What you gonna do


What you gonna do

The human habit (hard to imagine other animals doing it) to worry, to project catastrophic outcomes, is pointless. It achieves nothing. What it does do is syphon off reams of life-force you really need to keep you alive. Weakened and distracted by the noise in your head you mess things up more and so do actually give yourself things to worry about. That justifies worrying and you're in a vicious cycle. Worrying is akin to praying for the opposite of what you want.

But rather than propound the frankly absurdly ignorant stance of the so-called mental-health professionals who'd say you 'had anxiety’ and treat it as some sort of virus-like disease to be cured, I propose worry as the mental activity that arises from an anxious state, is a habit not a disease, as is anxiety itself.

The body feels fear That's natural and important – animals remain alert because of it, and being alert helps you avoid danger.

But when no actual danger is present animals rest – humans tend not to – and the reason is once you start worrying and the anxious state is activated, cortisol the flight/fight/freeze hormone gets released from the adrenals and you get a 12 second buzz – very mild like nicotine, but it's a stimulant – and you get addicted like you might with crack or crystal meths. The fact the drug is produced endogenously as opposed to something you score from a dealer makes it no less pernicious.

All very well and good, Barefoot Doctor, but what do I do about it, I hear you say.

But rather than crack the obvious gag, ‘what you asking me for?’, – allow me to suggest as follows.

This is proffered for experimental purposes only – if in doubt consult your hairdresser, or anyone who'll not deride you too much for not being able to think for yourself. Now gather yourself – feel yourself as a unit – a node of awareness and energy here in this infinite continuum of awareness and energy we call life. Breathe more slowly and allow your system to cool down for a moment. Disengage the gearbox and let your internal engine idle.

Be aware you've been leaning too far forwards with your nose pressed too hard into the windscreen of perception.

Lean back instead – sit right back in the seat like a racing driver, so you have more of a panoramic view, let your mind lean right back against the headrest.

Relax the heart area in the front of you.

Stay back inside and observe how the front of your brain, normally filled with worry and noise, has gone mercifully, miraculously quiet.

Enjoy the silence as if enjoying the quiet of a city street at dawn.

Honor the animal fear in the belly – remind yourself it's good to feel fear – it means you're alive and it helps keep you so.

Honor the fact you don't need to fill your forebrain with catastrophic stories – in fact that you have no actual need to project imaginary futures of any sort onto your inner screen.

Instead, consider your true intention in your present situation – the sort of outcome you wish for – maximum gain in every situation that benefits everyone rather than detracts from anyone’s wellbeing, and full realisation of potential this lifetime (for instance) – agree to your intention – commit to it in your heart and, otherwise and anyway, remain present sitting back into the here and now, trusting, trusting, trusting (repeated intentionally) it'll all work out fine. Then, rather than rush forwards grasping at it, keep sitting back and let it come to you.

Reinforce that by repeating, 'I'm not rushing forwards like an idiot, grasping at it, I'm sitting back with grace like a sage, allowing it to come to me’.

That'll all afford you a moment of respite – more if you take it up as a practice

Do the above exercise as a practice and watch how your relationship with reality, self and others shifts profoundly this very instant.

I could probably be being a lot clearer in explaining it all, but what you gonna do.