controlling you, rather than you being able to control the anxiety you are facing. Someone once painted this picture to me: When I worry, I can control the worry or doubts, and put a stop to it; whereas with anxiety, by contrast, it feels more or less like the energies are the ones controlling me.
When we are amidst the throes of anxiety or memories of past traumatic events arising, it can be all too easy to question: “why is this happening to me” or “I thought I processed these issues already” or the like. Nevertheless, once we come to a place of quiet surrender—meaning, here, essentially acceptance—we can approach these circumstances from a different light and new perspective.
Everything we are experiencing here in this third-dimensional realm of existence is about polarity—hot and cold, good and bad, light and dark, sadness and happiness, and so on and so forth. Without one, it is harder to know the other. Said another way, (at least according to what I believe), we signed up to come here to Earth to experience these polarities—so that we could better understand ourselves, learn powerful soul lessons, and refine our eternal beings.
In this way, we can re-frame and re-discover the anxiety we are experiencing in any given moment. To do so, awareness is one of the key components in making this explorative Journey with and through these energies. The only way out, they say, is through. And so the call to action, here, is to step into, rather than away from, the debilitating anxiety you are facing. They say that what we resist, persists, and so a common approach by many I have seen is to deny the experience of anxiety, or invalidate it—to push it away and resist these energies. The problem, here, is that when we resist, we are creating even more struggle for ourselves and this can cause the energies to be further charged, swirling around us like our own personal tornado or a hellish nightmare. Or, conversely, imploding, and taking us down a deep, dark rabbit hole to an Underworld type of experience of misery, unknown, fear and terror.
And so rather than resisting these powerful energies, the invitation next time is to get to know them. To, stare them—directly in the face—and begin a dialogue with them. To embrace them, rather than run away from them.
This is what mother sister Jaguar would do, the powerful medicine cat and archetype representing the West direction, in Shamanism—or the Winds of the West. The one who teaches us fearlessness and gives us the courage to face our darkest (inner and outer) projections and demons. All in all, opening up a dialogue with these entities and beginning to converse.
What messages does your anxiety have for you? What is the lesson here?
Every experience is an opportunity for growth and healing, and anxiety is no exception.
In this regard, this article offers six tools or a six-step process for stepping in to—rather than away from—the energies we are facing. These steps (and the courage, willingness, and determination, to implement them) are simple, but not necessarily easy. They are simple, but not necessarily easy—at all. And I can attest from personal experience, to these topics, having been labeled by doctors and Western medicine and put into all kinds of boxes in my early and mid-twenties—with all kinds of things—like PTSD, big traumas (big Ts), little traumas (little Ts), generalized anxiety, anxiety/depression, and the like. From this perspective, I can relate, to the energies you are experiencing or going through.
And at the same time, can hopefully offer another perspective: the shamanic one. Like a hand, at the end of the tunnel of Light, reaching back in the darkness and offering a guiding lantern for you, pulling you forward and through the depths you are experiencing. And so that is my hope and intention of this article. In addition to exploring why we face these energies, what they really are, and how to better manage them and even escape out from under their grips.
Here is My Six-Step Process for Facing Your Anxiety:
- Focusing on the Breath
- Being the Witness (activating observer consciousness mode)
- Asking for help (from your guides)
- Trusting the Universe and Trusting Yourself
- Opening up a Dialogue (with the energies behind your anxiety and fears)
- Embracing Energy Medicine Session Work
This six-step process, ideally, is used all together, as one cohesive offering. And yet can also be used as tools, individually, as mechanisms for change and transformation in these undesirable moments.
1. The Breath
I like to say that our breath is our greatest superpower, and finding a breathing technique that works for you is a helpful permission slip to accept. The breath can help quell anxiety in a matter of moments. While there is no quick-fix to anything—no magic pill or tool—the breath can dramatically improve things in bouts of overwhelm, fear, anxiety and the like.
There are a myriad of breathing techniques out there and available, and exploring the ones that best fit your individual preferences and lifestyle is helpful. For example, some may like taking deep, long, nourishing inhalations through the nose on the in-breath, and audible, extended exhalations on the out-breath. Others may like to try a method where you breath in for five seconds, hold the breath at the top for five seconds, release and exhale for five seconds, and then hold the breath again—before repeating the cycle. So, too, can you add mantras or mudras to go along with your breath. Nevertheless, the breath is our greatest superpower and is the key to a calmer, more relaxed, more grounded state of mind.
2. Being the Witness (Activating Observer Consciousness Mode)
The second step in this six-step process is to begin witnessing yourself in non-judgment and non-attachment. To do so, the easiest way, is to visualize yourself as the observer, almost as if you are outside of, or on top of (looking down at), your own body and your own experiences. Imagine yourself outside the grips of the emotions and circumstances you are facing, and instead, visualize yourself as the witness or the observer.
Being the witness, and activating this observation mode, helps you stay detached as much as possible from the anxious feelings overtaking you in any moment. And then you can notice what is happening or coming up for you, just like you would notice that it is raining outside, or that clouds in the sky are passing by. So, too, can you label your feelings as they are coming up for you and moving through your body.
And so that’s the second step.
3. Asking for Help (from Your Guides)
The third step is asking for help from your guides, or from the Universe.
Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs, or your personal set of beliefs, there are organizing principles of the Universe and laws of nature. Science is now backing this up, and so thankfully in a lot of respects, we don’t have to have faith—because, instead, we have experience.
In any moment, there are an infinite number of guides, angels, guardians, ascended masters, benevolent luminous beings, and power or protective animals, waiting to guide us. We can call on these guides and power animals any time we need their help or assistance. No task is too big or too small, and they love—I mean love—helping us. And placing your in-tention and a-ttention on them only increases and strengthens your connection and relationship with them.
To do so, you can set your intention and ask for their help. Generally, they won’t help unless we ask. This is because there is the Universal Law of Free Will, and that law of free will, will not be broken unless we ask for their guidance. This is further because we are essentially the masters of our experiences, and we came here under certain soul agreements, to explore different themes and face various situations, to refine our souls and grow and transform. To ask, you can make your ask in the present tense and in the affirmative. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, as long as you ask. For instance, feel free to use words such as these, or model yours along the lines of this example: “Dear Universe, it’s [insert your name]. I am experiencing anxiety right now that is too great and too much for me to handle. I am asking for your help and divine guidance in processing and mulching these energies. Please help me now. Thank you for your assistance. And so it is. Aho.”
Notice that everything is in the present tense, and in the affirmative. Nothing, for example, comes across in the future, such as “I am asking for you to help me with my anxiety.” Or, “Please help my anxiety to subside.” These are in a future tense, which means the request will never be fulfilled in the present moment, it will always be eluding you, until a later date. Instead, formulating your request as if it’s already happening and already being fulfilled. And so always in the present tense, and in the affirmative. This is important. Consider using the language in the example, until you become even more comfortable constructing your own.
From there, you can move to the fourth step.
4. Trusting Yourself and Trusting the Universe
After making your “ask for help” known, you can sit back and trust in yourself and in the Universe. This is the fourth pivotal moment in the process. Essentially, here, it’s about getting out of your own way. You placed your order on the menu of the Universe, and now you can confidently continue breathing, and trust that your guides and power and protective animals are doing everything they can in the Spirit world, or energetic realm, to work hard to fulfill the order you placed. After placing your order, getting out of your own way is the next step in the process, and doing anything and everything you can to remove any doubts, fears, hesitations, or lower vibrations from your field and awareness.
This step here is all about trust. You made the call, you asked for help, and now you can sit back and breath, even more, trusting that the Universe has your back and is working hard on your behalf to fulfill the order and come to aid you in processing and mulching these feelings confronting you.
5. Opening Up a Dialogue
By now, you are hopefully in a calmer place, during a bout of anxiety—using the tools leading up from Steps 1-4. And if you’re not, then continue to breathe and trust in the Universe that there is help on the way, and that your guides and infinite support of luminous beings are working hard to fulfill the order you placed. Moving your intention, and attention, to the fifth step. And opening up a dialogue with the energies you are noticing, to explore what is behind them, what messages they have for you, and so forth.
Everything around us is energy, and anxiety is no different. What messages does your anxiety have for you? To do so, you can begin conversing with these electromagnetic forces and asking what it is they’re trying to communicate to you.
Sometimes anxiety is actually a Guide, one who is trying to connect with you and get your attention. Sometimes the message is that you are not living in harmony with your true eternal nature. Sometimes the message is about slowing down. Other times the message could be that your intuition is trying to connect with you and cannot get your attention—like an alarm or radar sending you a message that the decision you are making in that moment, is not the right one, or not aligned with your highest and best good. What are the messages behind the anxiety? There is nothing to fear here. Call on your inner Jaguar—call on the medicine of fearlessness—and invite yourself to step into your fears and anxiety. Rather than away from them.
What we resist, persists.
6. Energy Medicine
As a sixth step, or bonus step, you can explore energy medicine and working with a practitioner to begin healing your anxieties or past traumas. Energy medicine is a powerful set of tools, or a technology of sorts, that we can use to address the blueprint level. Einstein famously said that “the problem cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.” And so that same line of thinking holds true here.
Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, for example, would be addressing a problem on the same level of consciousness that created it. While that may be helpful for some, and/or to a certain extent, the problem cannot be resolved at that same level. We have to take it to the energetic—to get to the root cause of what’s really going on.
Picture this: a magnet, with hundreds or thousands of metal filings. The magnet is the blueprint which organizes, or directs, the metal filings, and keeps them in place. The same is true about the relationship of our luminous energy field to our physical body. The luminous energy field, in this example, is like the magnet. And the physical body is the iron filings organizing according to such magnet. Western medicine, by way of further example, mostly just moves around the iron filings, but because the blueprint level hasn’t changed, sooner or later they continue to reorganize back into the same way, or pattern, that they did before. It’s not until you change the underlying blueprint level, clearing the imprint in the luminous energy field, that lasting changes in healing and transformation can be made.
And so that’s where modern shamans, or energy medicine practitioners, come into play. In energy medicine sessions with shamans, you can work with them to begin healing at this blueprint, or fundamental, level. Making huge strides and changes to your entire being—your entire mind/body/spirit complex—calling in and realigning for yourself, a whole new map, or picture, of lasting health, longevity, and wellness.
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