Slaying WorryApr 01, 2022 06:00AM ● By Rosemary Kimble
When I was a young independent artist, I worried a lot. I worried I would not have enough money for rent or for food, and I worried that my art was not good enough to sell. My worries became so cumbersome that my anxiety took over my life; all of my thoughts were hijacked by fear. It was a terrible way to live, and I knew I had to change.
I decided that the only way to do that was to rewire my mind and focus only on the positive. After a few months, I was much more at ease, and my worries subsided.
Later in life, when my anxiety once again became unbearable, a miracle happened that helped me stop worrying so much. I was living in an old school bus in the Sonoran Desert, developing a solo art show. When I was down to my last few dollars and had no idea how I would afford more supplies, the stress overwhelmed me. Sobbing for days and feeling powerless, I resolved to stop worrying. Within a week, an unexpected check for $500 arrived in the mail. My aunt, knowing nothing about my plight, had sent money to help me with the show. By stopping my negative thoughts, I escaped my anxiety once more, and everything worked out fine.
Years later, and just when I thought I had conquered them, my worries returned. I was working as the first henna artist in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Temporary henna tattoos had become popular quickly with the tourists. Other artists in Jackson Square could see that I was making good money—fast—and some of them became envious. Harassment ensued. Feeling that my livelihood and income were being threatened, I felt the anxiety set in again.
This time, though, I was affected in a physical way, too. A terrible staph infection had developed in my forehead, dangerously close to the brain. Then I really got worried. A trip to the public health clinic included a painful lancing of the large, swollen infection, draining it and stuffing it with cotton, along with the strongest antibiotics. That helped to clear up the infection, but not for long. When it came back, my body was resistant to the antibiotics. After doing some research about my condition, I learned that stress is one of the main causes of staph. Once again, I was back to dealing with having too much stress in my life.
To relieve the stress, I engaged once more in a regular routine of meditation and retraining my mind to think positively. Yet the infection persisted. I realized I would have to do more to heal myself than just change my thought patterns. This time, it wasn’t just my mind but my body that was being affected by my anxiety.
I knew that in order to be completely well, I had to change on a physiological level, too. From my facial expressions to how I held my body, I discovered that even the most common behaviors affected my health. Behaviors such as keeping my back straight, not slouching as one would if feeling defeated, and smiling when I found myself frowning for no reason were my focus. Practices such as sitting still frequently, getting enough sleep and eating regularly all became critically important if I was to heal. Sometimes I noticed that I was not breathing; I was holding my breath. It was clear that even this could cause “dis-ease.”
Finally, after a few weeks, by committing to changing my thoughts and behavior—and without the use of medication—I was well again.
Today, I understand that my thoughts and actions determine how my body feels. I know now that it is important to behave and express myself in ways that are uplifting for my mind and my body. Though I still get anxious on occasion, I am more at ease than ever. And, gratefully, the infection has never returned. ❧
Rosemary Kimble is an animal communicator, medium, intuitive healer, ceremonialist and co-director of Adventures in Empowerment Retreats. Visit VisionsAndReflections.com or email [email protected].