The Attitude of "Allowing"
by Neal Sideman


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In the martial art of aikido, the basic principle is not to resist the adversary, but to use his own force to defeat him.  I believe this is the way to defeat panic disorder.

Anxiety and panic are never dangerous – unpleasant yes, but never dangerous.  As you begin to adopt an attitude of "allowing" towards the experience of anxiety, a very amazing thing starts to happen: the anxiety lessens!

Panic is an amazing paradox.  It’s the scariest experience we are capable of, and yet it is completely harmless.  Adopting the attitude of allowing panic dramatically reduces panic.  Panic is never dangerous, so there is no reason not to allow it.  When you allow panic, it’s like popping a big, inflated balloon.

A panic attack can only occur if you are running from it.  Panic is like a big dog that will chase you only if you run.  The “panic dog” is big and scary, but it is incapable of hurting you.  When you stop running, the panic dog stops chasing you.  He’s like a big Great Dane that couldn’t hurt a fly.  With no one to chase, he looks kind of confused.  He starts to wag his tail, then tries to lick your face!

When you allow panic instead of running from it, the experience is transformed.  Physiologically, panic is very similar to exhilaration.  As I healed, I began to experience  exhilaration in situations where I had previously experienced panic.  When I entered a challenging situation and “opened wide” to panic, I didn’t experience panic.  Instead, I often experienced a very intense and beautiful exhilaration.  

Many people devote themselves to seeking out this very experience of intense exhilaration – with great effort, expense and often danger to life and limb.  On my healing path, I got to experience it easily, safely and for free!


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