Weebly Wobblies: Facing the Anxiety of “a Future”
Awakening provides many opportunities to “purge” conditioned mental habits.
We can wake up one morning absorbed in fearful anxiety and not know from where this comes. Our mind searches for a “cause”. “I don’t understand, yesterday I felt great, I had no fear, I faced some challenges and sailed right through them. So, what’s going on?” Just being aware of anxiety as a feeling is a major accomplishment. This is stepping back and viewing the mind as it races and runs. This is Awareness.
We can ask, “what is the problem at this very moment?” There won’t be one, not in this Present Moment. This is our clue, fearful mind is projecting a fearful future. We can dive deeply into Presence and allow the mind to jump and spin while watching it from a “distance”. The body may shake with pent-up nervousness. The breathing may be shallow and fast from the adrenaline of fear or anxiety. We can watch and wait for the body to settle down.
Find the gap of Spaciousness and rest within. If the body has too much energy to sit still, we can move into some activity which requires no thought. We have regular routines we perform on auto-pilot. We clean, we organize, we pick up sticks in the yard, we gather and take off the trash. We make the bed and wash the dishes. These will release the excess energy without engaging the thinking mind.
Awareness will notice when the anxiety passes, the body breathes deeply, there will be sighs of relaxation. There is an inner release. The “past” is purged and we “wake up” again in the present. Staying out of the “future story” which fuels the anxiety will allow the pattern to dissolve so that it doesn’t renew itself. This is the release of karma or conditioning. It’s just an energetic wave which passes through us like a whirlwind blowing leaves.
The “future story” will seem to be “reality”, it will attempt to pull attention to itself. If we refuse to believe the story, just allow it to be without resisting nor indulging it, the story will collapse. The belief in future is deeply ingrained in the human collective consciousness. The momentum is strong and the attraction is intense. Future is a mighty fable which is seductive to worry. Simply seeing its movement is all that is necessary.
Future comes as the Now. Refocusing attention Now, allows all to unfold in perfect timing. This step, this one step, we can take. The next step will arise when we are ready, in the Now. When we walk to the mailbox, do we become fearful that suddenly half-way, we will not be able to reach the mailbox?
Do we worry that the left leg will not follow the right leg to make its next step? No, we simply walk, we move forward without undue concern that each step will happen.
There may have been a time in our past when we reacted to anxiety with movement to “secure” the future. We may have obsessed about finances, we may have taken a 3rd job, we may have brainstormed a new venture, we might have bought extra insurance, we might have gone on vacation to run away from anxiety. We could not face the uncertainty arising within. We may have tried to exert some type of control by refashioning our 5-year plan. It’s innocent, this desire to find security in the physical world where things constantly change.
Each moment is full in and of Itself. Breathe into, step into the Uncertainty and allow it to be. This little death of “thinking mind’s dependence” is a deeper movement of the allowing of Awakening. The dying of attachment to mental objects of thought. The arising of formless Presence which is secure and safe, as It is, freshly alive and whole, right Here, right Now.
Breathe, take a step, breathe, take the next step. We are unfolding in perfect timing and the most perfect of ways. It’s happening Now. Eckhart Tolle says, “Stillness is the death you move into voluntarily, if you’re ready.” We’re not falling “off the planet”, we’re moving deeper into That Which We Are and All is Well.
With You as Awakening Unfolds