Pinky swear I could spend all my time
Riven with anxiety. Its “Pig-Pen”
Aura emerges, working overtime
As saboteur but, at times, as a friend.
The key is to distinguish friend from foe.
The new or next tasks, folks yelling “Fire!”
Send five alarm bells into me, and so
Triggers “flight, fight or freeze.” It feels dire.
The friend I like. That ding-ding-ding helps me
Become aware of questions I must ask
To preserve, protect and spur comity
Within my soul that longs for rest. My task
Is to recall who I am, what’s my goal
Then set intentions that honor my soul.
by Allegra Jordan, 2019.
Thoreau* said, “A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
And so it is with addressing anxiety. Return again and again to who you want to become and what intention you have to get you there. Make sure you have a worthy goal (hint, hint: flourishing is a classic), and that the people you are working with are not zombies (who will metaphorically eat your brain) but fully alive people who wish to become their best selves. If they are not, be careful. Those alarm bells may save you from bad things.
*Yes I get Thoreau’s famous cabin in the woods was only short distance from his mother when he claimed to go into the wilderness to seek what he could find. And he didn’t pay taxes but sure benefitted from infrastructure. I get it! I’ve walked Walden Pond many times. He still has some good ideas.