Anxiety – Unfolded

Sitting here, about to write this, I feel the all too familiar signs of anxiety creeping in – sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, chest tightening, heart racing, dry mouth, palms beginning to sweat, nausea, shoulders rising up towards my ears as my shoulder blades draw up and closer together.

Realising that I’m using only the top part of my lungs in short, increasingly rapid breaths, I understand fully that if I choose to let these feelings run rampant within seconds they will develop into a total stress-out and if still left unchecked, a panic attack.

The beauty of this is today I’m observing these symptoms rather than being enmeshed in them, for in truth what I have described was how I have lived most of my life, in varying degrees.

In the past I would use alcohol, marijuana and binge eating to relieve these pressures I daily placed myself under, which brought only temporary relief. As the effects of these wore off I would find myself back in the worry and doubt of my ability to cope and resort once again to self-abuse to rid myself of these unwanted feelings.

I have begun to feel the enormity of the stress and strain I have placed on myself, and those around me, living this way.

It’s the hurts I don’t want to feel, – that when left unchecked develop into fear that what is about to happen in the next moment, next hour, week, month, year or even years, – and is the same or similar to what has happened before and has left me feeling the pain of what I have believed to have been ‘wrong’ choices made by myself and/or others. In this case it’s reminiscent of being in school writing an essay that will be judged by my teacher on being good enough or not, and herein lays the kicker.

Anxiety is this perceived pain that we freak out about because we are terrified of doing ‘it’ wrong and humiliating ourselves in the process. ‘It’ can be making dinner for a friend, a job interview, walking into a crowded room, climbing Mt Everest, talking to one of our children’s teachers or someone we deem more important than us, a staff meeting, boarding a plane, buying a packet of mints, joining an on-line meeting; in short, anything and everything that a human being can do on any given day.

I have chosen anxiety because I have beaten myself up about ‘wrong’ choices made and then felt that I have ‘suffered’ as a consequence.

A wise friend recently shared how appreciative she is of all the choices she has made in her life that had brought her to the present moment. Fully hearing this was a massive weight being lifted off my chest as I realised that my choices have and continue to be opportunities to be more gentle, understanding, appreciative and loving with myself.

I choose now to go into a gentle breath meditation that I learned from an audio presented by Serge Benhayon. This supports me to bring focus to my body as I choose to let go of these unnatural symptoms that do not belong.

This allows me to return to the stillness that I have discovered permanently lays within through the Esoteric Yoga modality and more specifically, the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women. This along with my commitment to not accept anxiety as something that controls me, has seen a transformation in my daily living beyond recognition of how I once looked and lived

Thanks to the teachings of Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine, its many practitioners and the support of the Student community, I am steadily building a new foundation: one of knowing that within me I have all I need as I let go of the past and take care of the future by bringing focus to the present.

That I have within me true power of what it means to live in this world, my unwavering commitment to be solid in my relationship with myself – with God.

By Julie Ferguson, Mackay

Further reading:
Beating Anxiety Gentle Breath Meditation
Anxiousness – The War Within

803 thoughts on “Anxiety – Unfolded

  1. I had a mild anxiousness for most of my life and used to exacerbate it by drinking caffeine which raced my body and of course this made things worse. The answer I now realise is to be in my body rather than my head and this I am continually working on.

  2. Thankyou Julie, I agree, we can let go go the past and begin to live in a new and more loving way, especially with the support of Universal Medicine. We don’t need to carry the past around with us, nor the symptoms of stress etc, we can simply keep making new choices and let go, as we create a more loving life for ourselves.

  3. It is truly magical how that what we live can bring healing to others. Simply by reading your words I get the whole package of you saying no to anxiety. Thank you Julie.

  4. I have also found Esoteric Yoga to be a great support in connecting more deeply with all that my body is feeling and sharing. When we bring attention to areas of discomfort, tension or the anxiety you mention we can start to unfold very naturally what is beneath these symptoms. We also get to feel the quality of stillness that is within us, and how there is another way to be in life without reaction. Observation is key i agree.

  5. Anxiety is rife within society – for me it feels like it is an unspoken of constant underlying tension which arises from never feeling that we are enough and thinking we have to constantly prove ourselves – its exhausting and no wonder depression levels are soo high because it is an unattainable goal to achieve! The more we realise we have everything already within the less we will seek or feel the need to prove ourselves and so the more settled and content we will be within.

  6. It is inspiring to read the commitment you have made Julie in not allowing anxiety to take control and instead to be more gentle and loving with yourself and with your choices. In developing understanding and self-appreciation we are able to build a steadiness within us that is truly empowering.

  7. I have found the Gentle Breath Meditation a profound and practical tool that when practiced consistently is key to being able to bring a steadiness of presence and truer foundation instead of choosing to react and be at the mercy of everything around me.

  8. “As the effects of these wore off I would find myself back in the worry and doubt of my ability to cope and resort once again to self-abuse to rid myself of these unwanted feelings” It is so easy to get sucked back into old patterns with anxiety and the only way out is to build a relationship with stillness.

  9. I used to be a dedicated worrier and could even worry that I didn’t have anything to worry about. The Gentle Breath has offered me a constant companion to come back to myself and connect to my inner stillness and observe whatever is happening in front of me.

  10. Anxious, judgemental, full of doubt and self worth was my way for 40 years. I never considered that living this way was light years away from how I could live. Until Serge Benhayon presented to me that first and foremost, I am love. And that it is possible to live this love in my life. A fundamentally foundational truth that every person needs to hear.

  11. Pretty amazing that you now recognise all of the symptoms of that feeling of anxiety coming on. With this awareness we can conquer the perceived unconquerable- and you’ve done this, as you’ve shared, through simply connecting to your breath…can it be that simple? Absolutely awesome to read your story, thank you.

  12. Great sharing Julie, we build ourselves up into a state of anxiety when we put expectations on ourselves rather than allowing things to naturally unfold, and using the Gentle Breath Meditation is a great way to start a connection with ourselves.

  13. If i am anxiouss it is a signal to me that I am not connected within myslf, with my body and heart and so the demands of life get in very easy as an order to fulfil. And when I stay present with me I choose which movements I make.

  14. I am just wondering, whenever I get caught in the throes of anxiousness do I ever stop to define exactly why I am feeling anxious or do I just let the emotions feeding it run riot. This is something I really need to observe.

  15. I have found appreciation is the medicine for anxiety, jealousy, fear, lack of self-worth and the list goes on and on. Appreciation also is the antidote for conflict, disharmony and we can never have too much appreciation in our lives. I feel many people including myself are deprived of appreciation, hence why we are feeling the way we feel. But appreciation is free, it is a simple choice to appreciate or not. How amazing is that? We have this gift to bring harmony back to our lives, to humanity yet we forget we hold this power and love in our hearts, our entire body. Appreciation is one of our greatest medicine in life.

  16. When our body runs on anxiety we put an enormous amount of pressure on our body, because none of it runs smoothly or with a natural flow, our breath is short, as too is our ability to concentrate. Through the gentle breath meditation not only does it help our connection with ourselves, it also increases the air in our lungs and gives us the foundation of a beautifully natural rhythm as we breathe.

  17. Julie, this is a great topic you have brought up here for discussion as many people suffer from the crippling effects of anxiety, it almost feels like it has become endemic in our society today. Clocking and observing anxiety as it arises is key for me, and rather that suppressing it or wishing things were different. I now make friends with it and ponder on what it is showing me about my way of living that is less than harmonious.

  18. How gorgeous to come to a place where you are no longer plagued by anxiety of past choices and instead can now embrace moving forward knowing that each choice to come, is one that provides an opportunity for deeper levels of gentleness, understanding, appreciation and love for yourself…. This is a truly beautiful understanding to have and foundation to move through life from.

  19. My body is actually reacting in anxiety when I am not with it but am wondering in my mind, completely ignoring the fact that my body can only be here and now and not in the future or the past and needs my constant presence with it. My body knows that I do not have to worry about anything that will happen as it is connected to a grander whole that has all the resources available to be with any situation at hand.

  20. “This allows me to return to the stillness that I have discovered permanently lays within through the Esoteric Yoga modality and more specifically, the Esoteric Yoga Stillness Program for Women” The Esoteric Yoga online programmes are great and really support my daily living too.

  21. Presenting that we have a choice and that anxiety is not us, but a behaviour we choose, is an understanding that could support many others to see anxiety for what it is and begin to halt its control in the way we live life.

  22. So true – anything in life can be a trigger for anxiety, but it is a choice away – to come back to the essence of who we are, the part that knows that we are enough already.

  23. Great testimony of the power of choice: that there is nothing, even our own fears and emotions, that we are controlled by, unless we allow ourselves to be. Also the point about using self-abuse as a reaction to feeling an unwanted emotion – great to clock this one and see it for what it is – just another layer, behaviour, distraction, that takes us further away from ourselves.

  24. We live in society that believes that all our answers lie in the world we have created and exists around us. Yet as you have beautifully shared, true answers are found within us, through our connection to our essence. As when we are connected to ourselves we are connected to our inner-knowing that serves only to guide us to live in truth, in honor of the fullness of love that we naturally are. Whenever we leave this quality of presence our bodies are the first to let us know, hence the tension offering us the opportunity to correct our choice and return to love, or to choose otherwise.

  25. Thank you for unraveling anxiety. It is a condition so present in many people’s lives that we take it for normal and often are not really aware of it anymore. I like that you show by simply observing how much there is already gained and then how that enables oneself to make little changes such as focusing on our breathing and the way we move and are with ourselves.

  26. ‘knowing that within me I have all I need as I let go of the past and take care of the future by bringing focus to the present’ I love this and I love how my understanding of this deepens all the time.

  27. I agree Julie, the Gentle Breath Meditation beautifully supports us to bring our focus back to connecting to our body building a steadiness and solid foundation that we no longer choose to react and go into anxiety and learn to observe what is going on around us.

  28. It’s a powerful moment when we realise that every emotion is a choice. We can choose to go into it and lose ourselves for a while or we can chose to stay connected and let ourselves feel whatever there is to feel, knowing that whatever it is, it is just a mere mote of dust in comparison to the glorious magnificence of Us.

  29. Anxiety is so prevalent in our society, we allow ourselves to get caught up in things that disconnect us from our bodies. Then the anxiety we feel becomes us, we are the anxiety, when really it is a set of choices we’ve made, couple with expectation, then when those expectations aren’t met, we become anxious. Then around the merry go round we go. It is up to us when we want to get off the merry go round.

  30. A great realisation Julie, that our choices are opportunities to be more gentle, understanding and appreciative of ourselves when we connect and deeply honour what our body is communicating to us.

  31. Thank you Julie – a wonderful piece of that which I exactly needed to read..
    Whilst reading I become more and more aligned to the truth you have written and identified the behavior I had lived so far (beating up etc.) that lead me to be numb as I requested. But when feeling more now I sense this strong feeling of no longer living looking back constantly at the past and my choices there, but actually moving on and start living in the now! That is quiet a shocker of a realization – but a very good and liberating one! Thank you for bringing awareness to people in life.

  32. I felt an instant connection to the title of this blog because I spent many years hiding my anxiety even from myself! It used to feel overwhelming whereas once I acknowledged it and was willing to start unpicking the choices I had made that had led me to that point I was able to lessen the heavy burden of anxiety that had weighed me down for so long. Thank you for sharing your experience and your commitment to healing your hurts so that they do not dominate your life but instead you are free to share your wisdom with all of us.

  33. Choosing appreciation for all the choices we have made is the best antidote to anxiety. When i allow myself to go into an anxious state my thoughts run away with me whereas consciously choosing to be appreciative of all aspects of my life is so grounding and there is no space for anxiety.

  34. It’s why we have days named differently, months and years, so we don’t think we are actually going around in circles. We are heading somewhere because today is today and yesterday was yesterday or last week etc. That way when the same thing pops up on a different day, at a different time with a different person we can say well this is the first time I’ve heard that, when in effect it’s possibly not. This paragraph, “In the past I would use alcohol, marijuana and binge eating to relieve these pressures I daily placed myself under, which brought only temporary relief. As the effects of these wore off I would find myself back in the worry and doubt of my ability to cope and resort once again to self-abuse to rid myself of these unwanted feelings.” shows how we try and run from our feelings and in that we can run our whole life in this way if we choose. Ever get the feeling there’s more to life? This for me is the wake up call to say you are running around the same circle and the ‘more’ is the fact that I know this but keep myself distracted etc so I don’t deal with it and hey presto around we go again. Have you ever also noticed how it use to be one coffee and now it’s two or three? At a certain point our awareness grows even in the run and at that point we need more of what we had already been doing to distract ourselves to distract us some more. It’s a never ending cycle and unless at some point you take the lead then you will be lead around and around but you won’t get dizzy, after all it’s Wednesday tomorrow.

  35. This is an awesome article on unpacking anxiety. I love how simply you put it about anxiety being a fear we’ll get something wrong. I totally get that and realise that actually so what if I get something wrong, it’s no big deal, anxiety or no anxiety, the possibility is always going to be there, so why not go for it in my complete fullness and whatever happens will happen and I’ll deal with it from there. Eliminating that nervousness before a task would make the world of difference to my day and the tension that I carry in my body. What a revelation.

  36. A beautiful blog, full of the power of reclaiming oneself – and accepting every step along the way. No perfection required. Thank-you Julie Ferguson, for your honesty and blazing appreciation here, of the turn-around you have experienced in your life.

    1. Victoria I agree it is a beautiful blog full of power and reclaiming oneself, a great inspiration to others to do the same. When we are honest and in appreciation we can feel the strength of our own power.

      1. Thank-you Amita. I would say that most of us (self included) do not embrace such self-appreciation and holding ourselves in a depth of understanding and love, nearly enough – this in itself being a sure-fire way to hold back the expression and lived claimedness of our power. Our power essentially being our capacity to allow God’s Love and all that we are to flow through us.

  37. It’s so great you share here about the Gentle Breath Meditation and Esoteric Yoga Julie… These have been key for me also in addressing nervous tension, anxiety and the enormity of pressure I have placed upon myself in my life ‘to be more’…
    Coming back to a steady and still connection with our own bodies is an absolute fundamental – for us all, and the tools and support are all there for us to do so, thanks to the dedication and work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. So many lives transformed, as you have shared here, from what would and could so often simply lead to a downward spiral…

  38. Getting anxious is the way to not feel who I truly am and thus avoiding the power of love that I innately am as we all are. Just like you Julie I could get very anxious by the pressure I put on myself to achieve, to not make any mistakes but what I am learning is that making mistakes is actually about growing. Both the gentle Breath Meditation and Esoteric Yoga has brought me back the connection with my body where I feel this endless love and stillness and can accept that life is not about perfection but about our quality in everything we do without the ‘right or wrong’.

  39. This sentence unlocks and completely lays anxiety bare as the mental trick that it is to our bodies.
    “Anxiety is this perceived pain that we freak out about because we are terrified of doing ‘it’ wrong and humiliating ourselves in the process.” Bringing understanding that our bodies have to live everything we ask them too, it makes so much sense that stress has a physical impact on our bodies and that we do have the ability to change this, by changing how we choose to live in our body.

  40. ‘A wise friend recently shared how appreciative she is of all the choices she has made in her life that had brought her to the present moment.’ I love this line Julie, appreciation is a game changer and allows us to accept and see everything that has occurred… either good or bad have all been opportunities for us to grow and evolve.

  41. As I read this I remembered distinctly that feeling of anxiety in my body. The memories are visceral ones, very real and if I indugle them, very debilitating. Denying them is worse because, as you have shared, it then becomes this enormous fear of getting it wrong. I join you in appreciating all the choices I have made in my life that have got me to this point and throw getting it right or wrong out of the window!

  42. It is fabulous that there are modalities such as the Gentle Breath Meditation and Esoteric Yoga, which support us to feel the symptoms of anxiety but not go headlong down the rabbit hole. I would propose there is another reason for anxiety. Perhaps we know we could do an amazing job of the interview, presentation etc but we panic to avoid letting that out and be seen.

  43. I too find the Esoteric Yoga hugely supportive Julie, as it allows me to simply come back and feel my body, to stop and take space and then I am able to be with what is needed next without anxiousness.

  44. ” I am steadily building a new foundation: one of knowing that within me I have all I need as I let go of the past and take care of the future by bringing focus to the present.” This is great what you share as I can relate to this too, something I have been working on too is building my foundation.

  45. We are blessed to have the support of the Esoteric Modalities such as Esoteric Yoga and the Gentle Breath meditation to truly heal and bring understanding to conditions such as anxiety and to not let this control or disempower us in anyway.

  46. I have personally experienced an enormous shift in the way I am with myself since building my appreciation of myself. What used to feel completely insignificant is now quiet the opposite, and while there are days where anxiety sets in, my new foundation helps bring me back so much quicker. Because there is nothIng wrong with me and everything is simply ok.

  47. As my layers of hurts reduce I am becoming more aware of a low-grade anxiousness, that must have always been there. Although this doesn’t feel great, it is good that it is showing up, as it has been buried previously, I know this too can be healed – thanks to my lifestyle choices and support with Universal Medicine modalities, Esoteric Yoga in particular.

  48. It’s interesting to feel how anxiety creeps back in the moment we feel uncomfortable in a new place. Well, at least it does for me. Having recently started a new job, I can feel the anxiety escalating as I find myself with little to do. The need for me to justify my time to my new boss and team creates a tension in my body that leaves me feeling stressed out. It’s a familiar feeling and so it can be challenging to let it go, as the idea of just being ok with not being or looking busy goes against everything we’ve always been taught, and the thoughts around what others might be thinking get the better of me. I do know, however, that allowing the anxiety to make me wrong doesn’t serve me in any way, and only holds me back from moving forward. So instead, I’ll work on accepting that this is how it is, and continue to communicate with my boss that I’m available for more tasks.

  49. ‘Anxiety is this perceived pain that we freak out about because we are terrified of doing ‘it’ wrong and humiliating ourselves in the process.’ I am not sure if I understand your words correctly but what struck me in this sentence was the word’ humiliating’, what I got is that when I go in anxiousness I humiliate myself in making myself less and smaller than who I truly am.

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