The solution to my Lower Grade Anxiety

I am a proud embracer of having what my Jungian therapist calls “lower grade anxiety.” It’s not immobilizing and yet it hangs out there in my mind and body sometimes like old cobwebs or a wilting 3-day old salad. I so know that I don’t have a corner on the market with this topic. It’s very prevalent in our world and lives in millions of people’s daily existence. And now with Covid-19 in the foreground of life, low-grade anxiety can easily turn into medium- or even high-grade anxiety. Can you relate?

And the amazing gift of this time (that silver lining in the midst of a life diminishing global tragedy) is my newer and even healthier relationship with the word “creativity.” I know I have talked about this before, yet this past week, somehow I developed an even deeper intimacy with the “creative one” in me.

I’ve come to realize this simple yet profound concept:

I am not able to experience creativity and anxiety at the same time. It’s just not possible. I can flip back and forth quickly between them quickly, yet it is just NOT possible to experience them at the same time. Here’s an example:

Our yearly event is scheduled for Oct 1-3. It was going to be a live event in our home town of Palm Springs, CA at the convention center and now it will be a virtual “live TV/Zoom room” interactive experience. I can easily get all worked up about, “will it work, will people come, will people like it” etc.

Within moments my anxiety and blood pressure can go through the roof thinking about this.  And then, when I go to a blank flip chart and start to layout the design and flow and think about the fun playful opening we’ve created, and who to get to do what part, and what do I want the participants to feel along the way… well, you know where this is going… my anxiety literally disappears. It cannot exist when I am creating.

So, the lesson here is somewhat simple:

How much time in your day do you literally think creatively? Another way to think about this is, “Do you spend your day thinking about maintaining what is, or do you spend your time creating something new for a better future… for yourself, your family, your clients, your community?

I know we all want to feel creative and empowered, and what better time than during a time when we feel stuck and anxious. Give it a shot… here are a few simple places to perhaps start:

  1. Create a new recipe for dinner.
  2. Design a website for the small business you keep dreaming about.
  3. Create a photo book of old photos for your family members.
  4. Start writing the book that lives in you.
  5. Learn iMovie and make a short film using your family members as actors based on a fun script that lives in you.

I dare say you will experience this very simple yet game changing concept – you can’t experience anxiety and creativity at the same time.

We are all born as a creative genius, and I think we spend a good portion of our lives coming back home to this truth. Our souls know this, and sometimes our egos need to let go and trust and go create something.

Give it a try. And let me know how it goes… I’d love to hear about it.

Best always,
Ricky T.

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