The stunning Kermit’s Pool in Hancock Gorge, Karijini National Park, Western Australia
Photo credit: Adam Gormley
"The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal."
Aleister Crowley (via lazyyogi)
Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré, daughter of French wildlife photographers Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert, was born in Namibia. During her childhood she befriended many wild animals, including a 28-year old elephant called Abu and a leopard nicknamed J&B. She was embraced by the Bushmen and the Himba tribespeople of the Kalahari, who taught her how to survive on roots and berries, as well as how to speak their language.
What a life!
sewyourlife said: Hey LY. Do you have any suggestions how can I help myself with my hypochondriasis? I am afraid I have/will get a serious disease all the time. If I get a strange feeling in my head, eyes, muscles, joints etc. I get so scared that it is because I am seriously sick/will die. I am aware of the fact that I have an anxiety disorder, but I just can't seem to put away the thought "OK, but what if there REALLY is something wrong?" It is this general uncertainty and "not knowing" that is so scary. TY!!!
“He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.” ~ Seneca
We cannot live sanely within the structure of “what if” thinking. For example, I’ve had some health issues this past week with muscle cramps and joints locking. It could be something as simple as a weak muscle somewhere that needs physical therapy or it could be a chronic systemic disease that will only degrade with time.
I have no idea what it is yet. To assume it is either would be foolish, as would it be to assume it is neither. So I have no choice but to relax into the sense of not knowing and allow it to be as it is. Of course, I am still seeing doctors and doing whatever I can to figure it out.
The point is, if you suffer about something before it’s actually necessary to do so, then you are suffering more than is necessary. There is enough suffering in this world without us creating our own.
Right now you are sailing toward the edge of a waterfall while being too concerned with making sure your ship is not on fire. The body will die. Everything that is healthy will fail.
Instead of resisting these thoughts, you could channel them into unattachment to the body. Your existence is not due to the body; the body does not give rise to “you.”
It isn’t enough to just think about this stuff, you must examine and explore and discover it for yourself. I would strongly recommend daily meditation, as it will be especially useful for coming to terms with these feelings.
Another possibility is to carry your anxious fantasies through to their end. What IF there were something really wrong? What if your body were going to perish any day now? What does that leave as being important? What perspective might that give you?
All humans must die, every one of us. There’s so much uncertainty to life that we easily ignore while we can, one such form being the impermanence of the body. But when we can have a keen awareness of that, what becomes important? Love. Affection. Compassion. Innocent joy.
Perhaps it may help you to visit a hospital and see the patients living there. Visit a nursing home and see the elderly form of the body that will be unavoidable for any who live so long. And visit a graveyard to see where bodies are laid to rest.
The body’s story is set. The question is: Are you going to avoid recognizing impermanence or are you going to meet it and learn from the wisdom it has to share with you?
An anxiety disorder is no doubt a heavy challenge. Our nervous system tends to use anxiety to get things done when we are not willing to do so ourselves. Maybe if you were to meet your keen awareness of your body’s fallibility with love and acceptance, you may integrate that wisdom into your being and shed the need for the anxiety. It’s not like flipping a switch but more like growing a flower. It can take time.
Along with daily meditation, I’d also recommend the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron. While the spiritual path has much joy and wonder inherent to its unfolding, we often first must learn and grow through the fear and pain this life has given us. But it’s better than the alternative of delusion, suffering, and confusion.
Namaste my friend :) Much love
"The point is, if you suffer about something before it’s actually necessary to do so, then you are suffering more than is necessary. There is enough suffering in this world without us creating our own."