If anxiety is a purely physical phenomenon (see Part 1), so is joy. Joy displaces anxiety.
Your soul already knows joy. Your soul is joy because your soul is one with the unmanifested. It's one with God. To experience that oneness in our physical bodies is joy.
So how do we do that?
By taking our awareness more deeply into our physical bodies and thereby sensing our inner bodies, which is the "life that animates" us.
As our good friend Eckhart Tolle has said, "To be unable to feel the life that animates the physical body, the very life that you are, is the greatest deprivation that can happen to you." (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61), p. 248)
What are we talking about here?
Let's take a lesson from the cat, the ordinary house cat. She's down on all fours, eyes closed, tail wrapped around her feet. She's probably purring. You get the impression that she's sitting there thoroughly enjoying being a cat.
Let's take another example that most people have some experience with: falling in love. At the beginning of a romance, sometimes you find yourself taking a moment just to feel that feeling. It's an alive feeling all over your body.
This you can do without the added baggage of a significant other (this is meant as humor, but some people are, in fact, addicted to falling in love because of the feeling it provides).
It's hard for most people to believe, but this is our natural state. We have the ability, if we access it, to sit in a chair and do nothing but feel good in every cell of our bodies.
At best, most people maintain a neutral feeling in their bodies. They don't take the time to acknowledge their bodies at all.
This is because the mind falls in love with itself. It becomes obsessed with it's own thoughts and forgets that its primary purpose is to see that these "earthen vessels'' called bodies are maintained properly.
I lack the capacity to get too technical here, but this is a purely physical transaction. The body requires a certain level of endorphins to function properly. When the mind falls in love with itself, it forgets about the body. It doesn't acknowledge it at all. Consequently, the level of endorphins (or dopamine or whatever) drops to an intolerable level.
That's when people go in search of endorphin stimulators, like drugs, sex, dangerous activities, shopping, over-eating and even what you might call compulsive running--all of which produce, you guessed it, endorphins.
If neutrality is the best case for most people, the worst case is negativity. Instead of pumping your blood with the right amount of endorphins, you pump negative energy into it in the form of negative thoughts. That's where anxiety, depression and all sorts of other negative thought patterns come in. These repetitive thoughts create negative energy and pain in the body. As Eckhart puts it, "An emotion . . . is the body's reaction to a thought." (A New Earth, p. 133)
Emotion is felt in the body.
With negativity comes an enhanced desire for endorphins and the likelihood of obsessive behavior, obsession with a particular activity that produces endorphins.
The good news is, endorphin production is a learned skill. It's something the body does naturally. All you have to do is begin to bring your awareness back into your body. It may take some time to get good at it, but with practice it becomes easy.
No one told me about this (not even Tolle, at least not directly) so the first time it happened, I didn't like it. My body was so unaccustomed to feeling good that I couldn't bear to sustain the feeling for very long. But now, every time I think about it, every time I bring myself to present-moment awareness, I also bring my awareness into my body and give it a little dose of endorphins.
Better yet, to make it less technical, let's call it a little dose of well-being. Wherever I am, I bring myself to the present moment and give myself a little shot of well-being. In other words, my body has figured out what it feels like to feel good . . . and it does that.
Of course, endorphins and present-moment awareness are mutually beneficial. The endorphins allow for more space to become aware of the moment, and becoming aware of the moment creates space for an endorphin boost. They go hand in hand.
You don't have to work your way from negativity to neutrality, and then to positivity, either. Bringing awareness into your body counter-acts any negative energy that may remain there. Any time I start to feel a nudge of stress or anxiety, I use it as a reminder to come to the moment and have a little jolt of well-being.
We can feel good all the time! That's how the system works best. Does this come as a surprise? And is it any surprise that when our spirits are in alignment with all that is, our minds and our bodies function as designed?
I still have to talk about the pain-body (see The Pain-Body).
For more, read: A Cure for Anxiety - Part 1, A Cure for Anxiety - Part 2 and A Cure for Anxiety - Part 4
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