“Where something becomes extremely difficult and unbearable,
there we also stand already quite near its transformation.” – Rilke
WELCOME BACK! If you’re new, please scroll down to WEEK 1.
Fear is the topic of writers, poets, philosophers, musicians, humanitarians, healers…all of us have been taken in by its stronghold at some point or another during our lifetime. Fear is a universal experience – we all have it. It touches us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And for some of us, it creates blockages and patterns that take years to overcome.
Our emotions are colored by our life experiences. Joy, anger, surprise, trust, grief or sadness, love and fear. If you ask anyone what emotion is the strongest, it raises quite the topic of philosophical conversation. If you’re an optimist, you would say love, but it’s pretty interesting to see how common fear, anger, and grief rise to the occasion. I say be the optimist and go with LOVE – love for yourself, love of your fears, and love for one another.
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You’ve given yourself an incredible gift these past few weeks – permission to focus on YOU and the life that YOU TRULY WANT. Now is the time to face those fears and instead of running away from them – TRUST, take the CHANCE, BREATHE and LEAP right into YOUR FEARS. It’s easy for us to come up with creative excuses not to face those fears and my personal favorite is “just waiting for the perfect time.” Perfection doesn’t exist. Perfection = Procrastination.
This moment is exactly as it should be. Moments of fear are life’s way of gifting you the lessons necessary in guiding you towards your dharma – your souls PURPOSE. Living a life of dharma moves fear to the backburner and heightens life’s experiences to be unbounded, enjoyed, and cherished. If we can just shift our perspective a bit on what fear really can be – challenging, positive, FREEDOM – then our outlook on fear and life itself takes on a whole new meaning. Simply put, a better way of navigating through life!
One of the most prolific guides in my life are the teachings of Pema Chodron. Here, she says it best, “The only way to experience fearlessness is to know the nature of fear. The journey of growing closer to fear brings COURAGE & BRAVERY.”
The many stages of life, jobs, careers, or relationships, can create vulnerability to fear and anxiety. These transitional times bring on levels of uncertainty. We’re not the person we once were nor are we the one we’re about to become. So we need to establish a life of living in a GROUNDED state. YOU are and should be your own ROCK. Grounding practices will assist in maintaining focus, clarity, grace, & ease during life’s many transitions.
The tools of yoga and meditation are ancient grounding rituals. They help us stay present and establish a regular touchstone through which we can experience and move through fear. They also give our challenges the ideas of transformation so it feels as though it has a higher purpose. If you don’t have a meditation or yoga practice, we all have to start somewhere – I did. So I encourage you to take that first step and give yourself a personal challenge this week. Sit with yourself in silence by following your breath and participate in a yoga class. Many yoga studios offer free or discounted classes to new enrollees, so no excuses.
For every emotional response, there is a correlating physical response. We know through research that these tools work in the following ways:
1. Meditation helps us stay in the present, which reduces fear.
2. A daily 10-minute walk in nature increases stress resilience.
3. Relaxation-based practices such as Restorative Yoga reduce anxiety and heal the body.
4. Deep breathing or pranayama is a quick and effective response to stress, anxiety & FEAR. Try 4-part breathing thenext time you feel any constriction. Softly close your eyes (unless driving) and inhale to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4, exhale to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4. I know you have 16 seconds! Feel free to repeat a few times if time permits.
5. Take some time each day to tap into some sensory therapy: soothing music or nature sounds, beautiful visual imagery, aromatherapy, self-massage, mindful eating. Your 10 minute nature walk alone will tap into your inner healer with smell, sight, sound, and touch (if you’re barefoot).
As I mentioned last week, with ritualized practices, we are better able to tap into deeper levels of who we are and track our behaviors that establish the patterns – presenting us with opportunities to observe, learn, and shift away from the patterns that make mountains out of molehills.
Some additional steps:
1. Make your decision and OWN IT – know your impact!
2. Know that YOU ARE NOT YOUR FEAR and step outside of the bubble.
3. Shift your view – fear is GROWTH!
4. Taking small steps builds CONFIDENCE.
5. Make the choice not because you have to, but because YOU WANT TO.
6. Keep reminding yourself that fear is a part of the journey.
7. LIBERATE yourself and take on those fears.
So as we leap into week 4 of our 5-week journey to manifest our deepest desires and make 2013 the most amazing year of our life, know that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. And know that fear is your sweet companion on the road to growth and personal transformation to help you move beyond your constrictions into a sweeter more magnificent unfolding of life.
Keep it real & keep meditating!!! Peace. -davidji
This meditation is a part of the Setting Your Course Meditation Series and is available for purchase HERE!
Inspiring quotes to scatter about your space(s):
“There is no illusion greater than fear.” – Lao Tzu
“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Men are not afraid of things, but of how they view them.” – Epictetus
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
“The past cannot be changed, the future is still in your power.” – Hugh White
“He who fears to suffer, suffers from fear.” – Proverb
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.“ – Walt Whitman
“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” – Edmund Burke
“There is nothing strange about fear: no matter in what guise it presents itself it is something with which we are all so familiar that when a man appears who is without it we are at once enslaved by him.” – Henry Miller