Happiness

I’m a worrier, not a warrior

I worry myself to death. I worry all the time. About what? I’m not sure. A million things. And they all start with two words:

What if…?

These two words mean that “it” has not actually happened (not yet!, my mind interjects). But I still worry.

When I was in India, our teacher at the ashram looked at us (all Westerners) and said:

What are you all worried about? We give you a roof, we give you food, you have nothing to do or think about. You study,  you do yoga, you do your selfless service. Nothing you need to take care of.

But he was right. I looked around and I remember we were all looking pretty worried. In the place on earth that’s probably as close to paradise as it gets. We were worried about home. What if something had happened?

lake4

Gorgeous ashram setting. But the mind – and worry – are never far away…

There were no cell phones and no internet at the ashram. However, there was a landline that family and friends could use – in case. Yet, we all worried.

It is hard to appreciate how much headspace this takes. How much energy. Worry overshadows our days, it preys on our minds. All. The. Time.

Parthasarathy, teacher at the Vedanta Academy, says:

The mind rambles into worries of the past, and anxieties for the future. That tires you. Action doesn’t tire you. Action can never tire you. […] If you don’t find rest in action, you will never rest by getting out of action. In fact, you’re working for weekend and vacations. But if you don’t know how to control your mind and act in the present, you will always feel tired.

Do you want proof? Examine your own children. Your children are never tired. They are bristling with activity. Because of the simple fact that children have no worries of the past and anxieties for the future, they’re happy. But you all have the worries of the past and anxieties for the future, and it tires and fatigues you. So you need rest. It’s as simple as that.

We don’t need weekends, days off and holidays to recover from what we do. We need them to recover from the state of mind we’re in – day in, day out.

I do try to live in the present. The present excludes worry about what is past and anxiety about what might come. Life is simpler that way. But it does feel like a long recovery.

How do you deal with worry? Do you think we worry too much, in a society where the majority of people have access to all basic necessities?

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19 replies »

  1. Getting away from cellphones is probably the best thing many people can do for themselves. Technology has aided us in something but harnessed and prevented us from gaining the ability to stay in the present. Take time and get away from your cellphone each and everyday. It will improve your ability to stay in the present for sure.

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  2. Very good post, thank you for your inspiring words! I think about the “live in the present” situation. By default (nature) I’am person that live that way, but in my opinion people use to confuse this with irresponsibility and in some moments you receive a good amount of unhealthy guild. You start to transmit people’s fear, and maybe jalousie. As we know, we don’t live alone on this world and we are not always surrounded by people that think like as. I guess we have to keep on meditating, but I’m wandering do you have another recipe 🙂 to avoid closing ourself, protected in our own world with the idea of “live in the present”.

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  3. The worry thing is really interesting. I do a lot of activities that could cause harm or be dangerous, like horseback riding in the mountains…. people freak out that I don’t have a cell phone with me…they worry for me that being out in the woods alone, surfing by myself, travelling by myself etc And I’m 57 years old!! That’s my biggest problem is not getting hooked into other peoples fears. People want to worry for me. It’s a control thing I think? It’s hard to convince people that it’s all good . Relax… Tomorrow may never come. People don’t want to hear that…. people love a ‘worry-fest’….good luck with it. break the talk…free the joy!!! Have a good time living your life. Worry is part of our culture. it’s sister is fear…don’t get sucked in by it!

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  4. We worry, well I do, waaaaay too much. I’ve been told to put my fun and laughter into my life to lighten the load. I really am blessed and right now, I’m breathing, drinking fresh water and writing on a computer while my life-loving toddler sleeps. I have nothing to worry about at the moment unless I choose to!

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    • It sounds like you’re very aware and conscious of the fact that you’re worrying. I don’t really “choose to” worry but do it without realising. It’s such an ingrained habit that every day I actually have to remind myself that choosing NOT to worry is also an option! 🙂

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      • I hear what you mean re: ingrained habit. I can’t remember where I read it maybe it was Bruce Lipton? Something about your body being physiologically ‘addicted’ to a certain way of being whether that is worry or something else and doing the work required (different for everyone and depends what state you are in, I’m pretty sure it was in one of Bruce’s books because then he made suggestions of what might work for you as a starting point) to break that loop…

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  5. Love this. I’m forever battling with attempting to stay in the present. And sometimes, it’s just too damn hard. Great post; given me a great mindset for the rest of my day. Keep up the good work 🙂

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