Anxiety Reduction Project: Day 1
“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” -Dallas Willard
Happy New Year! Wow, it’s 2020! I have hit a jackpot. Through a few authors I have been following this past year I was introduced to the teaching and perspectives of Dallas Willard. John Ortberg was mentored by him and John Mark Comer talks about the mentoring he receives by John Ortberg. Both these men of Jesus talk at length about the teachings of Willard.
This past year I have been immersed in learning about peace, anxiety, hurry, ambition and rest from these authors I mentioned as well as others. Rest and peace are not easy for me to come by. Not only am I a Type A person, but I also hurry around in my life so the anxiety of slowing down doesn’t catch up.
Several years ago I remember sitting in my counselor’s office. I offered an eye opening proclamation. “I’ve decided I struggle with anxiety”. She without hesitation to help me feel reassured said “yes, you do.” Seriously, couldn’t she have thought about it a little longer?
The truth was out and I started on the journey to figure out how to curb it. Like everything else in my life, I could conquer this as well. It has never been debilitating, but the more I take a step back to think this thru I realize anxious thoughts is intimate with almost everything I do and think. I excel as a nurse because I’m always prepared. I’m less anxious if I’m prepared. I manage my time well, (at least on the outside where everyone can see) so I keep up my pace. I worry about finances so I work hard and work more. When life isn’t fulfilling, I search until I figure out what will make it so. As my grandad says “I was born with a suitcase packed”.
In the last few months I have done a few exercises to work on my anxiety. I have changed a bit of how I think and the messages I tell myself. This year, however, I am ready to figure out what “ruthlessly eliminating hurry” from my life could look like. Hurry and anxiety go hand in hand for me. The minute I start slowing down my mind panics. What do I need to do to captivate my mind into new thinking and into rest?
In 2020 I am moving into new territories of less scheduled work, fewer miles in the car a week and a year long experience of anxiety reduction. My goal is to share my ups and downs, my ideas for relieving hurry in my own life and the simple retraining of my mind I might find helpful. I may not be at a clinical intervention level of anxiety, but the average anxiety I experience I believe is apparent in most of our busy lives. Hope you find encouragement in this. Hopefully there will be need for some bloopers, too.
Happy New Year and here’s to 2020.