QUESTION: I am dealing with the big mess of an unbalanced handling of the issues of fear, control, and pain, and the addictive behavior that follows that.

I find myself in this situation right before the next big step concerning my vocational life. I mean it goes far beyond everything I have experienced until now. I also know that I have to try to be courageous in this process. Usually, there is a tremendous amount of fear in my life. Even though I am not feeling a lot of fear. So I ask myself, what is it? What I have discovered so far is pain. That pain? Personal pain? Yeah, it is probably that.

This morning, an energetic picture of my body came to me. I tried to step more into it. Besides all kinds of interesting floods of energy in all kinds of textures and colors, what's making me take a closer look is the following: in the lower part of my body are all kinds of long tackled roots going deep into Earth, the energy in the right part of my brain seems to stick there and already looks like what happens to standing water, and the space in the right side of my chest seems to be… unused? Empty? Waiting to be filled with…?

Any advice? Any insight?

ANSWER: You sound very clear about what is going on in your life, what dark energies are active, and where you want to head.

The first and foremost important thing in such situations is to still oneself and mind. Of course, that is a hard thing to do, as the pain and anxiety can seem overwhelming. But it is crucial to take things one step at a time. In order to make different decisions and land in a different place, we have to be open to not knowing. It is difficult to be in such a place of not knowing since it can amplify the anxiety. But with practice, you will see that it actually heals the anxiety and gives you more room to move. For this to happen, a regular meditation and breathing practice is essential. This helps us to keep hearing our own voice. That voice is always present; our constant movement does not allow us to hear it.

What you say about fear and acting out of fear is true for most of us. Most of us act out of that place because regardless of our beliefs, we are terrified and do not trust anything or anyone. So, courage is not an act of bravery, but a place that we usually come to after what we have tried to will ourselves into keeps failing. It is not a macho act, but actually a place of vulnerability from failing over and over. So all the pains that you describe can not be avoided: they push us to the place where we get the courage to do something different. Sometimes, it takes a couple of times of doing the same thing that brings us pain, sometimes a hundred. Examine it all, bless it all, and then work on releasing it all.

The roots that you describe coming from the bottom of your feet is your energetic body grounding itself. We all do it to some extent. Taoist and martial arts practices work on strengthening this energy by meditating and visualizing these roots. One can do this standing or sitting and feeling/visualizing the energy going down. Quite delicious and relaxing since we are all so heady. The energy always flows towards where our mind is and since we are mostly thinking, there is much energy up there and very little at the feet. Spend 10 minutes feeling your feet (not thinking about them, but actually feel them) and see how different you feel.

As for the perceived energetic imbalance in your brain: alternate nose yogic breathing (anuloma viloma pranayama) is fantastic in rebalancing that. Again, due to overthinking, which taxes the left side of the brain, the right side is underused. Doing creative work will address this issue, as well.

Both these exercises should also help with the energetic imbalance that you describe in your chest.