The Ironies of Anxiety
The Ironies of Anxiety
How to worry less and live more.
I know a lot of people with diagnosed anxiety disorders, many more who would likely receive such a diagnosis if they brought their worries to a doctor, and still more who seem to suffer worry, fear and insomnia regularly. It sometimes feels we are simply an anxious society.
An irony of anxiety is that the more anxious we are, the less able we are to think clearly and find healthy perspectives and solutions to our problems.
It’s normal to have a few fears and worries from time to time, and there have always been people who suffer emotional disorders which require medical attention. Perhaps anxiety is human nature and has always been with us. The words of Rumi, the well-loved thirteenth-century poet, resonate so well today. These words tell us that maybe we are hardwired for anxiety, and that spiritual thought has always been the way to manage it. Rumi wrote, in part,
you worry too much.
You have seen your own strength.
You have seen your own beauty.
You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less,
why do you worry?
I find it comforting that these centuries-old words still speak so much truth. It’s easy to believe that our anxious condition is a product of our modern life; of politics, social media, economic stress and urban development. While those things can certainly create modern anxiety, it appears that the lifestyle of any century could have been a recipe for stress. It seems the question is now as it was then, how do we handle that stress? How do we manage our anxiety?
Rumi suggests that we discover the power of our spiritual nature; that we remember the bigger picture; that the beauty of life is always around us.
It’s easy and normal to be weighed down by heartache, family problems, and the nagging suspicion that we will never measure up to our own expectations. Yet, when we turn our focus to the miracle that is within each breath we take, that new perspective gives us faith, hope, and some relief from our anxiety.
That’s not to say that practices such as meditation, mindfulness, gratitude and yoga are a cure-all for serious mental illness. Yet, these practices that make us aware of our spiritual nature, and that make our spiritual nature as important as our physical reality, are scientifically proven to help.
Rumi didn’t have the benefit of modern science to tell him that looking within and seeing our strength, our beauty and our spiritual nature would make a difference. He knew it because he was wise.
There is so much wisdom available to us today. It is ironic that the bombardment of ads and memes that preach a healing spiritual practice can sometimes themselves be anxiety-producing. They can make us feel badly for not doing enough on our own behave.
Perhaps the first best step toward anxiety-reduction is simply radical acceptance – to accept ourselves, and our life, exactly as it is right now. To know that everything is perfect in its imperfection.
Starting from that place of acceptance we may be able to carve our just a little time to adopt some healthy practices. We may be able to adjust our thoughts away worry, and focus more on logical problem-solving.
Clarity in Every Card: How to Use Context, Keywords and Intuition to Give an Amazing Tarot Reading
Please make plans to join us June 9, 4 pm to 6 pm, in my conference room in Palm City for this exciting class.
Whether you are a new tarot enthusiast, a professional reader, or somewhere in-between, you know the struggle. Sometimes the cards show up in clear and poignant ways. Other times they speak in mysteries and give clues rather than clear direction. Whether reading for yourself or others, this can be a discouraging and frustrating for even the most learned seekers.
In this class you will learn some techniques to help you make every reading your best reading, and to find clarity in every card.
Some of the techniques you will learn involve tarot study and protocol, others involve your intuitive development and natural connection to the tarot images.
Bring a tarot deck or borrow or purchase one at the class. Class fee is $37.50. Seating is limited. Reserve your seat online!
Anxiety Relief Tarot Dialogue
One of the tarot techniques I rely on most often is what I refer to as the tarot dialogue. In the tarot dialogue, one questions leads to another. You ask your primary question, and pull a card, or a few cards, to get your answer. From there, you see if that answer generates a next question, or if you have a related question.
Pick up the card or cards you have pulled, shuffle them back into the deck, and ask that next question. Answer that question by once again pulling a card, or a few cards. Then move on to a next question, and continue until you feel more at ease, and feel that you have a clear understanding of the issue. Each time you pull cards, shuffle them back into the deck. This allows cards to show up numerous times. If that happens, pay special attention to the card or cards that repeat.
If something is making you anxious and you can’t identify what it is, you can start with a question like, “What is it that is really bothering me?” If you know what the problem is you can begin with a question like, “What is the impact of this issue that is bothering me?” or “What can I do to mitigate this problem?”.
Often anxiety comes from a belief that something is worse than it is or will have a bigger impact than it will. We make mountains out of molehills, as the expression goes. We can ask questions that help us understand the true nature of the problem, how much of a problem it truly is, and how to handle it.
Book Now for my June Northeastern Tarot Tour
It’s almost time for my June Northeastern Tarot Tour, June 12 through 25. Once again, I will be available for readings at True Bikram Yoga in Madison, Connecticut. I am also available for parties and house calls in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I will be teaching a tarot class on June 16th in Madison, and a chakra healing class on June 23rd in New Haven.
Please call or text 562-655-1160, or email me, to schedule your time with me, to book your party, or to get more information about classes.
Since I will be teaching tarot during my Connecticut trips I have started The Connecticut Tarot Study Group on Meetup.com for my Connecticut friends. Please join if you are interested in tarot and live in New England.
I will look forward to seeing my Northeastern friends this June.
The Week in Review
Did you catch my weekly three-card reading on Facebook Live? If not, you can check it out in archive on YouTube.
This week I shared some important but unlikely advice for beginning and intermediate tarot students on my Community Blog.
From Around the Web
Want to learn about Rumi, and read more of his work? Find it on Poets.org.
Here are Ten Mindful Attitudes that Decrease Anxiety. Mindfulness seems to be all the rage, but do we really know what it means?
Here is a Tarot Spread for Working with Anxiety. As you can see, there are many ways to use tarot to release anxiety.
Cards for Your Consideration
This week, consider the traditional depiction of the Eight of Swords as an illustration of anxiety. Often when I see this card I think of a person trapped in a cage of their own thoughts.
Very often when this card appears it can speak of anxiety, either in a clinical or situation sense.
The Eight of Swords tells us to get ourselves out of that paralysis of analysis, to stop trapping ourselves with our own repetitive thinking.
While no one enjoys receiving this card in a reading, its instructions are clear. We need to take off the blindfold and release ourselves from the tyranny of our own thinking.
Tarot Topics Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 23
June 5, 2019