I’ve been writing a number of blogs about fear (here, here, here, and here) and the effects that it has on our lives. Anxiety is certainly a form of a fear, yes, but anxieties are like small nagging worries—things we almost don’t think about and yet are present all the time. Anxieties are sneaky because they creep up on us gradually. They are barely perceptible. They are those things we tend to assume are just the way things are and that we just have to accept them.
Anxiety would be like the sales person who closes a deal and then wonders will she be able to do it again tomorrow. It’s like the chef who creates an amazing dish and then wonders if he can do it again. Or the successful novelist who frets over whether she can crank out another good one.
It’s also like wondering if something is wrong when a loved one is late coming home from work. It’s thinking too hard about the details. Are we doing it the right way? Do we have all the information we need? What will other people think? Will the sun shine tomorrow? And so on. It’s the lizard brain as some refer to it, the amygdala, the part of our brain that processes memories and emotions.
While we need to think to live, when we allow our anxieties to run amok our perceptions are clouded because we are drowning out the voice of intuition. I know I’ve said this before, but given that I myself need to keep being reminded of the importance of quieting my thinking process in order to feel my intuitive drive, I know that others are likely in need of this same reminder.
What I’ve discovered is how habit-forming thinking is. Let’s face it; we start thinking from the moment the morning caffeine hit’s the blood stream and we barely slow down until right before we fade off into our nightly slumber. Yes, our thinking minds are important. It helps us perform all the necessary tasks of living, and yet too much of a good thing is not so good.
So many of our greatest creative geniuses have been individuals rooted in a connection to nature. Nature has a calming influence, yes, but it’s more than that. Nature flows at a much slower pace that we tend toward. The same reason that being in nature helps to stimulate creativity is why so many of us tend to resist it. I don’t mean mountain biking, dirt bike riding, ATVs, or even jogging in the woods necessarily, but more like sitting alone by a stream somewhere for several hours with no electronics or even a book to read. This is difficult to do, because we either go stir crazy or we slow down.
It is in the slowing down that the thinking mind moves to the back and the intuitive drive begins to take center stage. In the slowing, the cloud veil will lift from our perceptions and we will find ourselves without anxiety.
Tip of the Week
Pack a lite lunch and water bottle and go search for a secluded spot in nature, either along a stream or on a ridge or hilltop or under a big tree. Spend several hours alone in your secluded spot without electronics or anything to distract your attention. Go alone, or if you have a significant other with whom you can sit in silence together for several hours without feeling uncomfortable. Notice what you are feeling. Perhaps you might feel a certain grating feeling within; an impatience. Feel into that, be with it, and over time watch it dissipate. Once you have come to a place of peace with your surroundings notice what creative perceptions begin to flow.