Saturday, February 22, 2014

Compassionate Help: Relationships Blog

Trying to find your way through relationships? It is an important but delicate finding our way through relationships. Read on to begin to think about some of the things that are important to you in relationships.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pt. 23: Finding more stability and "footing" in the anxiety...

Now that the anxiety has been approached, much more perspective and relative control can be obtained just by tolerating being  with these kinds of feelings.  I hinted at a next step for being with it from my last post.  I began asking questions.  This is another way to get through and perhaps surprisingly, learn more from the anxiety (It can teach us things!).  Notice that being able to think about your anxiety and questions likely is starting to help you watch your anxiety rather than simply being completely flooded by it.  Now, ask some more questions. What might this anxiety be about?  When have I felt this way before?  Are there similarities between the other times and this one? What challenge might I be needing to master here before that I have not been able to gain some control of before?  What kinds of images make me feel safe here?  Do I need someone with me?  What other things are comforting and anchor me when I feel overwhelmed?  Let your own questions add to these.  Notice that the more questions you can ask and try to answer that it may start to become more manageable...MY WEBSITE

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"What is right with you?" Pt. 22: Now that I am in the anxiety, what now?

So now that I have decided to enter into these feelings, be open to and be subjected to all that I have been avoiding, what now?  If I allow myself to experience the tension of this, say a situation where I am afraid of being criticized, or making mistakes, or facing a task I am not very competent with, or just simply not knowing how to handle something I cannot control, what can I do?

Because we are so oriented towards taking a side to relieve the anxiety, whether it be to escape, make the other bad, make ourselves bad or any other such way of getting out of the tension, it is hard to be (t)here.  One thing that can help is to try to suspend our prejudgments that insist that the same thing will happen every time.  If we only see the same outcome with the same choices, we will be unable to create the space for any creative thinking to produce other perspectives, other possible solutions.  In short, we need to be able to experience the tension to get out of this trap and find the necessary space for creative thinking, new solutions, and new perspectives. Attempting to solve or work with the situation in the same old way, will only perpetuate the problem and convince us that life will, rather cynically, never change. So try to watch for how you re-create the same thing.  This will not help.

Thomas Ogden tells the story of a toddler who slipped in the bathtub and went under water, who was faced with his next bath.  Terrified, he grips his mother tightly and they are at a standstill. The choice seems to be drown or hold on very tight. The mother suggests a tea party and the toddler asks her to pour him some tea (with the bathtub toys) and slowly (albeit some time) the bath might be experienced in another way.  This infant metaphor is an important illustration for many transitions where anxiety is paralyzing, and how space needs to be explored to find a manageable and creative response to a situation where it has felt like there was no way to go...MY WEBSITE.

Friday, November 29, 2013

"What is right with you?" Pt. 21: What are we afraid of anyway?...

It seems that we are faced with a few choices when it comes to anxiety, at least the kind of anxiety that doesn't seem to go away.  We can medicate it either through our physician with medications, or some other substance.  Or we can try to ignore or distract ourselves with other activities, etc.,  But another option is to can endure it, perhaps even learn from it. In its most positive sense, we might ask what is my anxiety telling me?  What are the "gifts of the anxiety?" as Thomas Moore the author of "Care of the Soul" might say.  This idea becomes more possible if we realize that anxiety is not usually what it seems at a distance, or that actually, if we can have the courage to unmask it, we might find something there that was unexpected, different, or perhaps even smaller than we thought that it was from a distance.  This is somewhat like the childhood experience of turning on the light in our room when we were sure that the coat rack or other foreign seeming object in the room was this frightfully ominous and menacing thing. Shining a light on it reveals.  In this way, we find we have this part of ourselves that is afraid of our own shadow.  The shadow, in this regard, includes our fears, our inner conceptions of what we already have feared from before, not what is being feared right now.  Its like we hold back from finding out because our mind is made up that it must be bad! But another thing is happening beside what can be learned:  we are developing courage, strength and endurance to bear some difficult feelings that we have been afraid to approach.  More later. MY WEBSITE

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"What is right with you?" Pt. 20: More on anxiety...

What is it about anxiety anyway?  Many people try to reason it away, get consumed by it, spent their whole life frantically trying to prevent bad things (that have not even happened yet) from happening, etc.  But lets take a step back from anxiety.  I have always been a curious person, so I want to know, perhaps even with a morbid curiosity, what is behind things, or what will happen.  While this is obviously something we cannot know, when anxiety becomes excessive, we start to worry about something we could not possibly control--the unknown.  We constantly try to play tricks on nature this way, and we try to find many ways to soothe our anxious souls through all sorts of rituals ranging from spiritual solutions, psychological insight, reasoning, etc.  But perhaps we can all agree, that a general overall over-arching feature of anxiety is of something that is quite natural, the unknown.  We have become afraid of the unknown, sometimes more than is comfortable to our sensibility.  You might say in some instances that we have lost faith in what will happen, it cannot be good. And it is made more "bad" by my not having the mastery over, or the ability to somehow have the edge on the unknown.  In some of my following blogs, I will try to de-construct some of the aspects of anxiety in terms of reasons we dread not knowing so much.  MY WEBSITE

Monday, September 23, 2013

"What is right with you?" Pt. 19: Working with anxiety through changes.

There are a few keys to working with anxiety when going through it.  One, is to try hard to not become identified with it.  Just because you feel anxious, it does not come close to defining who  you are.  This takes some work to be able to learn to watch the anxiety, as Eckhart Tolle might say.  Two, realize that the anxiety is more of a doorway into something deeper and more important within you.  In other words, anxiety may be experienced along the way, but it is not the destination.  Your ability to tolerate more anxiety as you watch yourself go through it, rather than being too flooded by it, is an important part of change and inner transformation.  This is not always easy to do and can require someone to help us through these steps, but it can be done...  MY WEBSITE

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"What is right with you?" Pt. 18: Anxiety and Change

Anxiety, like Depression is something we usually treat like something we want to get rid of.  We like to distract ourselves from it, medicate it away, form addictions to escape it, and so on.  It is usually unwanted in our 21st century minds.  However, it is far more uncommon to ask "why am I anxious?" or "what could my anxiety be telling me?"  Being open to change and trying out a new direction, or a "healthy" behavior, or taking more risks to grow, will usually bring anxiety.  This kind of anxiety is to be expected.  Change is unfamiliar, less predictable, and even at times, somewhat disorienting.  We may need someone to reassure us we are on the right track, but this kind of anxiety is often a sign that healthy things are happening.  Other kinds of anxiety may be telling us important things too, but more on that later...MY WEBSITE