Do you, or someone you know make a pass time of worrying, constantly? According to dictionary.com; “to worry means to torment oneself or suffer from disturbing thoughts; to fret.”
Worry is a runaway fear or assumption that something has or is going to go wrong. It is initiated when the mind identifies a threat and alerts us to its danger so we can do something about it. It’s part of the fight or flight instinct. Where the system goes awry is when we keep playing that out in our mind, over and over, feeling anxious that something will happen that may or may not. This act in and of itself is an unproductive pass time, yet we still get caught in its seductive powers. When stuck in the act of worrying, we are powerless because we are not able to tackle the issue or influence the outcome, we are simply playing the worst case scenario over and over in our imagination.
The worrying mind is in one of two places: It’s either back in the past, worrying about something that has already taken place, caught up in a story of what should have been said, done, etc. If not in the past, the worrying mind is in the future, anticipating and imagining catastrophic, “what-if?” scenarios.
In Warrior Two pose, we are invited to strike a posture grounded in strength and determination that accesses the power of The Warrior. The posture requires equal weight through the feet with strength in the legs, forming a firm foundation. If the foot that is forward represents the future and the foot behind represents the past, with the head and heart stacked directly over the hips, we find ourselves balanced between past and future, thinking and feeling in the present moment. Only in this moment, present to our current experience, can we let go the worry about past events that have already taken place and let go of worry about future events that may or may not come to pass because we are no longer in the past and not yet in the future.
With unwavering determination, the gaze forward, the eyes soft, the practitioner stands with the awareness of the warrior. When the mind is clear and present, there is nothing to experience but the sensations arising in the body at this moment. Feelings move through; fear, joy; anger, regret, fearlessness… Staying present with the feelings, mind quiet and steady, observing least it slips back into the commentary that perpetuates the worry provoking thoughts about what those feelings mean. It’s just our body, breath and our awareness.
With the clear, grounded mind of the warrior:
“What are the facts? “
“What do I know to be true in this moment?”
“Do I need to let go of any assumptions?”
“What are the feelings I’m confusing with my thoughts?”
Empowered with truth, we can ask ourselves, as the warrior would,
“What can I do to effect change” and if I cannot influence the outcome, can I, in this moment bring acceptance and let go the fears that relentlessly drive the worry?