This overwhelming anxiety… I know this feeling. Back in the day, it’s pretty much how I lived … feeling like I was in a disorienting whirlwind while trudging through knee-deep muck. You probably know this about me if you’ve been with me for a while. So, of course, my heart goes out to those who wake up with anxiety, go to bed with anxiety and have their days punctuated with it. And that’s why I do the work I do now. About 6 years ago, I found my Path to emotional freedom… emotional liberation. And in doing so, I “woke” to the emotional suffering of others, seeing myself in them… maybe in YOU.
And, at that point, once I began truly healing, I became super aware of the lengths I went to, over many, many years, decades, to seek help, to seek relief, to seek escape from troubling emotions that kept my life in mostly constant turmoil… yeah, there were little breaks but not long enough – the emotions would come rushing back.
When I did finally encounter the emotions release and recovery work that healed me and brought me into a state of wellbeing, at that point, the best thing I knew to do in my life was to begin teaching and guiding this method so others could learn to extricate themselves from their suffering, being slaves to their emotions.
And in teaching and guiding groups of people through my courses and gatherings, I’m quite aware there’s a group of people – pretty large group wrestle with anxiety and mostly try to keep it in check by focusing on something – like work or school or other absorbing activities – that serve as a distraction from feeling. And when that distraction is gone, then the anxiety rushes in and takes over.
When someone suffering like this, comes to me for help and support, it can be tricky. This is because my cannabis-assisted emotions work includes expressive meditation practices… these practices invite a person to put the focus on themselves and the feelings that are coming up – so they can be in touch with them. For some people with heightened anxiety, putting their focus on being with themselves in this way, can be quite overwhelming. And it’s a real challenge for someone to pursue any centering or grounding techniques when intense emotions are coming up.
A student got in touch with me to tell me that he did one of my sessions with his girlfriend who, he said, got triggered during a very active movement. His question was how to avoid something like this from happening. Her triggering happened so abruptly, he said, that she got up and ran out of the room. He added that she’s had a lot of trauma in her life and currently is feeling a lot of anxiety, and dissociates quite often. So this wasn’t an isolated event.
But the question from him and others, is how do you approach something like this carefully? I always advise people that while my role is to support my students, my clients, my participants – each person must take on the LEAD role of self-care for themselves. What this means is being aware of what’s happening internally. And this can become a catch-22 – because if someone is in the habit of pushing away their yucky feelings and keeping them at arms-length, the invitation to be with those feelings, can be very unsettling and even triggering.
So first and foremost, someone prone to anxiety needs to be aware of their predicament in meditation settings. For instance, the person mentioned earlier who I work with, is not ready to try this on. And that must be respected. I always explain in my gatherings that if emotions start coming up too fast – because when we start inviting them up, they want to be heard. And they start coming up faster… so if this happens, you need to slow things down… by moving into long, slow deep breathing.
In this way, the mind follows the breath and settles down. But a person who wrestles with anxiety must possess the resolve to step-up and do this releasing work. It can be challenging. And, of course, as you know, I find that the judicious use of cannabis can be very helpful to this effort.
Responses of those who carry trauma can run the gamut. As I mentioned recently, it’s now understood that the quiet mindfulness sitting meditation can be retraumatizing to some trauma survivors. For example, often survivors of sexual abuse have this issue because their abusers told them to be very quiet and not move.
But we’re all so different and we need to respect that about ourselves and be prepared to test the waters and then go from there. Slowly over time, you’ll build and strengthen your nervous system and become more and more acclimated to doing this releasing work.
Do you have some thoughts on this? Either because you wrestle with it or someone in your life does? Drop down to the comments section and let me know.
I’m Becca Williams and I want you to lead your most magnificence life, and I want to help you do that.