My Mother-in-law has a self-appointed job: Compulsive Worrier. For her worrying is a permanent state of mind, a “setting” if you like.

Not only that, she sees this as form of community service on behalf of loved ones. On a magical level she feels that she keeps all of us safe by worrying about us.

This “service” does not come cheap, however. A very large number of phone calls is extracted to pay for this. My husband is expected to call her whenever his airplane lands (at least 4 – 5 times a week), after any meeting that goes well, after all and any medical appointments for anyone in our family of five… (You get the picture!)

As it happens I am writing this on a plane (from London to Stockholm). My own mother is giving mother-in-law a run for her money these days. She got all flustered this morning because she had a candle on for my brother flying to Milan for work and then she discovers that I am about to fly to Stockholm on the same day. A return trip to Milan and one way way trip to Sweden on the say day amounts to a lot of candle burning hours!!

I have explained many times, to both mothers, that I DO NOT WANT PEOPLE WORRYING ABOUT ME! EVER! FULL STOP!!

What is worrying, as seen from my personal point of view? – Repeatedly visualising negative outcomes! As someone who is aware of the “magical dimension of this” I most profoudly do not wish this for myself or my family!

So what to do? You guessed it: I start editing… I become reluctant to tell my mother anything that involves “risk” (but obviously life is a risky business!) Over the years I have practiced a smooth “retrograde manoeuvre” : I tell her certain things as soon as they are safely behind us. I call her from far off places to say I have arrived there safely. To take the sting out of them. To escape the obsessive visualisations of catastrophes. (I am suspect that on occasion she feels cheated…)

I decided to look up the literal meaning (and etymology) of the word “worrying”.

To worry: etymology

Old English wyrgan = to strangle
Proto-Germanic wurgjan
Contemporary Dutch: wurgen
Related to the Old Norse: virgill (rope)

The oldest meaning of the word worrying became obsolete in English after c. 1600: to annoy, to bother, to vex.

The meaning we use today “to cause mental distress or trouble” has been in us since 1822. Also “to feel anxiety or mental trouble”.

This brief excursion into etymology flashes up some very interesting aspects of worrying!

So what would life be like if we didn’t worry? Can we even imagine such a scenario? Am I in denial about the fact that “bad things happen to good people”? No, not at all! As a shamanic practitioner I “see it all” in my consulting room and my own life is not always a rose garden either.

I just happen to be of the philosophy that I would rather deal with negative things when they happen – but not “actively spin them out of the limitless reservoir of all creative possibilities open to human beings”.

So what then if “mothers, brothers and others” are determined to perform this act of community service on our behalf? For me the answer is simple: in your head please run glorious blissful happy outcomes and scenarios on my/our behalf. Things going right! Things turning out even better than expected!

Go all the way and vision miracles please!!!

They/you will be spending the same amount of time and energy! I am very happy for you to express your love and affection for me in this way!

When large numbers of people focus on good things – they help create and manifest exactly those good things, higher outcomes.

Now all we need is a new word for this activity. I have been giving this serious thought. What about … visioncrafting?! Can you think of a better word?!

I wrote this article in long-hand on the airplane. Back home again (in London) I faced the task of calling my mother to say that I am about to fly to New Mexico where I am going to hiking and camping in the desert with shamanic teacher colleagues. We will be outside internet range and unfortunately this event is going to coincide with my mother having eye surgery. (I almost got worried about making the phone call!) I called her this morning and luckily her op is on the day before I fly out – meaning I can still make the phone call afterward to check how she is. Then I drop off the edge of the world for a while. My mother took the wind out of my sails by saying: “Oh! You lead such a hectic life! Time away from it all in the desert with friends is the perfect medicine for you right now. Wonderful! Have fun!”

I was speechless. Did she tune in and telepathically read the thoughts I have just shared in this blog?! After all SHE IS MY MOTHER and she has her psychic moments! Clearly she is not going to worry about it.

Imelda Almqvist

About the author

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016. She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.