In my book, “The Four Pillars: Transforming the Anxious Self,” (working title) I explore the root causes of anxiety by looking back on childhood experiences and events in adulthood. Through a self-reflective, intuitive, and analytical process, I offer up four pillars as antidotes for unearthing and coming to terms with childhood development (nature versus nurture), trauma, stressful situations, and genetic predispositions for anxiety conditions (or disorders). The pillars are Curiosity, Creativity, Compassion, and Consciousness and they are the tools that I used for healing my anxiety condition and illuminating a deeper underlying self that wants to arise.
In each stage of my life (childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and approaching middle age), I carried certain biological and psychological conditions for having and sustaining an anxiety condition and that was reinforced by experience. Through a process of self-inquiry in my late thirties and early forties, I encountered the four pillars as a framework to increase my self-awareness of the conscious, unconscious, and subconscious parts or influences in my experience growing up into adulthood. Through them, I unearthed past trauma and stressful situations, and observed how the thoughts, emotions, and feelings of others around me seeped into my understanding of my own self, personality, and identity. Unconscious fears and their repressed or suppressed imprints in others (alongside my own) left impressions on me that fed anxiety.
In the end result, each of the pillars provided me with the lens to understand my anxiety’s root causes and the complexity of the mind, and then offer solutions to it. What I found in the four pillars were natural allies that supported integrating that past, removing obstacles to personal growth through heightened self-awareness, and deepening my sense of self beyond any past judgments and inner conflict. I eventually reimagined anxiety to see its gifts and its messages for me. When I knew what it was telling me, the easier it was to mitigate its sometimes destabilizing elements. My exploration of the four pillars helped to transform the anxious self in me to become more at ease with life’s inherent uncertainty while enhancing my own sense of inner peace. In this particular case, the unconscious (and subconscious) rose to the surface to become more conscious, giving me an experience of integration and well-being.
In this program, I will share my past journey with anxiety and how the four pillars served as guides for me to bring conscious awareness and attention to the past that enhanced the integration of the mind and allowed me to experience my life with renewed enthusiasm and purpose.