What I am hearing and seeing is the lack of inner preparedness, the non-cultivation of more Wholeness and well being in ourselves. The culture at large does not introduce and nurture in people from a young age the means to navigate this. We're just not prepared for the speed of life having not known well and appreciated, the slowness. Most of us are indoctrinated from an early age to be productive, have attainable goals, to note the sequences leading up to success and imitate that. But most of all, it is the what not to do that westerners have been taught that I believe has the anxiety-meter going through the roof.
We are taught not to value emotional intelligence, the creative impulse and the mysterious. Indigenous cultures, and peoples whose values are close to nature, close to knowing more subtle and hidden aspects of themselves have this sort of preparedness to deal with crisis. They have a well developed emotional intelligence (see Emotional Competence and Autoimmunity). There is a vertical knowing, a respect and value for a layered emotional connection to self, intuition and a metaphysical relationship to nature, spirit and others.
What can be done? An affirmation of this core strength and a gentle visiting to those places in ourselves is required. As is seen in the following article, when a corporate (western) approach is taken to encourage people to learn meditation or yoga (Is Mindfulness Making Us Sick?), unexpected and un-desirous results ensue. It's an attempt to go from the (totally unprepared) outside to the In. As the article points out, the In resists. It puts up all sorts of resistance because it's a violent attempt (from its perspective) at awakening parts of ourselves that have had little activity. This would be akin to sprinting a mile when you've been on the couch for a month. So all the ego-survival mechanisms pull out the stops and what we get is a lot of disturbing body memories buried in a vault in ourselves. It is a violence of sorts and because of the often insistent approach, not rooted in kindness but force. A gentle, curious interest needs to be cultivated first. In this state, knocking on that door might yield a gradual opening (if there is no agenda). Everything in its own time.
|photo credit: Omid Gamini|
Know Thyself. Know your (present) limitations. Feel what is keen inside. If the door is not opening, it has its (good) reasons. Respect this. It is just for the present. Bring a humility and care to all of yourself and your endeavors. Ask for help. Be discerning in whom you trust with your Depth. Is it a hierarchical arrangement? If the relationship is less a mutuality and more a "I know more than you, I will teach you about you/what you should know", be careful (run for the hills). A healing is always a state of self-empowerment (as messy and non-sensical as it sometimes may be). A healing and healer finds you when you're ready, you don't have to go looking for it/them; you just have to be available, in a state of receptivity. Receptivity blossoms when there is a nonjudgmental interest and an authentic curiosity. With self-empathy and joy, start to experience aspects of yourself outside the box. Anxiety will be less overwhelming and more manageable.