Anyone who has ever used a PA system will know that if the microphone picks up sound from the speakers a feedback loop is created—the sound gets continually re-amplified and you hear a painful, ear splitting squeal.
Our mental suffering operates in much the same way. Whenever we find ourselves thinking anxious thoughts, our feelings begin to jangle; more thoughts then rise up to escape the bodily distress, which often only serve to raise our anxiety levels higher; then come more thoughts to escape the added discomfort, bringing more anxiety, bringing more thoughts, and on and on it goes until we’re completely overwhelmed.
So where do we go from here?
Feel the two feet on the ground, bum on the seat, those three points acting like a solid mountain of support—creating a sense of rootedness, of groundedness; notice the breath, in through the nose . . . out through the mouth . . . breathing deep into the belly; loosen the jaw, the neck, the shoulders, the wrists, disengaging from the fight-flight-freeze response.
And it’s from there, instead of running away into the next thought, that we courageously connect with the bodily discomfort, feel its edgy rawness, and begin to discover the revelation that, actually, it’s ok, that there is no need to escape into thinking.
Slowly we become more and more confident in being the aware openness that allows all of life’s energies to express; we begin to understand that this whole play is appearing and disappearing in our true, limitless nature, that could never be overwhelmed.
That shift in perception is like moving the microphone away from the speakers—the loop is broken, the shrill screech naturally subsides, and our unique voice rings out as a clear reflection of its source.