I live with anxiety.
The word that goes between "I ____________ with anxiety" changes from day to day, sometimes it's 'suffer', 'manage', and sometimes it's more than one word.
I do alright, by many measures, and also I'd like to do better. I'd like to imagine a world where I'm not creating phantom disasters out of casual interactions, accepting success without looking for failure, perhaps even a world where I can write without choking up 9 out of 10 times and fighting my way through to that 10th try where the words finally make it out. Oh, and answer my emails. I'd really like to answer my emails with better consistency (but many folks tell me that's everyone and not just me).
So I made a spread!
This is not a 'fix my anxiety' spread. This isn't even a 'manage my anxiety' spread.
These are simply questions that are helping me work with my anxiety in the moment.
The little anxiety monster has moved in and made itself a part of my day to day, and as with all roommates we have in our spaces, it's necessary to find a way to live together until they move out. Because right now, this unruly roomie is throwing around dishes and generally trashing everything and that's not gonna work.
I also know that not everyone is anywhere near 'functional' (whatever that means to you) with anxiety. I do not assume that everyone has the wherewithal to even see clearly enough to begin working on a tarot reading.
Additionally, most of the questions focus on the moment- because anxiety isn't static and doesn't always feel the same way all the time, at least mine doesn't. If you don't have it in you to do a tarot spread, might I suggest taking any of these questions, especially 1, 3, and 4 as journal prompts? Or something to quietly meditate on as you work your way back to center? Really do whatever it is you need to as you work your way back to something like mental and emotional peace and quiet.
I kept the spread short. I used five informative questions- I don't know about you but about the worst thing that could be suggested to me when I'm feeling anxious is to whip out a Celtic cross. Additionally, I urge everyone to use a compassionate deck if you have the option. There's no reason to seek an edge snatching deck out and then you're in a deeper anxiety hole when you've finished with the reading than when you started. I would also recommend a face-up draw if you feel up to it; It's a look in the mirror that can be profoundly enlightening.
It also goes without saying, but I will anyway: please pay attention to where you are at. If you need to stop, STOP. Be super compassionate with yourselves when working with your mental and emotional health, honeybees.
- What is at the root of my anxiety right now?
- What is something I can do/address right now to feel a bit better?
- What is a source of power I can harness right now?
The outcome of position 3 & 4 may not always feel instantly power-imbuing or supportive. For example, receiving the Nine of Swords might be alarming. Try not to shy away if you can, instead transmute its message. For example for the Nine of Swords, often the nightmare card, take it on its face, and if it is a nightmare, it means you can wake up from it. So what shakes you awake?
- What is a source of support I can reach out to right now?
- What do I need to pay attention to in the long term to feel more at ease?
For the herbally inclined, I also make tea when I'm anxious.
Shocking, I know.
Here's the recipe if you're interested: Lemon Balm (stress reducer), Hawthorn (heart steadier and healer), Rose (sweetener and heart soother), Dandelion Root (breaks up the ugly feeling), and Rosemary (returns me to myself).
I think I've found my 9 of Swords tea...hmm