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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

The Journey from Anxiety to Peace


Recently, circumstances have unfolded that have sent me on the roller coaster ride of managing the pervasive grip of anxiety, immobility, self-criticism, doubt, fear, and resistance to how life is showing up for me at this time.

Over the past year I’ve had some pretty profound revelations in my spiritual practice, and have even been able to receive messages for others as part of the Voice for Love Certification training course. But my daily routine has been falling short of late. I always begin with extending love (or some flavor of it) to my thoughts — in this case, my anxiety and woe-is-me thinking. I then feel God’s Voice within me (for me, Holy Spirit’s presence), which is pretty sufficient to calm me down and remind myself I’m okay.

Throughout my day, when the sadness or fear creeps back in, I’ll plead with Holy Spirit, “What do I have to do to shift this? When is it going to get better for me?” Asking a question of Holy Spirit is necessary, but rarely do I sit quietly and wait for an inspiring answer to speak or write about. The voice in my head will jump in and say, “Oh, you’re just creating your drama around this. You’re believing your thoughts about it. Get over yourself!”

Sometimes I can shift my mood by physically doing something different, like watching a movie, taking a walk, visiting my Mom, or helping a friend with some of her wedding preparations. I’ll feel good as I’m engaged in relating to others in a positive way. But recently, I was able to break through my stuck-ness by extending innocence to my thoughts. Here’s a description of what I experienced:

“I notice a fluttering in my chest. It is the same anxious feeling I wake up with each morning… No, it is really just an innocent firing of nerves that is actually quite tickley in the center of my chest… no judgment here. My body is innocently moving energy around itself.

“Now I am aware of a tingling in my left foot. I am sitting and my right foot is crossed over my left knee… It’s cutting off the circulation and my left foot is falling asleep. I notice my bodily sensations as being innocent and not unpleasant.

“I notice my thoughts are too fast to settle upon any particular one… The tickling and tingling and fluttery-ness are like an innocent butterfly gently flitting about. I am in a meadow watching butterflies flit from flower to flower in a vast, breezy field. I watch them innocently moving with the wind. The sun is shining and warm on my head… As I look up, the butterflies become silhouetted against the glare. It is calm and peaceful in this meadow. I breathe in… I breathe out…

“I notice the muffled sound of my boys talking in the other room… I notice their voices, newly changing, deepening into adult tones… so sweet. I breathe and with each breath I feel a sense of peace and calm…”

Since doing this exercise, it is becoming easier to extend innocence to any thought that comes up from my ego self. In those moments, all my judgment of myself falls away and is replaced by a feeling of calm and peace. And I now find I can look at many people and events in my day with a sense of their innocence, too.

  • Pinkeva

    What a beautiful reminder of the innocence of simple awareness, the rest we receive by just noting our body, thoughts, feelings & energy is palpable. I am on the other side of the world at the moment traveling & was just sitting here thinking I felt disconnected to peace. Dear MaryAnn you have shared just what I needed to hear. I am fully enjoying the meadow of butterfly energy you described, thank you dear sister.

  • Laura Paige Shaw-Ferguson

    Love this. what a lovely spin on this subject that affects so many. a practical tool for the mind so that peace can triumph any time of day. thank you for this perspective!