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Be Not Afraid

At this month’s Deep Study class, I heard a definition of anxiety that I had not heard before.

“Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance.”

How perfect/poignant is that definition?  As someone who has struggled with anxiety, this definition succinctly sums up my state of mind at times. There is a groove in my brain – a well-worn path – that goes to a future place of disappointment or setback or dissatisfaction. It wasn’t until I began learning to observe my thoughts rather than get involved in them (which is easier some times than others), that I became conscious of this pattern, this go-to way of life.

I remember distinctly when I first recognized it. I was driving in my car. I don’t recall what the exact thoughts were, but I remember kind of having an “ah-ha” moment. I felt a sense of liberation – of being freed from a habitual pattern that I wasn’t even conscious of. Pretty wacky, huh?

On Saturday, I surprised myself at the Deep Study class I reference above. We were asked what we’ve gotten out of this internal investigation, and I used several words to describe the journey including “beautiful, awful, exciting, inspiring, scary and freaking hard.” And, then I said – this is the surprising part – “I don’t ever want it to end.”

I would not have said that a year ago. But, I’m happier now. More fulfilled. And, I would not have made this progress I so desperately was searching for without purposefully trudging through the difficult crap, honoring the little things that make me who I am, remembering to be kind to myself, and diligently training to stay in the moment.

This very moment is the only moment we can control. This. Very. One. Lessen your anxiety by staying in it as best you can.

Posted by Missy Baker, a long-time student of Elesa Commerse.

To contact Missy, email 

Posted Jan. 15, 2013

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