How feeling anxious while smoking can be a gift
When I think about the essence of North America, I think about four things: Natives, marijuana, colonization, and innovation.
Natives used marijuana (MJ) as an aid to facilitate ceremonies, medicine, and meditation. After colonization and beyond, MJ has been the topic of controversy but has never quite died off.
Over time, it was stripped of its respect, exploited by greed, and demonized by law. Fortunately, in the states, views are changing.
Users smoke for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to relax or meditate. Some are trying to find insight or reach a higher consciousness. Others hope to avoid what’s going on around them and escape. Regardless, there is room for conversation regarding its place and usage in modern society!
What could a future with MJ look like?
Imagine a world in which MJ isn’t stigmatized and instead is used to benefit the population.
What kind of world would it be if everyone could take time to relax and sit with themselves? Picture life without so much consumption and distraction. It would be lovely to see the benefits on society.
But doesn’t smoking cause anxiety?
There is a part of smoking that can be unnerving. Sometimes when smoking, an awareness creeps into the mind. Some call it the shadow self, and others call it a dull dread or anxiety. Understandably, it can be a little scary if you don’t know how to harness it.
However, what if we accepted that feeling and looked at it as a tool?
Instead of being afraid of the clarity, think about why it’s popping up and look at your life.
How can it be helpful?
It’s better to stop ignoring the uneasy feeling and insight. Instead, maybe we should see it as a gift.
If we allow ourselves to view those thoughts without judgment, we might notice patterns and learn more about ourselves.
For those who have experience meditating, this is something they are already familiar with doing. For newer folks, try to relax and pay attention to what your mind shows you.
The gifts of anxiety in spiritual medicine
1. The first gift is the realization that a lot of us neglect relationships in our lives.
Modern life keeps us in go, go, go mode.
While living in South Korea, I worked for a company that glorified workaholism and cult mentality.
In working so much and only focusing on the people I saw every day, I realized the gravity of my feelings and neglect of other relationships outside of Korea.
As time goes by, it’s normal to take loved ones for granted and always think they will be there.
What’s more, in go-mode, we become deficient in expressing our feelings for the people we love. We assume they know how we feel. We think of reaching out but believe we are too busy to do so.
Recognizing the part that we played in those deficiencies can make us feel loss and shame. Understandably, this kind of clarity could be stressful!
The positive is, one could realize that the solution is to slow down and nurture those we have neglected.
It’s important to allow ourselves to realize this and then do better.
2. The second gift is the desire for organization.
You might notice messiness around you: some stray cat litter under the radiator, some clothes out on the dresser, or some unorganized cabinets.
In these intense moments, people tend to notice the madness of the spaces around them.
The good thing is, from this comes a desire to clean and care for the spaces we spend the most time in. Even though this could seem daunting, it’s a realization of what kind of space is important to have.
Since my realization, I have been making an effort to be more organized and tidy. Paying attention to the things around you and caring for the spaces you rest and work in is another form of self-care.
3. The third is the realization we are lucky to be having a human experience.
Some who smoke speak of seeing human life beyond work, fights, television, and other daily life aspects.
Maybe we should try seeing ourselves as spiritual beings rather than tired and ordinary humans.
How would life and our perspectives change? What if we considered our eyes, mouths, ears, and skin as gateways to our minds?
Think of how we would treat a spiritual being. Now how could that translate into how we treat ourselves? What special care and attention would we begin to implement into our routines if we thought of ourselves this way?
It’s an exciting time for MJ to make a comeback in the lives of North Americans. There is a growing understanding of the benefits and the role it can play in the lives of human and societal evolution.
As it does, there will undoubtedly be some who experience some panic after smoking.
Hopefully, those who do will not freak out and, instead, will take a moment to think about what they’re seeing and how they’re feeling.
This could be a chance to access gifts and correct behaviors that don’t serve you.
By looking at the weak spots in our lives or the parts that make us uneasy, we can improve our worlds, whether it’s relationships, goals, or personal spaces.
As more people begin to access the benefits of MJ, it’s going to be interesting to see what people learn about themselves! Perhaps what is important now, specifically material items and trivial moments, won’t seem as necessary in the future. Remember, when feeling anxious while smoking, pay attention and listen to what makes you feel so damn anxious.