how much "pre-occupied"(1) are you?
The secret to cancel anxiety: letting go of preoccupation.
(© Ivano Tivioli, 2006)
(1) In this case, pre-occupied stands for being worried but we needed to keep this way
of saying in order to explain the whole issue as we see it.
Being pre-occupied means to be occupied with something BEFORE something really happened.
It has a purely “negative” meaning; it’s like “to fear the worst”, and it is the answer to the question “What if everything is going wrong?”
It is the projection of our FEARS, and it is often IRRATIONAL.
“I remember that, during the half an hour I was sitting on the dentist’s chair, while he was working in my mouth, my constant preoccupation was that he could touch a nerve provoking a piercing pain… Whenever I felt a sudden pain – no more than once or twice in a session – I had to admit that its intensity was much less then my terrible expectations…”
Throughout our life we find ourselves facing ongoing challenges and experiences, and we
alternatively live victories and defeats, successes and failures.
As time passes by, and our experiences accumulates, the feelings we have in connection with failures when not appropriately integrated –
sabotage at the foundation our enthusiasm and our positivity, and we find ourselves thinking of our future with increased fear. We start to preoccupy more and more, shifting from the team of the “optimistic ones” to the team of the “pessimistic ones”.
According to Vivation, in a “duality mechanism/context”, preoccupations represent
on a scale from 0 to 10. These are our worst hypothesis – the most negative ones – about what the results of something COULD be.
Preoccupation is a “subtle weapon” – or drug – projecting us into a NIGHTMARE full of our worst fears. As for every nightmare, it is UNREAL, it’s fantasy, it happens ONLY in our minds.
Here are some amongst our most common fears:
Our future in relation to our work and/or to the possible failure of our activity
Ongoing of our relationship (the possibility of being betrayed or abandoned by our partner)
Possibility of a was and/or of a terroristic attack
- Possibility of getting cancer or any other incurable illness
Fear of our parents’ death and/or the death of our beloved
Fear of our own death
Many people think that if they do not preoccupy they won’t be prepared enough to face possible difficulties or unexpected events.
There is a considerable difference between having an objective view of the possibilities ahead of us and focusing instead on how it will be terrible IF lthings won’t go “for the better”.
Luigi and Franco are school mates: shortly they will have to undergo an exam. Both aim to a good result and are quite motivated.
Luigi, in order to be well prepared, decides to get up one hour earlier each morning and to renounce to some evenings with friends in order to have more time to study.
Franco, instead, is preoccupied. “Pre-occupation” prevents him to focus on what he could do to “take home” the result he wants.
He’s terrified, he runs away from books – he cannot concentrate on them, being stricken with persistent thoughts. In the mornings he doesn’t want to get up, in order not to “feel” the discomfort and, for the same reason, he’s looking forward to going out with his friends in the evenings so that he can think of “something else”. He cannot rest appropriately throughout the nights before the exams, being struck by the anxiety coming from his preoccupation. And when the day of the exam arrives, he is “exhausted”…
There is a possibility, in every moment, to have a car accident. Often we get to know from the news about an airplane crash or of a sunken ship. In spite of that most of the people keeps using cars and taking airplanes or ships.
Every day there is a company closing for bankrupt, and everyday a new commercial company starts its activity with success.
“Preoccupation” guides/directs our Creative Thought and its Energy, generating the effect stated in the famous Murphy rule: “If something can go wrong, it will”.
In the long run, preoccupation becomes an attitude: you start by being preoccupied about something, and you find yourself in being in a “state of preoccupation” for most of your time.
This “way of living things” becomes a HABIT – and can end up involving EVERY aspect of your life.
Letting go preoccupation in three steps
In my fourteen years activity as a Vivation Professional, I could lead a great amount of Vivation sessions with very “preoccupied” people. They were preoccupied abut ordinary things as well as for quite unusual and totally imagined situations. And each time I could see how Vivation have quickly and permanently “dissolved” each one of these “preoccupations” in each learner.
To all those who still don’t know Vivation, and who find themselves to be often “preoccupied”, whatever the reason maybe, I suggest to experiment three simple steps to start “letting go” of preoccupations.
The first step: living in the present
In order to be preoccupied, we could then think we need to do “journey along the time” with our mind: a journey in the past – to remember a negative experience happened to us or that we saw happening to someone – and a journey in the future -to create with our fantasy the same experience adapted to a still unknown situation.
In the beginning it is possible that sometimes we have indeed done that.
But Vivation offers another interesting point of view too.
Preoccupation, once you have experienced it, stays in your body’s cellular memory as a physical sensation – we do not need a reminder to turn it on again. We can just feel it in the moment in which it takes form as an energy model, as soon as something “activates” it – a sound, a word, a smell, an image or even a thought or an event.
It is in that moment that,
feeing the discomfort of this sensation, we imagine in our minds a catastrophic future – we get busy trying to find a credible reason to be “preoccupied”. Doing that it is obvious that the level of our “preoccupation” expands in a self nourishing spiral.
Summing up, the first step to let go preoccupation is: to acknowledge immediately when preoccupation ACTIVATES and to “focus” exactly in the Present Moment – not allowing our minds to wonder elsewhere.
There are a lot of things in the Present Moment to which we can bring our attention in order not to run away. We receive signals, “here and now”, from each one of our five senses. We can look at something, touch something, listen to something, taste or smell something.
But most of all we can practice the following two steps.
The second step: correct our breathing
The way in which we breath – all too often under evaluated or not taken into consideration – has a HUGE importance and effect on our wellbeing , both physically and psychologically, , on our emotional state as well as on the quality of our thoughts.
In Vivation, instead, this importance is quite well recognized: Breathing, its functioning and its possible applications are explored, deepened and refined in the smallest details.
Breathing is an activity we practice throughout all our lives – you yourself just note how are you breathing just NOW, while you read these lines. Paying attention to your breathing feeling the air in and out from our body is an excellent way to stay long in the Present Moment.
Usually people are not aware of the way they are breathing, the same way they are not aware of their heartbeat or of the blink of their eyes.
While we are engaged in some activity – as driving a car, reading a book or looking at a movie – breathing happens in a practically automatic way, without our attention or our control.
Used in such an “unaware” way, our breath adapts, moment by moment, to the emotional states we experience throughout the day.
In the presence of “stress” like preoccupation or anxiety, our attitude to “resist” translates, as far as breathing is concerned, into a controlled outbreath.
Outbreath: breathing our air from our lungs
Controlled: intentionally held on or forced – not relaxed,
This kind of breathing, that can also become a habit, brings a sort of hyperventilation that fosters, maintains and in extreme cases is itself the CAUSE of the feeling of anxiety and preoccupation. Another spiral to be broken.
Therefore the second step consists in:
The Third step: listening to our feelings
Every physical sensation is made of Vital Energy.
Vital Energy is always moving, it circulates within our body, and flows into every cell changing pattern and forms as crystals in a kaleidoscope do. As a consequence, any physical sensation is never “static”,
but keeps changing in a more or less evident way.
It can change its intensity, temperature, dimension. It can expand or contract.
It can move a little bit or jump directly to another part of the body.
It can pulse, tingle, itch. It is a constant movement.
Love, Enthusiasm, Joy, Happiness are all formed by Vital Energy.
Even the sensation of “preoccupation” is formed with the same Vital Energy.
If we bring our attention to our physical sensations, instead of running away from them, we could open up to a world in which we can use their Energy in an absolutely constructive way. We would realise, in a short time, that “preoccupation” and anxiety will give us the “gift” of their Vital Energy, trasforminginto something completely different that has a lot to do with
determination, good ideas and enthusiasm,to brilliantly overcome the “difficult” moment that seemed to “preoccupy” us.
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