Anxiety – Does it all Really Come from Within?

If you had asked me the question – “Does all anxiety come from within?” a few years ago I would have said “Yes” without hesitation. And as a result of thinking this, I have had a lot of therapy and worked long and hard with my self development, expecting to resolve my insecure anxious feelings and thoughts.

A Story

Today I woke up feeling bright and breezy and decided it would be a good day to go with my family to a small seaside town and play mini-golf. Now, for our complicated family, it is amazing to just get out of the door, let alone make it down to the beach and participate in an activity! But I felt the light was good, my energy felt good and it was worth giving it a try.

As soon as I decided to go out, I felt my anxiety levels raise. I started thinking about all the things we needed – rucksacks, juice, chocolate, tissues, paracetemol . . .! I then told myself that this was just like any trip for us. We would take the same things for an appointment at the hairdressers! So I relaxed a bit. But I noticed I still didn’t feel as grounded as I had felt when I first got up. My legs were a bit achy and physical tasks like carrying things around the house were starting to feel difficult. I then realised the light had changed – I was perceiving less red light than when I first woke up. I wondered if I still really felt like going out. But of course, with a 12 year old who is excited about the prospect of mini-golf by the seaside, you don’t really get a choice. With the suggestion comes a commitment!

So . . I committed and off we went! When we arrived, I felt the same as I had done at home – happy, pleased to be alive but ungrounded. How does this feel? Well . . it feels like my legs aren’t as substantial as the rest of me. This feeling used to make me feel insecure but it doesn’t any more because I recognise it and understand it. At the seaside today, I knew I was safe and all was well and it was this knowing that I depended on. The real give away with how my perception of the light affected me, was just how much my legs ached when I had to climb lots of steps to get to the golf course. I felt as if I had run a marathon in the last 3 days, it was so painful. Also, when the energy is low in my legs, I have a tendency to pull muscles in my knees so I have to be super careful how I I use my legs and the rest of my body.

At the mini-golf I felt just OK. When you don’t feel grounded, it is harder to feel more than OK sometimes. it takes a distraction like seeing an amazing gull or getting a hole in one to feel more than OK. This feeling of just being OK can raise the alarm that something isn’t right but I am used to the feeling now and just stay calm and go with it. As I say, I know I am safe and that all is well.

My son, who is 12, has a similar experience to me. As he is a child and not always thinking rationally, small things can knock him off balance emotionally, and have massive impact on him physically. After the game of golf, we decided to go to the fish shop which was at the bottom of a very steep hill. I could see the pain on my son’s face as he walked down the hill, and the fear in his eyes that he might not make it back to the car. I remember this feeling so well from when I was a child. I would sometimes feel that I could not walk another step. But there is nothing wrong with our legs. Having rested a little on the drive home, my son got out the car and ran to check on his pet doves. I just got on with life as normal.

Not being grounded and having low energy in our legs does affect our daily life but it affects us much more when we try to go out and have some fun!

Anxiety definitely doesn’t always come from within. Sometimes we don’t know what is affecting us. We just know we don’t feel right. If that is how you feel, maybe it is time you start examining your relationship with the light!

Mummy, Please Teach Me to Live by the Light!

 

child praying

I didn’t grow up living by the light. I grew up like most other people getting up in the morning, thinking about what I was going to do, where I was going to go and then trying to fulfil my plan for the day.  I was completely oblivious to the light and how it might be making me feel.

But now I do live by the light and  today I was thinking about how difficult it is to live in a way that feels so different and unusual.  Then I wondered what it would have been like if I had grown up believing that it was a completely usual things to do.

I imagined having a conversation with my mother when I was 3 and this is how it went.

Mum – Jennie, come with me and look out of the window and tell me what you see.

Me – I see houses and trees and the sky.

Mum – And what colour are they?

Me – The houses are red, the trees are green  and the sky is blue.

Mum – Do you see anything else? Can you see the light? Is there another colour out there?

Me – Well, there is a sort of funny blue feeling

Mum – Ah, you see blue. And does it make you feel something?

Me – it makes me feel cuddly

Mum – How do think you would feel outside today?

Me – Not sure, maybe a bit lonely.

Mum – I see. Well, light is very important. We all live by the light. You know the sun is very important and the moon?

Me – Yes

Mum – Well, the light makes us feel different ways. It can make you have different moods. And it makes you choose different coloured clothes and eat different food. So we don’t all do the same thing every day. We all have to live by the light to really feel good.

Me – Oh, I see, so that is why I chose my blue dress today. it wasn’t really me. it was the light!

Mum – Yes, Exactly!