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Moments of panic can be subtle, or can be all consuming.

In fact they can be both: they can happen slowly, subtly and before you know they’re all-consuming. When you’re lost in the drama of life - whether that be panic or passion - you’re LOST in it, it can take over, and all you feel is the reaction, for good or bad.

Have you experienced that? I can now look back on my life 8 years ago, and see that I was actually commonly in a state of panic, but just totally unaware that I had the power to heal that, to create an alternative experience, or more to the point: transform my experience of that experience!

Panic, or it’s less dramatic sounding cousins of worry or doubt, are all relatives of fear and can be triggered by work deadlines, by family obligations, by pressure from all corners of our life landscape, and often, in fact usually in essence they are pressures we are putting onto ourselves in fact!

We all have our unique triggers, and also a set of reactions to that stressful situation that we automatically go into.

Your panic reaction - your symptoms - might be different to the person sitting next to you, and will differ in intensity depending on the level of stress. They could be emotionally expressive, physically restrictive, or - and this is when it can feel more subtle - you might push down that reaction, cover it up, try to avoid it. (fyi that avoidance, sometimes called “detachment” is just as much a reactive mechanism to avoid the pain, and thus in fact avoid the potential healing opportunity it brings).

But take my word for it - it will bubble up somewhere. It might take its time - minutes or months. But until it is processed, it will be controlling you in some way, you will not be healed of it, even if you have developed clever tactics that make it seem that way.

And whatever your reaction, it will be in some way physically constricting, with excess tension in your muscles, holding in your joints, busyness in your head, and likely restrictive breathing.

This is not meant to scare you! There is a solution! But it’s not one you can force. It introduces itself gently, when you just merely open to the possibility of it’s existence. It is in a way the antithesis of all we have been taught in terms of how to solve problems, since rather than “doing A or B to achieve C” it is discovering what your a’s and b’s are and dismantling them, undoing them! In all their glory, to reveal C (or perhaps D or E - which could be even better!).

So how do you open to that possibility? It cannot be forced. Just like you cannot open a flower bud to make it bloom.

So, how do you make a tight bud blossom? You give it love. Love in the form of acceptance for being at the tight bud stage right now. Love in the form of grace and humility. Love in the form of daily care, nourishment, trust. Love in the form of time, space, attention and, most importantly, AWARENESS: recognising that there is this uncomfortable experience, but that is not all there is.

Let me be clear: this is not an instruction to shy away from the discomfort or avoid it, just as I am not encouraging you to be lost in it. But to make in a way friends with it: there is this experience and that is a part of you, but not all of you. And change is inevitable. One day you will bloom into a flower. And then the flower will die and become compost for the next flower, the next chapter.

Meeting yourself in awareness. In the midst of the panic - however small or large. In the eye of the storm is your greatest teacher.

At this point, with this stressful experience, you can choose now to be with all that is coming up for you. You check in with yourself, and you give yourself some love for exactly where you are now, with all that you are feeling.

Breathe, and remember “there is love too”. Love has no judgement of speed or deadlines or to-do lists or commitments. Breathe that in.

In fact, all of it - every situation - is love expressed in different ways, the pain and the pleasure, all here to as an opportunity to bring yourself to a deeper healing, greater insight and more freedom to be yourself.

Recognise that there is this experience, but it is not all there is. And see what happens to your experience…

I’d love to hear your experience or questions - just post below or reach out to me via email. I’m always happy to help.

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Sarah's Alexander Technique Studio - Antidote to PANIC : LOVE IS ALL THERE IS

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I gained useful techniques which help me in my everyday life... more

Charlotte Ward, 35, Author & Freelance Journalist