We think we know the ‘why’ of anxiety,
Spiralling up from all those things we fear;
pressure; external and internal,
death, deadlines, illness, perfectionism,
So many ‘whys’
But what about the ‘where’?
Where is it?
The geography of anxiety is within the body.
Our bodies become shaped for anxious feeling,
the hunch of a shoulder,
the jutting forward of a chin,
the clenching of a jaw,
the tightness of a belly,
the holding of a ribcage,
like contours on a map.
Anxiety roams this bodyscape,
energy in a landscape of tension.
It lives below awareness,
coming to the surface occasionally
like a fish, silently swimming, unobserved,
leaping suddenly to catch a mayfly.
We hold our bodies in preparation for an unwelcome guest,
trapping it’s energy within.
Not allowing the natural progression of emotion and energy
to ebb and flow and dissipate.
We hold ourselves tight within our armoured castles
in the mistaken belief that we are protecting ourselves,
until the anxiety spills out without a reason
in quiet moments and times that should be happy,
and we feel out of control,
scared of being scared.
Next time the storm arrives, let’s watch it, feel it
let it be the map.
Let it guide us to our tensions,
Focus on those sensations and they will pass.
Not easy, when caught in a whirlwind of worries,
But worth it.
And eventually, over a lifetime maybe,
relax so the inner landscapes are so calm,
that anxiety can flow straight through
like a river of energy,
leaving us unperturbed.