Tag Archives: worry

No Worries!

Who put that cloud there?
– Art by Jan Ketchel © 2018

My father was a chronic worrier. He worried about everything! It drove me and my siblings crazy! He could not let anything go. He’d nag and natter about a thing he’d decided to worry about, usually something minor that he just could not let go of, until he’d spun it into a massive worry storm, leaving us all exasperated and exhausted.

Once, when I was in college, he called me at 3 in the morning, waking me and my roommates from a sound sleep to ask me if I had eaten. I had made an off-the-cuff remark about not having any food in the house as I headed home after a holiday visit, saying that I would have to shop once back in the city. He only heard the part about having no food in the house and his worrisome mind spun that tiny remark into a whole devastating story. By the time 3 AM came around he had decided that I was starving to death!

I was so angry at him that I didn’t speak to him for weeks, but during those weeks I could feel his worry hanging over me like a dark cloud, dragging me down. When I finally spoke to him about it we joked, but I talked honestly about how frustrated and drained I was by his constant attention on me. I told him to lighten up, that I could take care of myself, that I wanted to live my own life and to please leave me alone. His worry energy actually dampened my spirit and added a burden I didn’t need when I had so much else going on in my life.

I now understand this dynamic between parent and child as the archetypes of the parent/child relationship, the structures and dynamics that every parent and child must contend with as they go through life, as the child seeks to individuate and become independent, and as the parent seeks to let them go.

As a parent myself I have had to learn the lessons I tried to teach my father so many years ago. My own experiences with him have helped me to back off and let life take my children onward without me, but sometimes it can be very hard. When we see our children struggling our first reaction is to jump in and help, but that may not be the best course of action to take. The same can be said for any relationship.

To underscore the dilemma, I had a dream the other night. I was carrying large chunks of construction debris, huge lumps of concrete. I stood on the edge of a vast landfill, looking down into a vast pit filled with similar debris. A man stood on the opposite side of the landfill, a foreman. He yelled at me to throw the debris into the pit. I worried that it was wrong, that it would hurt the earth.

“Nah,” he said, “it’s how it’s done. Just throw it away!”

And then I wondered just what the heck I was doing. The concrete was clearly useless and clearly burdensome. It wasn’t toxic material either, it was just heavy, cumbersome old building material.

“Let it go!” I yelled, and then I threw it into the pit and walked away unburdened, lighter and freer than ever.

“What am I carrying around inside me?” I wondered when I woke up. “What concrete thing, idea, or issue am I attached to?

As the day went on the dream stayed with me. I thought about it, seeking to analyze its message and purpose. I determined it was not about memories. Those have all been recapitulated, so it was not anything from my past. I finally realized it was worry, the worries of everyday life, the worries about others, the kind of stuff that keeps you awake at night but is just empty chatter in your head, stuff you can’t do anything about and if you tried you’d have no luck at all.

As I thought about it I discovered that those worries had no real meaning or necessity in my life. They were not building blocks to something new but old construction materials that were no longer useful. I was right to chuck them into the landfill where they would soon be covered over, bulldozed into the earth to disintegrate and become part of the landscape.

Just as I had asked my father to let go of the burdensome archetypes of parent and child, so too did I have to let go of such archetypes within myself, along with the concrete ideas that I have to do and be the end-all for someone else. In letting go of the archetypes we are allowed to each grow and mature in our own ways, taking responsibility for ourselves and the decisions we make, for our present and future issues, and for our own joys and freedoms in life too.

Just because I might want to give advice, I realized, it isn’t always helpful or wanted. I have to take my own advice that I gave my father so many years ago and step back and let life resolve life. In the end, we have to let things go so things can proceed as they will and as they must.

I learned from my father that if you put your attention on another person they will sense you in some way, and you may actually be harming them, even if you think your worry is justified and you only want the best for them. The best for them is to send them positive, self-motivating, and loving energy that sends them off on their own journey through life under their own steam, rather than burdening them with your guilt, worry, regret, resentment, or good intentions. As I learned from my father, it’s just not fun having those kinds of energies hanging over you, having to bear another person’s unresolved issues while you are trying to figure out your own life on your own terms.

My father never did fully remove his worry energy from me. It followed me right into adulthood and he remained a solid worrier right up to the end of his life. But he taught me how not to do what he did, and as my dream points out it’s a lesson that never grows old.

I have had to remind myself to remove my worries about my own kids’ lives countless times, so as not to burden them with a cloud of my worries hanging over their heads! After being the lifelong subject of someone else’s worries, whether justified or not, I know that it’s just not a nice thing to do to someone! Even if I may want to give valuable but unasked for advice, I also know that the best advice I can give myself is to remember my young adult self telling my father to just step back and let me live my own life.

Life itself is the best guide. We all have to go out into the world and learn how it really works. It’s how we learn and how we grow. The happiest people in the world seem to be those who have had to work hard for what they have, and there is no greater satisfaction than having done it on their own. And no worries either!

A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Soulbyte for Tuesday January 2, 2018

Let not your worries confine you, nor your implanted ideas define you, for you are so much more than the constant chatter you hear in your head. Worries are just worries and ideas are just ideas and neither have any substance. What gives them substance and power is the constant repetition of them and your attachment to them. Open your mind to fresh ideas, release your worries to the wind, and let yourself be formed anew by eradicating the old and implanting something new. It’s never too late to start over, to begin again, to wipe the slate clean and sculpt a new you, within and without. But keep in mind that making an inside change will actually be more important and, in the long run, more substantial and lasting than any outside change you may desire. Go within!

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne


When it’s time to make a change, to move forward in life, to take a leap, to start something new, or finish up something that has been dragged out for a long time, there is usually a backlash from the psyche.

First light struggling to emerge from the darkness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Reluctance arises, doubt arises, fear arises, worry rears its ugly head and for a moment, or longer, there is hesitation. Just as dawn struggles to pierce the dark of night, so does new life struggle to emerge from the dark of the self. Often our old demons, so familiar, reliable, and comforting, come to our aid, begging us to stay with them, to stay as we are.

“Why change?” they say. “You’re fine as you are!”

I became well acquainted with my personal demons during my recapitulation. I realized how long they had been in my life and how stuck I had become because of them, afraid of everything. Worry and fear were always nearby to step in and rescue me from doing something new, from changing anything about myself.

Even if we really do want to change, it is often very challenging to take that first tentative step toward what we know will bring us closer to the transformation we so desire. During times of change we get to experience how our demons work to entrap us, enticing us to remain in the safety and comfort of their arms as we face what scares us the most, new life looming on the horizon!

Just as we are about to take a leap, trusting that life really can be different, our demons can step in and drag us back into our habitual comforts, freeing us of the anxiety that surrounds any great leap into new life. Instead we are coveted and protected by our demons, as they bring us back to the familiar, to that which we may hate about ourselves but which comforts us too.

I often had to deal with my worry demon. It would bring me a perseverating worry-rant of financial ruin, an incessant tale of an inability to make enough money, worry over all the bills piling up, worry over the mortgage to be paid, the studio rent, things the kids needed. The lists were endless, even when there was no reason for such worry, even when I was financially doing well, with plenty of money in the bank, these worries would and did rise up like the old demons they were, intent upon ensnaring me.

I started to see how they came just as I was about to do something new, to take control of my own life and my own destiny, to start a new venture, or to leave someone or something. Those worry, fear, blame or shame demons could pop up so fast, speaking with such rationality that I would easily fall back into believing what they told me.

Much like an addict I’d let them take me spinning off into oblivion. Later I’d realize how hypnotic they were, how they had taken me from awareness of the present moment and lulled and dulled me for a long time with their old tales. Numbed by them I could lose hours, days, weeks, while I struggled to do what I knew I needed to do in order to move on in my life.

In the final throes of breaking away from those demons I learned to appreciate them, but also to recognize them a lot quicker so I could avoid them. I faced life more squarely, became less afraid and less frightened by change as I continually pushed myself forward, as I dared myself to keep embracing new life, no matter what happened.

Gradually, as I finished the recapitulation of my childhood sexual abuse and shed the symptoms of PTSD that had also been a big factor in my life, I learned that life really did like it when I dared myself to do something new, that life was eager for me to live more fully. Eventually those old demons left me alone, for I had no energy left for them, it was all going elsewhere.

As long as we entertain our demons, as long as we open to them, they are eager to entertain us. But as soon as we see what they really do to us we can begin to reject them. Instead, we can begin to take responsibility for creating our own life, the way we want it, even though each step forward may be full of anxiety. And then our demons, as they realize we are no longer interested in them, go away.

Life, I realized one day, was not going to meet me if I did not go out and meet it. Rather than blame others for what had transpired in my life I became more daring and life became more exciting. Sometimes just going to the grocery store was the most daring thing I did in a day, but with persistent work on myself I started to go other places, to do other things, and after a while life was no longer so frightening.

When I met life, it met me too.

Still doing it. Still meeting life, and it still meets me. As I said to Chuck last week, “Let’s not waste a moment. Let’s go have fun!”

A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Chuck’s Place: A Lesson In Action

No one can control the weather... so why worry! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
No one can control the weather…
so why worry!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Master out-of-body explorer Robert Monroe discovered, in his inter-dimensional travels, that when we sleep we attend school.

The energy body of human beings leaves its physical body partner every night and goes to classes where it is taught, by those more advanced, on how to wake up to its greater wholeness and advance to fulfillment during its life on earth.

Most of us transition back into our physical body and, as we awaken, quickly forget where we’ve been and what we’ve been taught. Often the lessons take the form of vaguely recalled dreams.

We may reencounter our nightly lessons later on as we move through our day, as they come in deja vu experiences or simply “knowings” that inform our perspective, decisions and actions.

Robert Monroe shared a valuable lesson from one of his nightly classes that he recapitulates in his book, Far Journeys:

“The major underlying cause of human worry relates to the Law of Change. All human conflict relates to this law. Some worry that change will take place, others that is will not. Wars are fought to resist change or to accelerate it.”

“At the individual level,” he goes on, “this translates into various forms of indecision. Fear enters into the pattern, fear of the consequences of any decision or action. The pressure builds up, intensifies as the decision is put off, delayed. The result accumulates toxins in all parts of the human system until there is failure or severe reduction in operating efficiency. Indecision is the Killer.” *

Monroe’s suggests an antidote to indecision by making three lists. On list A, we write all the things we are worried about but can do absolutely nothing about, for example, worrying about what the weather will be like tomorrow. Our task then is to destroy this list. Why spend energy on worrying about things we cannot control?

On list B, we are instructed to list all the items we are worried about that we can do something about today. We are then asked to immediately take some action, however small, on items on this list. These actions will release the flow of damned energy within us.

On list C, we are to write all the hopes, needs, and desires, however large or small, that have yet to be fulfilled. Then we are asked to take one item from this list and perform at least one action today, however small, that advances us toward the fulfillment of this hope, need, or desire.

An alternative, and perhaps more user-friendly approach to the list method is to simply notice when we find ourselves in a state of worry or emptiness and identify what the core issue is and what list it belongs on. If we can’t do anything about it, we throw it away by taking our attention off it, i.e., by focusing on breathing. If we can do something about it, we define and take action, however small, that advances it in its accomplishment.

A few decisions and we could be soaring along on our own revitalized energy... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
A few decisions and we could be soaring along on our own revitalized energy…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we follow either of these programs we will indeed reclaim and revitalize energy that has festered in a toxic pool of indecision and inaction. Furthermore, we will emotionally find ourselves on a path of serenity, as our definitive actions will move us closer to unburdening ourselves of worry and advance us more swiftly toward fulfillment.

Whether we remember our nightly lessons or not, we can advance ourselves every day by simply making our lists and taking action. It’s a sure way of releasing toxic energy and taking control of the life we are in, while simultaneously setting us on the path to creating a new, more fulfilling life.

In action,

* Quote from: Far Journeys, Robert Monroe, p.80

A Day in a Life: Worry, Worry, Worry

Everything is interwoven, in a preordained and orderly karmic set up... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Everything is interwoven,
in a preordained and orderly karmic set up…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I sleep badly, waking every hour. I feel encroaching powerful energy, the approach of rain too, moisture in the air, my sinuses stuffy. Each time I wake a new worry enters my mind and spins a sticky web. I get caught in the web, drift back to sleep and try to get out of it, but sticky web that it is I am its prey. Unwilling to let it have me for very long I wake again. Now a new worry sneaks up and attacks. Once again I am taken back down into the slumber of a new tormentor.

Each hour that I wake up I tell myself to cut it out, to stop worrying. You are aware that worry is futile, I tell myself, useless and unhelpful. Why are you doing it? Stop it! But when the next hour comes around I find myself there again, attaching to whatever comes into my mind, easy prey to the worry monster.

I do Netting, the clearing technique that came to me in a meditation a few weeks ago and which I recently wrote about. I sweep myself over and over again with my imaginary net. I even concentrate on my head, the brain that spins its worry tales, sweeping the net back and forth quickly between my neck and head, flicking out my catch quickly and decisively, but to no avail. I just cannot seem to extricate myself from the worry web I have landed in.

My Dreaming Self finally comes to my aid. It tells me to remember that I am on my own journey and that everything I encounter is important and necessary for me to encounter. It reminds me that it is the same for everyone else, that I cannot alleviate the pain of someone else’s journey. It reminds me that no matter how many times I might advise another person, my advice will not make a dent unless the person is actually ready to receive it, and by that point they won’t need it because they will already be there, doing it for themselves. And so, my Dreaming Self tells me, let your worries go because they are useless thoughts with no impact except to drain your energy.

Our karmic journey is intricately laid out, with a burning desire to be resolved... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Our karmic journey is intricately laid out,
with a burning desire to be resolved…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

And then my Dreaming Self reminds me that everything I experience in my life and everything I have lived through was set up a long time ago. This is the same for everyone, my Dreaming Self reminds me. Parents are just vehicles for life, channels through which life comes into this world. They do not really matter, for in truth they have nothing to do with the Soul’s journey, with the karma that each being must live out in its life in this world.

I know this is true for my own journey, that my parents, though my vehicles into this life did not really provide me with any issues that I did not already have planned for this life. I learned this as I took my recapitulation journey and in the journey since those intense years of inner work.

My life and all the issues in it, down to the minutest details, were set up by my High Self, the being that I am through each lifetime, the being that I evolve closer and closer to in each lifetime, the being that I am becoming. This is the being that comes to me as I dream, that tells me these kinds of things. That High Self reminds me that we are all on our separate journeys, to not blame or resent any aspect of the lives we live because, she/he tells me, we chose it all!

And further more, my Dreaming/High Self reminds me, you must get to a place of letting everyone you are connected to live out their own karma, their own lives in the way that they are meant to. Your only recourse of help is really only energetic, until the time comes when you are shown otherwise.

When others are ready they will show up and ask for help, real help, and then you will know what to do for them and how to do it. Until then they must suffer, just as you have had to suffer. All must suffer. That is the karma of life on earth, suffering until no more suffering is necessary, until the lessons of karma are learned.

And so, my Dreaming/High Self admonishes, use your energy wisely, not in worry but in energetic endeavors, in sending good, positive healing energy to all you are connected with. Without judgment or intent other than pure good energy to aid the karmic journey, send this energy from the heart. Not from the worrisome head, but only from the place of love, kindness, and compassion. Devoid of manipulation and with no personal gain or need, send this pure energy out into the world. If sent in the right unselfish way it will have a positive effect.

This is the most powerful stuff on earth, this energy of love. Envision it hitting the mark. Envision the receiver taking it in to their own heart and being enlightened by it in whatever way is meaningful to them at this moment in their lives. And then envision them taking the steps that will aid them on their journey, to face their karmic debt and evolve beyond it. Keep in mind that even baby steps are an acknowledgement of such powerful energy, as just reaching someone stuck in karmic mud is quite a feat!

It's all about making an energetic connection... - Art by Jan Ketchel
It’s all about making an energetic connection…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

This, my Dreaming and my High Self tell me, is how they communicate with me! It’s all done energetically. Just like electrical currents it courses through the universe and arrives in my body through my own heart, through my own yearning for connection, for healing, for enlightenment. This is what we are all seeking and waiting for. This is what we are all connected to; the electric buzz of connection to our Higher Self who knows all.

It’s not really that hard to do. And don’t forget to do it for the self: Be open. Wait. Receive. And then give in the same way to others, to those you love, to those you hate, to those you resent, to those you worry about. Bring the energy down to the center of your heart chakra, feel its glow, and use it for the greater good of the self, other, and the world. As my Dreaming/High Self tell me, this is what it’s really all about.

On my karmic journey too,