The first day that I was off my medication I was in another country. Dmitry and I had taken a long weekend to enjoy the tropical beaches of Playa Del Carmen.
I should note that I had not intended to go off my meds. But I forgot to pack them. And my obscure anti-anxiety/anti-depressant was not available in the Viagra shops that pass as pharmacies in Baja.
I had tried to go off them many times, so was braced for the inevitable dark cloud.
Luckily I was in paradise. It is fairly easy to avoid anxiety when you spend the day at the swim-up bar.
But on the second night, things got more challenging.
I was at a gorgeous nightclub right on the water. The music had my toes tapping and smiles filled the dancefloor. I wanted to dance and join the funâ€¦but couldnâ€™t.
I felt paralyzed. An irrational fear gripped me. What was I afraid of? Of rejection, I suppose. Of being embarrassed. Of having someone roll their eyes at me. Of feeling like a loser. Of feeling uncool.
It is shocking how much the fear of being uncool has imprisoned me over the course of my life.
I went inward and could feel the tension. It felt like every muscle was shaking and clenched.
I have been on a path of personal growth for a long time, so even though my reaction was irrational, I was aware of it.
I confessed to my friend and travel partner, Dmitry, what I was feeling.
He looked lovingly in my eyes. The last 48 hours had been packed with deep spiritual conversations and readings from Alan Watts, â€œThe Book.â€
He had a slight smile and said, â€œDeep down, you know that we are all connected. We are all One. That beautiful woman dancing is just another instance of YOU. Go introduce yourself to y ourself!â€
The words hit deep. Of course. Any judgment or rejection could only happen on the surface level of ego. My true self is pure Love. What being would not want to meet another instance of pure Love?
Sure, she could be operating form some Ego scripts or projecting insecurities outward (Iâ€™m certainly guilty of that trap sometimes.) But that should be easy to recognize.
The reaction I am so scared of â€“ is actually exists in a realm of consciousness that I no longer spend much time in. Why am I so scared of it? Why does it cause such a visceral reaction to me?
Clearly any judgment cast upon me has everything to do with the judge, and nothing to do with me. In fact, any negativity should be seen as a declaration about the spiritual state. And, actually, should give me cause to love her even more deeply.
Judgment does not come from a high place looking down. It comes from a scared place projecting out.
Like a frightened animal baring itâ€™s teeth.
The dancefloor transformed before my eyes. What was intimidating dissolved into compassion. I could see each individual as a precious instance of divine consciousness.
Each person wrapped up in a lifetime of experiences and beliefs. Each person struggling and doing their best. Our labels, looks and personalities distinguish us â€“ but at the core we are all one.
These were my brothers and sisters. These were my reflections.
In an instant a crowd of intimidation became a sea of Love.
I joined the dancefloor and let my smile merge with the others. We bounced and moved to the beat. Like individual cells pulsing through the veins of a larger being.
And the anxiety was nowhere to be found.
In fact, the dark cloud never returned.
I remembered that Playa Del Carmen magic last night as I talked to my beloved.
Bliscious was preparing for her first trade show. She was building a business and was ready to get out there in a bigger way.
She poured herself into every detail. Her business was her art project. Every picture on the brochure was like a brushstroke of her masterpiece.
It has been beautiful to watch. And sometimes painful. Last night after listening to her latest round of promo ideas and discounts, I had to stop her.
It is good to want to have everything in order. It is amazing that you are getting so many scenarios figured out.
But pull back for a second and remember what you are doing and who you are.
Yes, you are in a sales role. Yes, you need to close deals and bring in money.
But you are not a snake oil saleswomen or swindler.
You and your partner are extremely talented and offer a high end service.
You are not in a position of trying to manipulate your customer into a saleâ€¦ you are in a position of having a wonderful gift for them.
Your talents â€“ and more importantly â€“ your demeanor â€“ will make their special wedding day even better.
You are not a Wallmart service. You are a high end boutique. Your customers will respond to what you provide, not what you discount.
Your services are premiere, so resist the feeling that you need to discount everything to compete. There are cheaper options â€“ and that is great. Your dream was never to get women a good deal on their wedding day. Your dream is to elevate a womanâ€™s whoe essence. To bring out her inner and outer beauty in ways sheâ€™s never experienced before. To surround a woman in light and love while using your Artistic talents to make her appearance match her divine presence.
THAT is who you are. THAT is what you do.
You are at the trade show to give this gift to beautiful brides.
Offering discounts and deals is part of the process, but make no mistake that what you offer is a gift at any price.
As I said this to B, I knew that I was saying it to myself, too. We all experience fear thoughts. We all question our worthiness. We all need to be reminded that we are a gift to the world. We are all afraid of someone rolling their eyes at us or telling us our prices are outrageous. It is the same voice of judgment that makes a dancefloor feel like a snake pit.
Anxiety is what we feel when we forget that we are a gift. When we forget that our divine nature is priceless. When we allow fear & insecurity to warp our sense of self.
The reality is that not everyone will recognize your gift. And others may even try to make you feel bad. They may try to dampen you r light for any number of reasons. Maybe it highlights their own fears. Maybe they have learned that it can work as a warped negotiation tactic.
Either way, remember that any judgment comes from below you. Dismissive attitudes should be pat on the head like a bullying toddler. Wish them the best and move on to those who deserve your attention.
Anxiety used to be a beast that kept me in constant state of tension & fear. Medication helped, but it was like training wheels that eventually served little purpose.
What finally allowed me to tame the beast was the recognition that it is only my ego that looks up at the face of a vicious dragon. My true self looks down on the head of an untrained puppy.
The anxiety is just a feeling. The fear is just temporary. My true self is Love. My true self is immune to such negativity.
Of course, I enjoy the cycles of the human experience. And sometimes my divine self gets lost in beliefs. Sometimes the Beast gets loose. I get scared as it chases me around or nips at my calves.
That is, until I remember that I can just turn around and face the beast. I can stare into its eyes and see itâ€™s fear. I can allow my Love to shine into the world and turn the dragon into a puppy. And I can love the puppy for what it is and what it is here to teach me.
Iâ€™ve been off meds for over 2 years and have never been happier.