A Ritual for Overthinking and Anxiety
In honor of this cosmic month, we are here to honor anxiety, overwhelm, and confusion.
For the moments when we are in the most cosmic confusion, the nights of the most intimate frustration, the most angsty anxiety — I have a very effective, highly potent, and semi-strange ritual in the best kind of way. Are you ready?
Turn to what turns you on.
Get back into your body.
Our thoughts are related to the element of air, they are in the ether, in our cortex, in our head. When you take a moment to ground back into your body, you can ground out.
Think for a moment about how sacred your body is — your body is so intelligent, it holds memories of things that your brain cannot even begin to remember. It nourishes you, sustains you, keeps you alert and safe. Our nervous system (the one that is control of fear, anxiety, and overwhelm) can hold on to trauma. It can get lodged in there without us even being conscious of it, especially when we’re kids. Did you know that the first seven years of your life, your brain is in theta mode, that is a state of hypnosis. Those seven years form your nervous system and responses.
So, when you find yourself anxious and overwhelmed, I hear you. You may not even know where it is coming from. And that is okay. This ritual is to let your body know that it is safe in this present moment, to soothe your nervous system and activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and to start to calm down.
When the nerves start to come in, and my mind starts to race, my palms sweat, my heart pounds, and I get overly sensitive to my environment, I know that it is my divine cue to drop back into my body.
I like to start by lighting some candles, getting some incense going, and having a figure of a divine being I relate to — recently, Kali, Mary Magdalene, or a goddess depicted as an elder woman weaving a web — and sit with myself and that force. I invite it to come and show me truth and wisdom. It is so comforting and powerful to remember that there is something bigger than you in these moments of overwhelm and anxiety. Even if that force is love, or growth and getting older, or magic, or your higher self. Using these physical representations of whatever calls to you authentically is a cue to your body that safety and comfort is present. I call in the forces that I need the most in that moment, whether it is love, comfort, clarity, support, guidance, or peace.
I then go into massage. Find a yummy oil that you love, or make one, that smells really comforting to you and is slick and feels good. I use one that is made with lavender and kava kava. I pour the oil into my hands and massage my breasts first in an upward motion, take deep, slow, connected breaths in and out of my mouth. When we breathe out of our mouths, it releases a lot of stuck energy in our bodies. Think long, slow, and deep. I move to my womb, to my legs, my arms, my feet, my neck, all over the place. This puts me right back into my body in a way that nothing else can. All while being surrounded by candlelight and figures that remind me of the love I need.
Then, I will start to sing. Even if you can’t sing, try it. Singing stimulates our Vagus nerve, which is key in handling stress, anxiety, and overwhelm. I sing old elemental prayer chants, but sing whatever feels authentic to you. Try humming at first if you’re uncomfortable and work your way up. Or you can put on a song and sing along. I love to get out my drum here and every single time without fail, the emotion that needs to come out comes out.
Finally, move your body. Have the music still play. Shake around. Move like a serpent. Have you ever seen a nature documentary when an animal gets bitten and all of a sudden they freeze up? That is what happens to us too, except it can happen to us while we’re driving, a random email that freaks us out, or when a thought pattern that triggers us comes up. If the animal survives, you’ll see it shake its skin and then prance away. We need to shake out what is stuck in us so we can dislodge the trauma from our nervous systems. So shake, baby. Move that body in a way that feels good to you.
Then lay in stillness with the goofiest grin on your face. This may sound simple, or scary, or too much, but I invite you to really try it. See what happens. When we nourish our bodies, we nourish our brains. They are the ultimate support and anchors in our life. All you need is inside your bones, my love. You are the ceremony, you are the ritual. Honor thyself. Take care.
Fear is a force that serves as an invitation to drop back into the home in your bones. Listen to her. Create a safe space and welcome her in and listen to what you truly need. Breathe through it and hold yourself, and then true healing can take place. You got this, my love.