What Your Soul Already Knows about YouSep 04, 2020
The things that will make you feel less depressed, or less anxious, are not always the same things that will make you feel happy and whole.
I learned this lesson the hard way. I lived through years of anxiety, a diagnosis of PTSD, and an alarming score of 9 out of 10 on the adverse childhood questionnaire — where a high score is not a good score.
In my twenties, I believed the biggest problem I had to solve was how to get over my difficult childhood. I blamed it for why I never felt worthy and why I became so anxious.
I was obsessed with the question, “Why is life so unfair?” In therapy, I’d ask this question over and over. I’d write endlessly about it in my journal. I wanted the answer to this problem.
This led me to the next nagging question of my life: “Why me?” I thought if I could solve the “Why me?” question, I’d magically feel better, and my confidence would be restored. But it was my belief that these questions had to be answered in order for me to feel better that kept me more imprisoned and more anxious.
The belief that we have to solve every problem just produces a string of new problems and more pain.
One of the only benefits of questions like these is that they eventually make us so frustrated we will gladly open our mind and heart to a new possibility.
I thought when you have a problem, you had to fix it. I believed when you felt broken, you had to put yourself back together…
But our worthiness is a given. We’re already whole. It’s our belief in ourselves that ebbs and flows.
Confidence (and peace) is a decision we make, then practice. It’s a habit we cultivate. When we develop faith in who we are, and in something bigger than our fear, joy will expand.
Too often though, instead of looking inward, we look outward into a world distorted by our own fears, waiting for someone else to come along and reflect back to us our sense of purpose and worthiness.
But we can’t see or receive something we don’t believe. Therefore, our spiritual practice must change. Instead of trying to fix problems, our practice is to realize (and believe) what our soul already knows. We are worthy. We are enough. We are loved.
When I began to focus my attention on developing a sincere relationship with who I truly am, deep inside my soul, instead of my anxiety and fears — my life slowly began to transform, for the good.
Whenever anxiety, fear, and self-doubt would arise, I’d turn my attention (with determination) on experiencing that quieter space between my thoughts — because it’s the that are the root cause of our anxiety. This still space between my worries and fears became a trusted doorway where I could enter the truth and calm of my soul.
I began to feel a shift; one that continues to grow and expand. Our soul has no end point. There is no limit to the calm, peace and joy that is ours to claim, and experience. What limits us is our habit of over-identifying ourselves with every anxious thought we have, instead of the wisdom and joy of our soul.
Change takes practice
When we’re anxious we’re usually living in the future. When we’re depressed we’re usually living in the past. Neither of which is the present reality (now). Instead we’re spinning in our imagination — where most of our fear and anxiety is manufactured.
When we feel anxious, yes, our coping tools can help us feel less anxious. But that’s just the baseline. Feeling less anxious is not the actual goal. Deep inside we want more. We want to find our center. We want to feel joyful, peaceful and fulfilled.
These qualities, and more, are ours for the taking , because they already exist within us. But we must take personal responsibility.
Make time every day to connect to who you truly are , to your soul. Stay committed, and find a community of people who are doing the same.
Anxiety is not who you are. It’s not a problem that needs be solved. You’re not a diagnosis that needs to be “treated”.
The movement I’m leading, and the reason I wrote my book, “If I’m So Spiritual, Why Am I Still So Anxious”, is to emphasize our capacity for joy — not just to feel less unhappy. The holistic and spiritual lens of yoga psychology and philosophy offers us insights into our true nature and provides us with a timeless and true message of hope and possiblity.
There is a place within you that is free from all suffering.
I write in my book that anxiety is a mental misperception, a physiological habit, and a spiritual misalignment. Yes, you and I might have a personal history, a constitution, a predisposition, or an experience that set the anxiety (fear) ball rolling in our lives, but the point here is that our true nature is not anxious. Anxiety is a human pattern that we’ve developed in our mind and body, and it can be changed.
Because everything is a reflection of our relationship with our inner being, anxiety is therefore not failure, it’s feedback.
When you can develop and fine tune your ability to discern between the truth of who you are and your mental and emotional habits, you’ll have developed a life- changing spiritual tool that will empower you. It is a spiritual skill that will enable you to be more aware and awake to…
- Know when you’re suffering as it’s happening
- Reduce or stop suffering when it arises
- Avoid future suffering, or suffering that hasn’t happened yet
As I write in my book, anxiety (just like all suffering) is showing us where we are in our relationship with our true self and it can help us get back to our center. From this perspective, I’ve learned that worry, fear and self-doubt can help us navigate our lives with more mastery.
Feeling less anxious isn’t the solution. That’s just the beginning. Connection with your inner joy is the answer, and that’s always present within you. Sometimes you just have to make space, listen, and feel.
Nothing can stop you when you change the way you see yourself. When you commit to generating love and energy for who you truly are, you place youself in the drivers seat.
This is how you’re going to make it to that destination of peace, joy, and courage you’ve been seeking. This is how you’re going to enjoy the journey — and realize what your Soul has known all along.