Introducing… my new prayer for anxiety, worry and fear
I’d like to share with you the latest technique in my series exploring the creative power of prayer.
Just like all of the prayers in this collection, this latest addition is one that I’ve been using in my own life with great effect.
Ever since I began using this prayer on a regular basis, I’ve discerned a noticeable reduction in that perennial foe of the creative journey:
Types of Creative Resistance
You may be familiar with resistance in some of its many disguises;
• Making excuses etc…
Happily, this new prayer approaches all and any resistance at the root, ie the subconscious fears that are often the driving force behind the resistance.
For example, all of the above incarnations of resistance can usually be traced back to some kind of subconscious fears or anxious thoughts that stop, block and limit our creative potential.
Procrastination can be rooted in a fear of success.
“If I never make any progress then I don’t need to worry about any of the potential ‘dangers’ of success.”
Confusion can be rooted in a fear of failure.
“If I can’t get clear on what I want, I won’t attempt anything worthwhile only to fail.”
Self-doubt can be rooted in a fear of not being good enough.
“If I never pursue what I really want to do, I’ll never see evidence that I’m not up to it.”
Essentially, much if not all creative resistance can be traced back to some kind of anxiety and fear.
But enough about the problem – onto the solution, which I believe has the potential to bring more peace to your heart the next time you’re feeling anxious, fearful or worried.
• • •
Prayer vs imagined fears
I believe that the seed of my new prayer was sown a few years ago when I first saw this quote from one of the most insightful writers of the 19th century:
In the years since stumbling upon this quote, I began to notice just how many of my own fears and worries were completed unfounded. I began to see how much of my emotional, mental and creative energy I wasted on things that never happened.
I saw that the degree of fear and worry in my anxious heart was in no way related to the likelihood of those things happening.
In the vast majority of cases, the only place where so many scary challenges occurred was in my imagination.
To paraphrase Deepak Chopra, I was using the mighty powers of my imagination against myself – to fuel needless fear and devote mental energy to all my worries.
Wasted Worry (Anticipatory Anxiety)
And in the spirit of teaching what we need to learn, I began teaching my children to recognise and reduce what we called ‘wasted worry’, (sometimes called Anticipatory Anxiety), ie those imagined fears that never happened.
Eventually, all these musings on unfounded fears, wasted worries and redundant resistance helped me approach anxious imaginings in a new – more productive – way.
Combining this approach with my growing awareness of the power of affirmative prayer – my new fear-blasting prayer was born.
An affirmative prayer for anxiety, worry & fear
As I spent my formative years in a Catholic environment, all my prayers begin Dear God, but feel free to substitute whichever spiritual source brings you the most comfort.
For example, you may prefer Holy Spirit, Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, or a more secular address such as Dear Universe, Mother Earth, Angels, Infinite Spirit or simply Dear Life.
(I have a hunch that it’s all the same force behind the various labels…)
And so I offer you my simple-yet-potent prayer for reducing a good deal of uneasiness, anxiety, resistance or outright fear;
Thank you for helping me
never to fear
things that will never happen.
How does it work?
As I’m still working out the boundaries (or lack of) between the divine and the human mind, this is my working theory of how prayer works at least some of its potent magic on our inner world – where fear and resistance like to play…
According to Carl Jung, as well as many great spiritual teachers and brilliant minds, there is a part of us that has access to Infinite Intelligence.
Ie, some part of our minds, consciousness, spirit etc… knows which of our fears will never happen!
So with a quick recitation of our handy prayer, we can access that super-computer to see whether our fear du jour will happen or not.
If it’s in the Mark Twain camp – ie, never going to happen – we have directed our subconscious mind to let go of it, to release the fear, to stop worrying about it.
Invisible Anxiety Relief
Of course, all of this occurs below our level of conscious awareness, so we may not immediately know that the fear has been neutralised.
But from my own experience, this prayer works like magic in swiftly reducing the emotional charge and stopping it from playing on loop over and over in my mind.
Perhaps it’s the relief that comes from knowing our fear may simply be our imagination working against us?
Or perhaps it’s the new perspective that the fear is just a mere thought, existing only in our heads and biochemistry.
Or maybe, it’s the power of what Gabrielle Bernstein calls the Holy Instant – the perfect peace and comfort that come when we take a moment to ask for divine support.
Whatever magic is at play, I believe that this prayer has a fear-diffusing power.
I know that it works for me – I’ve noticed a distinct absence of fear around issues that would previously trigger the Fret & Worry gremlins.
It’s like a spiritual deep breath that can instantly shift destructive thoughts onto a more positive trajectory, helping me to feel calmer and less anxious in mere moments.
So I now use it faithfully on a regular basis. I’m convinced it has freed me from much unnecessary angst, both in my creative adventures and my life in general.
A Universal Prayer
And this potent little phrase is such a universal prayer – it can be applied to any situation, any time fear seems to be getting the upper hand.
I find it particularly effective when used in the early stages of a potential panic attack or at the first signs of an anxiety spiral, but it can be used any time, anywhere and for any reason.
Will it work for you?
There’s one way to find out! Try it and see.
However, there is one caveat; the magic at play here is extremely subtle.
You may not notice immediate effects. After all, we tend to notice the absence of fears and worries much less than their presence.
But if you monitor how you begin to feel after using this prayer a few times, you’ll get a sense of how it can help you.
And to encourage you to persevere in spite of any scepticism, there are a couple of beneficial side-effects…
BONUS SIDE-EFFECT #1: Cumulative Benefits
This powerful little prayer has cumulative effects.
Let’s assume that this prayer enables you to let go of any fears that will never come to pass.
Take a moment to imagine the relief and liberation of that prospect…
This initial relief can be enormously soothing and calming during any emotional turbulence.
But used on a regular basis, this prayer becomes a potent affirmation that you are continually releasing fears of things that will never happen.
This mindset could help prevent countless unfounded fears from ever troubling you in the future!
Again, this is something that’s impossible to monitor and evaluate – how can we know what we would have worried about had we not embraced this prayer?
But I for one prefer to err on the side of more inner peace, emotional calm and a more fearless approach to life.
And imagine what those qualities can do for your creative life.
BONUS SIDE-EFFECT #2: Reducing Unconscious Fears
This prayer is based on our access to Infinite Intelligence.
I believe that prayer works its mysterious magic in the unconscious or subconscious realm.
And if – as is suggested by the latest science and the most ancient wisdom – this realm has access to infinite knowledge, then this prayer will not only allay any conscious fears that have been troubling us.
It could also neutralise – or eliminate at the source – the myriad unconscious worries that we’re not aware of, but that undoubtedly play a role in our actions, our beliefs and our inner peace.
Just from 13 words!
And of course, a faith in whoever you are addressing your prayer to.
(I believe this may be the real secret sauce in the magical effects.)
• • •
From fear and resistance to creativity and calm
As creatives, we’re likely to always be reaching, stretching and growing – it’s part of the journey.
But with a new, calmer confidence (or as I call it, calmfidence) we are much more powerful players – empowered opponents of that old foe, resistance.
And when we release the majority of our needless fears and worries, we open up space and a new accessibility for more of life’s magic – a new lightness of living and a more joyful spirit.
So, in the name of bolder creative progress and more peace, calm and joy along the way, I invite you to experiment with my new favourite creative prayer the next time you feel anxious or fearful or unduly worried about something that you suspect, deep down, may never actually happen.
You may find that this soul-soothing mantra becomes your new favourite prayer, too.
I hope it helps you to stay calm, take a deep breath, take a moment to pray and connect to the higher power you believe in, and let go of any Wasted Worry.
And I would love to hear how you get on!
PS If you’d like more on this idea of reducing fear, anxiety and worry, take a look at one of all-time favourite techniques; The Scarlett O’Hara Moment.
“I am an old man and have known
a great many troubles,
but most of them never happened.”
~ Mark Twain
One of my go-to prayers, used regularly at the end of the day, accompanied by a glass of wine, and a moment of letting go and letting God.
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