Anxiety Mustn't be Allowed to Win


I have not forsaken you, dear reader. I promise.

But neither will I cram this web-place full of obligatory writings, lacking the passion I want you to associate with my postings. I have not been much in a 'writing space' for a number of reasons… and whenever I have been, I've attended to your horoscopes (a non-optional weekly project, to hear certain avid followers tell it).

Don't discount the power of a trio of eclipses (including a lengthy and potent solar eclipse a couple weeks back) to rob you of your quiet time. And as any good writer knows, we need our quiet time to incubate our thoughts, stumble into inspiration, and/or actually get the words onto the paper (or the screen, as the case increasingly seems to be). I have been presenting lacking this requirement. Between a recent uptick in my duties as co-owner of The Sacred Well (my metaphysical shop in Oakland, CA), preparations for my upcoming trips to L.A. and NYC (where you can schedule a one-on-one consultation with me, if so inclined), and a visit from a dear friend who lives overseas, I haven't had much of a chance to concentrate.

That's not to say I haven't been all too acutely aware of not having written for you lately… a personal 'disappointment' that's also a convenient place to pin any floating tidbits of anxiety, lest I actually allow myself to ebb and flow organically in the practices that comprise my life. Both eclipses and concentrations of Gemini energy have a tendency to create surges in our nervous-system flows that can manifest as anxiety, if not properly expelled (or if internally indulged through overactive mental chatter). As such, I've contended with several mini-bouts of passing anxiousness throughout the past couple weeks.

I am lucky to report, when I'm talking about my experiences with anxiety, that my personal cases are relatively mild. I do not succumb to panic attacks, in which I fear that I'm about to get very sick or die. Nor do I allow anxiety to paralyze me from continuing to do what needs doing. Still, the persistent worry of everything that could possibly go wrong from me not retaining total control of every last piddling detail of my life is a familiar inner sensation… and a hereditary trait my mom and her mom ('good Jewish mothers' too well-acquainted with worry) have obviously passed on.

If there were a single 'issue' I'm most motivated to 'work on' in this ceaseless quest for self-development (and let's not discard that the very sense of needing to 'work on' myself feeds right into this anxious need for control), it would be this wasteful expenditure of mental effort made toward entertaining anxious thoughts. As I see it, this behavior is, pure and simple, a difficulty with enjoying life in the moment. A terror that, should I only stop planning and fussing for too long a moment, I will thwart my delicate balancing act of 'keeping it all together' and some catastrophe will strike, which will surely be my fault for not having foreseen its possibility and wisely headed it off at the pass. A pessimistic lack of faith in my ability to handle the twists and turns of life as they arise. An uncomfortable relationship with spontaneity.

I eagerly desire to enjoy my day-to-day life more, not just in the abstract sense of 'I've got a really blessed life' (which I do) but in actual full-body joy unmediated by thoughts of whether now is the 'appropriate time' for joy or whether I've taken care of enough business to deservedly warrant it. A intuitive pal recently reminded me (via channeled wisdom from…?) that I don't need to be Mr. Business all the time—that such a role of self-imposed seriousness actually holds me back from the work I'm here to do. I need to play more, she told me, and quit panicking about whether I 'know' all that I falsely assume I need to in order to be in the game.

That is why I'm readying myself, in just a few hours from now, to speak at an event without pre-prepared comments for the first time in my life. I was invited by a fan of this website, though I have never met her or anybody else associated with this evening's festivities. I'm not quite sure what to expect, who will be at this art-gallery/internet-DJ/community-building event or even what I ought to wear. I have decided to 'wing it' (though not without some rough ideas mapped out in my head), in honor of this attempt to enjoy the spontaneity of life's moments more. I may crash and burn. I may soar to great heights. I may adequately fulfill the responsibility, averagely and nothing beyond that. I will, however, have challenged myself. Of that, I am sure.

My anxiety these past couple weeks has been loosely tied to having made this commitment to speak, sight and acquaintance unseen, without a stack of neatly-printed notecards to sit atop the podium that I'm sure won't actually be there when I arrive. While wine-tasting in Napa with my visiting friend, walking the dog at the beach, neatening the house or driving across town, I'd be hit by anxiety bombs related to this engagement—even though, days in advance, this worry did not serve me. There is no neat utilitarian formula to justify such worry a la 'the more I worry, the better prepared I'll be for my speech'. If anything, I was just putting myself through a pointless exercise in self-torture… and why? to make sure I stay 'on my toes'?

Fairly soon, I'll have to jump in the shower, throw on something to wear, and head myself down to this event, prepped to throw myself into the moment's unpredictability… with faith that I will succeed, if only by, yet again, flaunting my vulnerable humanity in front of a dozen or a hundred strangers' faces who, I'm willing to bet, are also vulnerable humans. It's not like I don't know enough about astrology to talk to folks for a half-hour or so. That's not the point. It's this daring manner in which I refuse to bring notes that has my stomach all agog with jitters. (Or is it the caffeine?)

So rather than sit around and let my innards be eaten away with suppressed anxieties in these preceding moments, I thought to instead share it with you… and make up for not having written lately. (Two birds, one stone.)

Wish me luck. However, by the time you read this, I will have already stared this anxiety-provoking challenge to be in the moment square in its face…