Help

The spring of 1969, I traveled across country with my grandma and grandpa. Just before leaving California, I had heard The Beatles song "Help!". The movie had been showing on TV one evening at my mother's. I liked the song and I remember singing it in Maine, where we'd stopped off at Grandma's son's place and I got to meet my cousins. Only days after that visit, we were on our way to Norway.

In trying to understand where my anxiety comes from, I've tried a number of different meditations (I've shopped here a lot lately). In the latest one that I tried, I was to name my anxieties. I had only one: Helplessness.

Moments from my childhood made me feel helpless. I fended for myself on Saturday mornings when my parents slept in. I didn't actually like that. (To this day, waking up to the sounds of voices or activity in the kitchen is hugely pleasing to me.) I would rather a grown-up helped me because I was a clumsy child.

Moments from an imagined old age make me worry about being helpless. Gave one knee a slight twist a good week ago and found myself unable to walk down hill. Well, I'm surrounded by hills! So now what??? And what about 20 years from now? Oh, no!

Speaking of needing help on hills: Cobblestones set at an angle helped horses towing wagons get a foothold up and down steep streets. From Sydneskleiven, Bergen, Norway

Speaking of needing help on hills: Cobblestones set at an angle helped horses towing wagons get a foothold up and down steep streets.
From Sydneskleiven, Bergen, Norway

In the meditation I was guided to see my anxieties differently. First of all, they aren't linked to the here and now. My knee is fine again. And I most definitely am not helpless!

Quite the contrary: Over the years, many good people have stepped up to help me—a random positive comment here, a full package of therapy there and everything in between. And the timing is impeccable. Just as I wonder where to go next, an article shows up in my newsfeed, or a friend calls, or my doctor makes a brilliant suggestion. 

I may have problems, but I have even more blessings. And most importantly: I am able to admit I need help and to ask for it. Just like in "Help!"

Back to the beginning

I tripped over a book on using yogic mantras to help with anxiety and depression. So I said OM a lot this morning, and maybe that's exactly what I needed to get going again (as well as three days of rest and downtime).

I once upon a time, back in California, meditated and chanted OM, so I dove in and played with harmonies, with going silent, with going up an octave or two, and even whispering. You can do it all. Or just repeat internally, soundlessly.

The OM on YouTube (you don't need to read the book): The Cosmic AUM

The book that led me there: Mantra Meditation: An Alternative Treatment For Anxiety And Depression