Tummy trembles. Brain fuzz. That discombobulating feeling that you're not quite sure what you should be doing but you should be [doing] something to keep your act together. Anxiety. Sometimes it slips away with a few deep breaths, other times you need to beat it off with a stick or some little white pills. Naturally, we want try to get as far away from anxiety as possible - which usually just results in us being anxious about being anxious. You resist and so it persists. But what if rather than pushing it away, we actually welcomed anxiety when it showed up? What if, rather than dreading the discomfort it brings, we looked at anxiety as a delivery service of inner truth and other such soul goodies? Because every time anxiety shows up, it's our psyche's way of saying, "Knock knock, I've got something to show you about yourself that you really should see." Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard explained anxiety is a natural condition. (How liberating!) He believed that anxiety is "a cognitive emotion that reveals truths that we would prefer to hide but that we need for our greater health." And that it's a valuable to for shaping our ideal lives. Think of it this way, beneath the butterflies in your stomach, behind the clouds in your mind is your greater truth, and it's trying to break on through. No, these are not my words. (Hence, the lovely italicized font). These are the insights of deep-thinking and fiesty Danielle LaPorte, a former think-tank exec, writer, and entrepreneurial consultant. LaPorte, a self-proclaimed "spiritual mutt" and current Vancouver resident, has a stunning and soul-stinging website called White Hot Truth that you should check out right now.
On this site, she explores subjects that affect us all: anger, anxiety, discouragement, self-realization, truth. Sound a bit new-agey? Perhaps. But her (often humorous) words are an addictive mixture of profound and practical. To see the entirety of her post Your Friend, Anxiety quoted above click here.
Some cool things about Danielle:
* She was executive director of The Arlington Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank for future studies where she managed futurists (she worked with The Navy, The World Bank and IBM) (No, I'm not sure exactly what a futurist, but it sounds both very intriguing and very important, no?) * She did not go to college. So much for needing that elite education to be a success in life. * She has dreadlocks for no particular reason. (She just likes big hair and dreads make her feel Goddess-y.) * She is a mom and has a white hot (and uber-creative) career. * She thinks that anxiety is not something to run from (okay, from which to run). Rather, it should be acknowledged, harvested, explored, and utilized. And that is basically the premise of this newborn baby Ivy League Insecurities! (can a baby have a premise? Hmmm.)
Okay, that's it for now. Check back soon for musings about green grass and urban isolation and April being the cruelest month (all inspired by a picturesque weekend in the 'burbs).