Where do we start when there's huge anxiety and we can't find a place to start? Read on…

"I can't find a place to focus from or a place to start"


reader writes: "I actually had many unmistakable experiences of what
you might call 'being in self in presence' until unfortunately it
wouldn't work anymore. I think maybe something came up that I couldn't
let go of. From then on I've been very shut down. I feel I'm holding
something back, and there is huge anxiety and frustration,
fogginess, tension as well as doubt about the whole thing. I cannot
really get a sense of presence about it as I feel constantly stuck in
my head, can't get into my body at all. When I start focusing I can't
find a place to focus from or a place to start. It's affecting my life
massively and most of my time is spent either ignoring the feelings
in order to function or spending large amounts of time trying to engage
with them. So I never feel like i get a break from this. There are many
things I need to do but feel unable to at the moment. I'm really
restricted and have a very narrow sense of awareness, can't even hear the thoughts that might be keeping in this place."

Dear Reader,
me start by offering my compassion; what you're going through sounds
difficult. But not too mysterious. My guess is that something in you
got scared. That happens!

Anxiety, fogginess, tension,
doubt… those can all be signs that something got scared and has
decided to shut things down inside. So then you literally feel "shut

So where to start… Well, first with your own compassion
for this inner situation. You could try saying gently inside, "Ah,
maybe something in me got scared…." And perhaps follow that up with,
"No wonder…"

Like: "No wonder it feels so shut down, if
something got scared." And notice if you feel a bit of ease coming,
just from that much.

Finding a place to start when starting is hard


The place to start is always how it is now. And we assume that how it is now has some good reason.

can't get into my body at all." OK. So we trust there's some good
reason that getting into the body is hard. Just sensing what's there
from wherever you are.

Maybe that means acknowledging something
in you anxious because there's so many things you need to do. Sensing
how the anxious feels, where it is right now. ("In my head"? Hey,
that's OK, the head is part of the body too!)

Even if you feel
"nothing" in the body, you still might want to put a gentle hand on
your heart, or your belly. Notice if there is a sense of comfort from
that, even a little.

Sometimes we need to start with compassion
and gentleness, to bring a bit more safety into the inner world, before
anything more can be felt.

I wish you well. You can be there for yourself. You can.

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