Most of us have found ourselves in situations where we couldn't think clearly or make a decision without nervousness or anxiety about what to do. Questioning ourselves or having doubts about right action or right thought or feeling is a normal part of life. Others may not suffer with nervousness but often feel scattered and forgetful, or restless in their thoughts. I call this "monkey chatter" and we all feel it every now and then. The many distractions and sensory stimulations our material world impresses upon us daily definitely add to the chatter! Forgetfulness, overthinking/indecisiveness and an inability to think clearly without nervousness or anxiety can be debilitating, if left unaddressed. Over time, irrational fears, inflexibility, and even physical symptoms that lead to poor health will occur from these imbalances in our thinking.
Fortunately, eurythmy can help us when we struggle with these issues in our thinking. The exercises below are simple and effective and with regular practice they will dispel intrusive, anxious thoughts and any physical distress that indecisiveness and nervousness can cause. They work because they strengthen the influence of the ego over the feeling (astral) body, which strengthens the astral over the etheric (life) body, which then strengthens the etheric over the physical body. Improved, clear thinking; activity that is more purposeful and intentional; and a strengthened immune system are the results of regular practice of the following.
1) REMEMBER IN REVERSE
Think of something you have lived through or a story or event you know well, but don't think about it in the way it occurred in sequential time, but in reverse order of events. Meaning, start at the end of the event and recollect all the details you can about it in a backwards time frame until you reach the beginning of the event.
You can use daily activities in your life, historical occurrences, a story or movie or play - whatever you know well and can easily follow step by step in reverse order. I use baking chocolate chip cookies, since I've made my fair share. I start with eating one hot out of the oven, then I recall pulling them out of the oven, then I see myself setting the timer for them to bake, then I recollect putting them in the oven etc. all the way back to pulling the eggs out of the fridge to make the mix.
2) OBSERVE THE SELF
This exercise gives new meaning to "watch yourself." Literally - watch yourself! But not in a cautious way as if expecting danger, but in an objective observer way, as if you were in an airport or busy location people watching, except you are the subject you are watching. Observe yourself as you walk, make the bed, prepare a meal. Cultivate an objective picture of the manner in which your hands, legs, head etc. moves in the world. What do you look like when you laugh? How do you enter a room of strangers? Can you see habits in your gestures that are involuntary or undesirable?
I have since childhood twirled my hair with my left hand, especially when I am in deep thought. My family and friends have picked on me about it and I never noticed how mindlessly I did this until I began to consciously observe myself doing it. I now practice suppressing this tendency and find I rarely do it without thinking about it first. Simple observation of the way one moves in the world and choosing to eliminate undesirable gestures strengthens the astral, which again, strengthens the etheric (and physical!)
3) FORM MENTAL IMAGES
This is an exercise that is often given for strengthening the memory but it works equally well in getting rid of nervous energy. It brings ego consciousness into a deed by pausing and thinking about what you have done after you do it.
For example, if you come into the home and place your keys on a table, pause and reflect upon the keys on the table. Then create an image in your mind of the keys on the table. When you go to find your keys, you can call upon this mental picture and easily recall where you left them. Perhaps it will take more than one or two attempts to see the picture you create, but if you make a habit of doing so, forgetfulness (and nervousness) will gradually disappear. You can practice this exercise with all sorts of things, not just things you don't want to forget. Pay extra attention to your surroundings while in public, for example, and try to create a picture image of what someone you saw was wearing or carrying, then pull it back into your memory later in the day. The etheric body is the bearer of memory. And this exercise, like the two before, strengthens the etheric body by bringing the ego into the astral body.
4) CHANGE YOUR HANDWRITING
This one is kind of fun. As has been pointed out, we function throughout our day in many habitual, unconscious ways that can take a toll on our mental and physical health. How you express yourself in written word is one of those activities that is habitual – and it's a great activity to stir ego strength into.
Start by writing a simple sentence in cursive or print. Now choose a couple of letters to change slightly and rewrite the sentence with the letters in a new way a couple of times. Keep playing. If you add loops to your cursive Os, for example, try writing them without loops. If your letters trail off with long tails, shorten them. If you are right handed, write with your left hand and if you are left handed, write with your right. Have fun with this and know that each time you do something different with your handwriting, no matter how subtle the change, that is a conscious, free will choice you make in the moment that breaks unconscious habits; strengthening the control of your astral body over your etheric.
These exercises, as simple as they are, are powerful. Try them out for a week or two, and let me know how it goes!