Wednesday, July 12, 2006


What does ANXIETY look like?

Let thoughts and words bubble up, and hold them in your hand. The words are:

“I shouldn’t be here [WRITING AT STARBUCKS]….I should be home….Oh, I shouldn’t have that thought…”

“Where is the house for us? [WE ARE TRYING TO SELL AND BUY] I am having scared feelings about it, but also mystery, adventure, unknown….”


The verbal vomit of my anxiety is:

Not Knowing
Can it happen?
Seems kind of hopeless right now.

I remember as a teenager, whenever I would say something like “Oh I will never get over that boy…get an A in history….” one of my mother’s friend used to say to me: “Cancel that thought.” She believed whatever you thought, came true. Whatever you said, came true.

What a load of horse pucky (a few of my younger students have started to read my blog so I have to watch it a bit).

A Conversation With Myself:

Listen, no thoughts are wrong or bad.

Thoughts are just thoughts.

Thinking is kind of like breathing. We just do it. It is just our brains churning and processing.

Our brains do what they are supposed to.

Okay, I don’t feel better.

Right. Exactly. The thing is that for so long you have been struggling with any so-called bad thought, telling yourself to “cancel” any pesky thoughts.

Did it work? I mean, do you feel better?


So why not try something else that requires, at the least, less effort: Hold those so-called bad thoughts in your hand. Make a little space for them to sit next to you.

BUT I want to feel clear and better and perfect and not so sensitive and vulnerable and I so want to fix and change and erase and sculpt and mold and DO something about this feeling.

Okay. But, can you make space for it? Like: “Hello, sit with me while I live my life.”?


But I’m not good enough. Why bother?

Can you hold that thought in your palm?

Buzz of anxiety.

Space out.


This is not making me feel better and I continue to write in the hopes I will feel a shift and release. That scares me that I don’t and makes me go space-out again.

Release the struggle and let go.


Feel my sits bones on the chair
Feel the pinch in my shoulder while I type
Uncertain of what will happen if I just let go¬–

So I continue to try and write against it,
Not through or with it
NOT Against it
Try to write it out, blot it out, take the tip with the eraser side and
Rub rub rub–

But I still see it and feel it

Sit with it

Do I even know how?

I think of summertime as a child and teenager
Before I bought into every thought
When I could fantasize about kissing a certain boy, writing a best seller, living in a big mansion
Without the interruption of buying the thoughts, engaging in a struggle with them

I would see the boy in my mind and kiss him deeply so much so that I would feel warm and soft and tingly and clutch my pillow and it would be That Boy–

Today, there’s no fantasy without interruption of struggle and buying the thoughts, which then turn into feelings and I buy those too. If thoughts and feelings were money, I’d be rich.

F- (sorry younger students) buying thoughts. I’d rather be rollerblading and fantasizing about having another baby, a larger home, and an incredible book deal.

When I roller blade, I can fantasize like I did as a kid.

When I am at the gym, in bed, at home…….I buy thoughts and buy and buy, like one of those compulsive shoppers who buy and hoard.

It would be interesting to draw a picture of what that all looks like–

The buying, purchasing of thoughts and feelings and then the hoarding of them.

Obsessive and compulsive.

What if I took those thoughts, and I– no wait_ what if I stopped buying them? What if I noticed the urge to buy and just when the wallet gets pulled out of the purse, I just stop and say, “Okay, nope. You can stop. You can just stand there next to that thought and watch it, watch it as you stand there. Watch it as it jumps up and down and begs to be bought.”

The analogy may fall apart here.

Oh yes I don’t feel better. I don’t feel worse.

Need to accept that writing against feelings writing to thwart block and distract feelings is not working and no matter how hard you try, no matter where you go–

There you are.

There you are.

The problem with writing is I do it with the purpose of containing my thoughts and feelings into words and the truth is…..

There’s a shift now in the WHY OF WRITING.

Write to create and explore and accept and know and want to say understand….maybe I don’t necessarily need to understand so much as accept and portray and explore.


A gift.

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