I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. After my daughter was born, it got so bad, that I refused to drive my car or go anywhere by myself. I knew that I needed some kind of help. But the thought of speaking to a stranger was completely out of the question. I wanted to go to yoga because I’d really enjoyed it in the past, but just the thought of being in a room with other people made my skin crawl.
It’s funny because it’s not that I don’t like people (well…most people). Despite my anxiety, I’ve always kind of been a people person. I’m friendly. I can make conversation. I wasn’t under the delusion that everyone else was awful. I knew there was something wrong with me. And that fed my anxiety.
It seemed impossible. But I was determined to face it. For the first year, my daughter’s father dropped me off at every yoga class. And I fought myself not to turn around and run back out the door as soon as I walked in. Over time, I got to know people and feel comfortable in the yoga studio. My anxiety dissipated there. But it was still a struggle to walk my dogs down the street or go to the grocery store.
I stumbled upon my first Access Consciousness Bars class a few years later. I walked through the door, feeling really frazzled and anxious, as usual. I sat down, and everyone began to introduce themselves. They all seemed really mature and put together. I was having a full on panic attack below the surface. When it was my turn to say hello, everyone looked at me, and I almost started crying.
Then the facilitator, Monica, said, “What is that?” I had no idea what she was talking about, so I felt put on the spot. I didn’t know the “right answer” so my face got red. My breath got short. My heart started pounding out of my chest even more. She kept on, “That energy, right there, what is it?” I began to stutter, “I..I..I..don’t know.”
Then she said, “Is it even yours?” And with those words, a weight was lifted off my chest. She continued, “Are you anxious to be here now? Or are you just aware of the all thoughts and feelings of all of the people that you’ve passed on the street on your way to get here today? Or maybe even all of the thoughts and feelings of all of the people who have ever occupied the space of this street?
Suddenly, my whole life made more sense. Even as a child, I was always hyper aware of everyone else’s thoughts and feelings, as well as their judgements and expectations. So much so that I would often confuse them with my own. Who was I if not the daughter my father wanted me to be?
Monica interrupted my stream of consciousness. “Now for the fun part. All awareness is just information. So…what are you going to do with it?!?” And then I got excited like, “Ooooh, I have options…” “Would you like to return it to sender with consciousness attached? Or to receive the energy without judgement?”
These are just two options. The possibilities are infinite. The more you’re willing to be aware, the more you’re able to receive. If this story resonates with you, if you’d like to play with your awareness to transform your anxiety, come to the Access Consciousness Bars class I’m teaching on Saturday September 15th! It’s an all day event (10-6). Message me for more details!