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Anxiety can be an ally. How to work life when close to the edge.

“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms.”

― Paulo Coelho, Manuscrito encontrado em Accra

These are thought-provoking times.

I almost dare not dial in to the big fact that the whole world is more or less in quarantine, even Tonga! All those countries that I learned about as a budding child philatelist are all under house arrest for the foreseeable - it is truly incredible. Unprecedented times indeed.

I think that it is not necessarily the pandemic that is the only major concern but the mental fallout from it also registers on a massive scale. All of us can no longer take anything for granted right now. All that was familiar, ordinary and everyday has been deleted and we are now faced with the responsibility of making sure that we and others do not go the same way.

Understandable then, that anxiety has us gripped by the throat.

Some psychiatric models tell us that a bit of anxiety is good for us, it keeps us on our toes. Not only that but it signifies the unconscious percolating from its depths to merge with the conscious world, our neurosis is that the unknown is becoming a known quantity and that can be unsettling. So what do we do with it? We can see it in the Moon card, the half light making an unrecognisable terrain, half forms that are not quite complete inhabit our waking world, what do we do with them?

Mankind’s ability to adapt, adjust and evolve requires the natural predator, we need to be prey, in whatever shape or form that may take. The predatory experience ensures new neural pathways that enhance our evolution and the maintenance of the species.

The Vagus nerve.

This is the primordial piece of kit that connects the brain to the gut via the heart, alerts us to fight or flight or chill and relax. Right now we have a bit of both. We are all hyper vigilant but at the same time we have to stay home and work out a way of negotiating with the days ahead, one day we will look back and laugh but for now it is a nail chewing, deep sigh of a moment!

Jung tells us that 'what we resist persists’, so there is nothing else for it but to go with the flow.

As sensitives it is likely that we are resonating with the current vibe, looking for clues and revelations.

As such it is entirely probable that you see the mirror in the wider image as a snapshot of your own. I think one has to be wary of psychically connecting to details as personal signs. Whilst we learn about the cards from life experience, it is vital that we step back and try not to engage with the animism of the archetype. It is far more important, in these circumstances to be in the moment and deal with it a bit at a time. However, it is also constructive to not be accountable for the collective anxiety but to individualise it. This ensures autonomy and authenticity.

Our current health crisis is an opportunity for us to explore our shadow and to own our anxious state.

Acceptance is the key. It is acceptance that will give us the stamina to face what is to come, not just collectively but individually, to be anxious is to be human, it is part of our wholeness.

New goals and a new focus? There has been much talk about being the change we want to see in the world, well, now is our chance.

We must not feel under pressure to make the pop spirituality work, instead we can dig deep into our personal beliefs and ultimately believe in them.

Let’s take some Tarot wisdom and look at how we can work with anxiety and move forward.

Maybe our experiences now will support our work later. Anxiety could be a part of the inner teacher who is striving to point out some vital lessons.

Do you recognise any of the cards?

  • All is not lost, sorrow and regret are but a fleeting glimpse of the past and all that we have not learned yet. We have come to this world to be of service, through service we find ourselves. We learn to love.

  • We can have it all. We can have the normalcy and consistency of life but we can also be the free spirit, two sides to the same coin. Achievement does not have to be linear but passionate.

  • Count your blessings, when we are too busy looking at what other people have we don’t see our own treasure.

  • Before we move on, we must let go. Although the way ahead is uncertain, it is the vulnerability of that which makes us courageous and confident.

  • Be true to yourself. Be true to those talents and skills that lie within. They are possibly your future.

  • Create your own ritual for healing, peace, manifestation or whatever, you don’t have to stick to what has already been done, make it personal.

  • When we are pulled around by powerful hidden forces we can harness our will to the heart, listen to the voice of your heart, then engage the brain and make plans.

  • Take a risk, a calculated one, the universe loves it when we take a risk, it means we are alive!

  • Unconditional love starts with the self. When we start offering unconditional love to all and sundry we have immediately put a condition on it!

  • Keep your balance, do the great work if you can, it is not always huge slices but more a case of little and often!

  • When we move forward away from problems we are not escaping the self, we have to take ourselves everywhere we go!

Perhaps you want to do a little book of Tarot aphorisms for yourself. This is not only uplifting and healing but fun and a work in progress.

Anxiety has the power to bring out the best in us.


“Chronic anxiety is a state more undesirable than any other, and we will try almost any maneuver to eliminate it. Modern man is living in anxious anticipation of destruction. Such anxiety can be easily eliminated by self-destruction. As a German saying puts it: 'Better an end with terror than a terror without end.”

― Robert E. Neale, The Art of Dying

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