Step Back From Your Worry
While taking a late summer hike a couple of weeks ago and seeing signs of fall creep in to the mountain landscape, I watched myself start to worry about the inevitable winter to come. That worry led me to a quote from my favorite philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, and a section in my latest book, Self-Belonging, to be published early 2020.
“If only I could live my life as deliberately as nature, and not be thrown off track by every nutshell and mosquito wing that happened to fall along the trail,” Thoreau said. He discovered the irony of it all: Once you recognize where all longing is resolved (inside from the Ground of your Being), and quit worrying about what s/he or “it” is doing (nutshells and mosquito wings); whether you might be left , if s/he is going to call or (stop calling), or when the bottom is going to drop out of everything, and focus instead on what you are meant to cultivate and share, you allow nature to take Her course. When you do, all of the people, places, circumstances, and events that are in alignment with who you are and what you are becoming will show up in loving support of you.
In his book titled, The Four Desires, author and yoga-master Rod Stryker offers his theory that each of us has a fundamental longing to fulfill our purpose, optimize our potential, and make our contributions. Carl Gustav Jung, late psychiatrist and philosopher identifies that “longing” as “the Life Urge.” Jung said, “All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble …they can never be solved, only outgrown. This outgrowing proved on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the patient’s horizon, and through this broadening of his or her outlook the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms but faded when confronted with a new and stronger Life Urge.”
So, without analyzing or judging every disturbance (“nutshells and mosquito wings”) or “problem” on your path you gradually see and feel just how Life wants to express itself through the unique lens that is you. It takes practice to stop worrying. To do so is dialed into our old, rugged brain (known as the limbic system). But every time you take a breath and step back from your worry just a bit, you fortify another notch in your noggin making space for that Life Urge to poke through your “problems” and reveal that purpose of yours—whatever it is. It may be as simple as greeting the grocery store clerk with a smile and affirmation of appreciation each time you go through the check-out lane, or, like the late poet Mary Oliver, to bring forth inspirational poetry. Whenever you are tempted to fret about this or that, just see if you can dig down a bit and go underneath your anxious imaginations. What’s there may just be the magic you’ve been longing for.
Rest easy—you got this. Relax—and breathe.
Believing in you!