Shedding Stress and Shedding Anxiety
...the first step in getting to know who we are
By: Luc Watelet
The goal in life is to get naked to our self; to take the clothes off that were given to us in the form of beliefs about the world and about who we are. The goal in life is to be who we are, totally and completely innocently who we are. That demands something very difficult from us: to trust that if we don’t try and be something, that the one we are supposed to be will show up!
If we aren’t totally naked to our self, completely innocently who we are, then things happen that we don’t like. For instance we get irritated, we get stressed, we get anxious, we get depressed, we feel empty and fill the void with food, sex, alcohol or drugs… and, if we let this happen too long we may get into deeper mental illnesses.
Our society is filled with stuff that is distracting us from who we are. It first asks us to go to school to be educated, as though we did not already have in us the seeds of who we are. Then, it draws from us the apparent need to consume and to lust after things, to envy the rich and famous, or those on the front page of magazines… and we cannot find our self in any of it.
We are groomed to be greedy!
It tells us that we are sinful so we need a minister to intercede for us. And it tells us that our diseases come from chemical imbalances so it invites you to consume medicine and to trust the experts… driving you even further away from yourself… When we stop buying into all this we can see more clearly that all we really need is the right soil, the right amount of love and support, for the seeds to grow. We may or not get this from our family of origin, yet we can always give it to ourselves.
How to start or what to do when you find yourself stressed or anxious?
The very first thing is to realize that this state is temporary. The second thing is to realize that the stress or anxiety points to the place where one’s own beliefs are in conflict with what is happening outside (at work, in relationships, in the world, etc.). Stress and anxiety are in reaction to something because of inner beliefs. The problem is not with what is happening outside of us. It is a gift because it helps us see the gunk we are carrying that we could not see before!
The gift is in the conflict we feel. How do we find freedom from this conflict and release the gunk from our system? First take a deep breath, and another, and another and, second, drink several glasses of water. Then work with your mind that is caught up in illusion for the moment: recognize that you cannot calm down unless you accept that you are not in a humble state, which means you are not in a healing space, unless you are willing to learn from the conflict you feel. “Be humble and be cool!” I heard someone say, and it is very true!
Then, you are in a place to truly feel the energy you are experiencing inside of you. This is what you think of as your stress or your anxiety. Forget about the words: “stress,” and “anxiety.” Instead feel the energy you feel inside your body and give it freedom to invade your entire being and in this way it will eventually dissolve and leave you. It is an exercise in being present, patient and gentle with yourself. As it leaves you, it will likely also give you a new understanding of yourself.
Now, after a while you may want more than just know how to release stress and anxiety; you may want to be happy and in harmony with yourself and the world. This is truly being you!
There are a few ways that are tried and true to help us back to our self. Religions were meant to do that, but their leaders often fell in love with the power they were given. Spiritual paths are purer. And again some leaders fell in love with the power they were given as well. What we each need is to learn to be who we are, to trust that the only expert on you is you.
There are some who can help. They have devoted their life to the inner world and, through this exploration, they know something of the difficulties to be encountered in the process and perhaps some paths to avoid wasting time with. It is a path of discerning illusion from reality. The confusing thing is that what society is selling us as reality, no matter how tangible, is illusion because it does not guide us back to our self.
So, back to basics.
Remember that any of the paths you follow are meant to point to your freedom, but each step you need to ask yourself: Is this still the path for me, do I still need outer guidance, or have I found enough trust in my inner teacher, my inner guidance to continue on my own? I have found that the moment you no longer need an outward path, the teacher will leave you. We may feel that as abandonment, but it is a moment of celebration because you are now on the brinks of finding your teacher within! You are on the brinks of embracing your own freedom!
Kundalini Yoga is a nice path because it does not depend on a teacher, except for learning the yoga itself. The sequences of postures and breath and mantra given as recipes, guide you to yourself. It takes patience for these ‘recipes’ to chisel out the gunk covering your truth from yourself. But it is a path where no one can have power over you, unless you seek to give your power away!
Please learn more about Luc by visiting his website Innerwearth.