18 June 2013 – Anxiety – How the Monkey Helped

Monkey LOC TherapiesMost of us feel anxious from time to time, in fact sometimes it feels as if we are anxious most of the time.  Whether it be because the planets are aligned in a certain way (I have to admit when I feel anxious I am an avid reader of my daily horoscope) or we just can’t shake those nasty feelings caused by something difficult that has happened, there are times when we struggle to cope with certain issues or maybe all issues in our lives in a calm, practical or even in our normal way.

Recently I had about a week of feeling continually anxious!  It was in response to a fear, an old fear that has kept coming up for me to deal with time and time again.  As it is a reoccurring fear, I have used all my favourite tried and tested techniques, I have done the work, I know the cause of my anxiety and where it comes from.  But as it is such a biggie each time I deal with it a residual, heightened, uncool energy feeling can remain for some time after the fearful situation has passed.

It left me wondering why I could not learn this lesson once and for all, why I could not get absolute clarity on how to handle the situation when it comes and let the fear go after it has gone, why it was taking a superhuman effort for me not fear the worst or to fly off the handle and go back to old angry retorts that get me nowhere???

I needed to regain some perspective, and so this time decided to try something a little different.  I had read about using the technique of psychic dreaming to get in touch with your inner psyche and decided to give it a go.  Now this technique is not for everyone and I am not going to necessarily recommend it here, but I had quite an experience with my dream and gained some perspective on fear in general, that I thought was worth sharing.

                       

DreamTo use the psychic dreaming technique, I cleared my mind first (well down to only 5 thoughts going through at once rather than 20), and went to sleep repeating the question:

How do I overcome my fear of…

And yes I had a dream and just like magic, I woke up afterward, in the middle of the night, to record it – no complaints on the technique so far, except that the dream was about being in a maths class at school :(.

So of course in the dream I couldn’t do the maths in class, I had no idea what was going on, I started to panic, nothing made sense.

I interpreted the maths class theme of my dream to mean that my fear really isn’t personal.  It doesn’t define me in any way, it doesn’t make me good, bad, different, tall, thin, fat, pretty, ugly – in fact I simply have a fear, a fear that many other people also experience.   So even if my anxiety is obvious to others from a waiver in my voice or a stutter over my words, all those people who have struggled with maths at one time or another, have felt the same.

Then when I left the maths class and went to another class, the fear feeling left and I seemed to just be able to work away as normal.

Right, so this meant that the fear is isolated to only one area of my life and unless I let it, it should only affect that one area.  I acknowledge that there are many, many amazing things happening in other areas of my life and I need not focus obsessively on that fear and the negativity.

The dream continued and the next day I was back in the maths class, with still no idea of what was going on, but the fear feeling was less, only very slightly, but it was less.

I took this to mean that each time the same situation is presented it is a chance for me to practice, to learn.  Each time the fear comes up, I get a little better at dealing with it and because I have seen it before, it will have slightly less impact.  This journey may be long, but I will gain knowledge, I will have experience to work with and as time goes on the lesson will get easier and easier.  It is amazing how much better I feel knowing that I am not a failure because I haven’t nailed this fear, I can stop pressuring myself and instead give myself a break – slowly, slowly catchy monkey – practice makes perfect – patience – love my scars.

And finally, and this is the best part – I saw a monkey statue on my maths desk (one that I have seen at a friend’s house) with its middle finger up.  Now this is clearly for the person to whom my fear is related… well actually if I was honest I was in the waking up stage at this point, but irrespective –

the next day I was happy again…