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Transmuting Anxiety

How do I "get rid of" anxiety?

A few years after starting my private practice, one of my first business coaches asked me to do a chart review of my clients. We were trying to identify my “ideal client avatar.” I was still very much in my Physical Therapist’s mentality and I began the search expecting to find similarities like back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches. I went looking for physical problems that I was an expert at solving.

I was surprised as I compiled all the data to find that the number one thing all my clients had in common was that they were struggling with some form of anxiety. Although nearly all of my clients arrived with at least one physical complaint, by the second or third session the intention would shift to working through some form of anxiety that was at the root of their physical symptom.

Here’s what I have learned about anxiety:

We benefit from anxiety. It serves to convince us of the validity of our shortcomings. As long as I have anxiety, I have a free pass on doing hard things. In this way it serves to protect us from our greatest fears.

But this is not anxiety’s true purpose. Its true purpose is to inform our action.

We don’t get rid of anxiety. We transmute it.

Trying to get rid of your anxiety is like trying to run on a treadmill to get to the store. You will get nowhere.

When we transmute our anxiety, we change how we respond to it. Instead of avoiding the fear that it is protecting us from, we face it head on.

Your anxiety has a pattern, a form, a character all its own. I call it a neural pathway.

It is a programmed response that your brain runs every time you are confronted with fear.

This program runs subconsciously, often beneath the level of your awareness. Often we don’t even get a chance to consciously witness or observe the fear, because in the moment we feel fear, we immediately shift into a sympathetic state and we go into subconscious autopilot. It feels as though we have no conscious control over how we feel, what we think, or what happens to us.

But we do.

Because if you can pick up on the pattern and stay present to the feeling, you can stay present to what the sensations that you have labeled “anxiety” are asking of you.

When you identify the pattern of response that you have to “anxiety,” and then take action from a different state of being, anxiety dissolves.

But do you know why this is so hard to do?

Because now we actually have to face the underlying fear, shame, or guilt that we have been avoiding through the creation of our anxious feelings.

It is fucking terrifying to dissolve anxiety. It leaves us standing face to face with what I lovingly call the fear of all fears or the wound of all wounds.

But what I can guarantee you is that all you desire and have been praying for, the healing that you are seeking - all of it - is standing on the other side of that wound of all wounds.

Bliss, peace, love, joy - all of that - is just sitting there waiting for you to choose how badly you want it. It’s not about how badly you say you want it. It’s about what you are willing to do in order to have it.

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