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Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Cannon Beach - October 2014

Cannon Beach – October 2014

 

It’s been a very long time since I posted here, after 8 years solid of blogging! And I didn’t even say goodbye or see you later! So here I am — and so happy I have something to share with you today.

Briefly, want to add where I’ve been — I went through a major transition last year. My differently-abled son moved on to adult supported living last spring. I became progressively more ill as the year went by. Thanks to my naturopath, I got back on the right course, and just in time for October of last year. This is when I went to a Dr. Joe Dispenza “Progressive Workshop”, and learned exactly how it is that I made my body sick.

After that workshop true life changes began to take shape. I’ve just attended his next level workshop, the “Advanced”, and this one went even deeper. His work continues to be life changing in ways I never even dreamed possible.

The challenge with blogging about his work though, is it’s not just an intellectual process of gathering information, it has to be felt and experienced. This is achieved through meditation. So it’s been difficult for me to write about his work in a meaningful way. Today I think I have something to share that will be impactful.

About meditation — frankly when I saw him the first time, I thought — love the man’s heart, love his work, but I don’t know about this daily, sitting for long periods, mediation crap. Yet a couple of weeks later, I would come to commit to two days a week of at least 45 minutes of sitting meditation. Within another couple of weeks, I was meditating daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Now, I can’t not do it!

I posted this on my Facebook timeline yesterday, and some people said they really needed to hear it. So I share this now with you all, with the desire that you too, will benefit from it.

Two quotes from the workshop:

“Is the omnipresent always present with you? Is it possible you are not present with it?” (This is the secret benefits of meditation!)

“Stop arguing for your heavy baggage.”

At one point, Dr. Fannin was on stage speaking. He’s a big brain scientist, likes to measure things (I don’t). But he said one thing that I loved:

“How many neurons over a lifetime *dedicated* to worry?” (or fear, or guilt, or limitation of any kind)

I sat up and took notice when he used the word “dedicate”. He did not say spent, because it’s not like you hand over your money and get nothing back. Oh no, this dedication is an *investment* in worry, it’s not useless or wasted energy at all! It’s being used thoroughly, but in all the wrong places.

With that in mind, if you are a stock investor would you invest in a crap stock that signals your body to downgrade itself? Because that’s exactly what happens when we think and blindly surrender to thoughts and feelings that kick out stress chemicals.

We do uniquely have free will, we have a choice about where we direct our attention and therefore energy. Meditation helps with this tremendously. Settling the nervous system back down, time and time again, so we can come to live life in a less reactive, more mindful manner. There’s more benefits to doing his particular brand of meditations, but for now this explanation will suffice.

Now … back to “how many neurons over a lifetime *dedicated* to worry?” So while Dr. Fannin is speaking, I’m writing a rampage of turn arounds, here’s a portion of it.

How about … how many neurons dedicated to …

learning something new?
doing the uncommon?
being surprised by life?
being curious?
feeling vital?
feeling fed by life?
being present?
feeling awed by life?
feeling inspired?
feeling passion?
having a sacred relationship with your God?
feeling in love with life?
being at ease?

Ok, your turn … so much more could be said and *lived* here! …

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I renewed a former passion of mine in hiking last year. Many of the pictures you see posted here lately are from these hikes. I am a forest lover through and through. But I had no idea that this time hiking would take me on a journey to healing a long standing fear that I’ve had since I was a teenager – the fear of being a woman, alone, and in a secluded area.

I start my hike and the fear comes up, it doesn’t just bubble up either, it’s right up close and personal. Then I stop and look around me and see how all life seems to support another – a “dead” tree becomes home to moss and mushrooms. A leaning tree finds another to hold it up, they begin to grow together. Everything is supported in one way or another. Maybe I am, too?

I walk further up the mountain, the fear is back. I consciously breathe, hand over heart, and let it be present, not with its story, just the pure, raw emotion. Let it be. Breathe, let it be. As Tara Brach says: permission to be here.

On this one particular day, my hike was my daily Facebook blessing, which I will share with you below. By the end of that hike I turned in gratitude before my descent. Where there was fear, I found comfort, and a space to allow the fear to come to rest.

Fear comes, it goes, big fears, little fears, doesn’t matter. Maybe everything, at it’s heart, is just calling us to simply be with it fully, whatever it is.

Blessings Day 665: so excited to get to the mountain today, I knew she’d be shrouded in mist! It’s as if Mother Nature turned the dial up on awe and amazing! Every step another awe-inspiring experience, so I could hardly keep my eyes to the trail. Deeper and deeper I strode into her mysterious, murky womb to know ever more – this place is holy. This place is sacred. This place is healing.

 

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These are two useful mindfulness tools from my “greatest hits” of 2014. I still practice both of these. The first is very calming, grounding and restorative, and useful also with nighttime wakefulness. The other is a great one from Tara Brach, helpful when thoughts are regretting the past or projecting into the future – it is an instant pivot! Finally, I conclude with something new, and equally impactful, from Byron Katie.

“Take your thumb and connect it with your pinky, take 5 deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Do the same with your ring finger, then your middle finger, then your index finger.  Then finally, bring all 5 fingers together and take 5 deep breaths.” (excerpted from thespirtscience.net)

This last greatest hit from 2014, is just one simple question quoting the mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach. I put this question on one of my homemade “well being” cards. It’s a great reminder, and especially useful the moment you even start to dip a toe in the waters of suffering.

“Ok, what is actually happening right now?”

Deceptively simple, isn’t it? But incredibly powerful!

And lastly, I’ve appended the Byron Katie quote below. The last two sentences are especially helpful if you are arguing with what is, which is to say feeling like anything, whatever it is, should not be happening. That is the very heart of suffering, and that’s why I am committed to bringing you (and me) tools to help ease it. Be well and at peace, my friends.

“Things are happening to me. Stressful thought.

Things are happening for me. Positive thought.

Things are happening. Truth.”

 

 

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Have you ever had this experience: you are having a reasonably good day, and then seemingly out of the blue comes some big fear thought?  You meet that, it dissipates and next thing you know another fear gets lobbed over the net.  It’s foul and you know it, but you hit the ball and engage with it anyway!

So many teachers speak of just being with fear, not judging it, pushing it away, or denying it.  Well, I am a thinker and a doer, so I like to know how is it that we can be with fear in a self-friendly manner.  And, I am always discovering and inventing new ways to live in self-rapport.  This blog is a treasure trove of tips for these things.  Here’s my latest:

I have recently been using this statement – fear is in the mind, when a fear thought shows up.  Sometimes I’ll have a thought, my left brain kicks in and wants to know is this a fear thought or something else?  I crack myself up sometimes!  But it’s always a fear thought, if it separates you from the fullness of who you are meant to be!  Strip it down to its lowest common denominator and all judgment, worry, anxiety, depression, etc. is fear talking.

Being with fear and identifying it as simply “fear is in the mind”, is that compassionate awareness that isn’t immersed, and under the spell of fear, nor is it pushing it away.

A couple of weeks ago I read the world news reports and felt it very discomforting, so much unrest, so much violence.  Then I remembered again – fear is in the mind, fear is in the world too.  I can’t fix it, or make it better, but I can bring that compassionate awareness to me and everyone else.  That being with is the way out of fear, but it has to be genuine and wholehearted.

We all feel fear, it’s encoded in our survival instincts.  Some fears don’t seem to make sense, some do.  Some fears don’t even seem to be our own, maybe they are the fears we picked up from someone else.  We get it, fear just is. Why not find a compassionate way to be with that fear.

And now unencumbered by the need to do something about fear, new vistas open up revealing wide open fields, ours for the joy of living and the loving.

So that’s my new tool, it’s been working for me.  If any of you try it, I would love to hear your experience of it.

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Knowing

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I continue to read “Talking with Nature/Journey into Nature” by Michael Roads. Again, I’ll quote from him below.  This passage is about doubt and faith.

I highly recommend this book for all those who have a deep connection with nature.  He channels the wisdom of nature throughout this book, although he never labels it that.  This passage is from his talk with a river one day:

“Doubt is the part of your mind which fights to retain control.  Doubt seeks to speculate and, from speculation, to walk a known path.

You cannot do this and enter a higher conscious awareness.  There is no room for doubt, no place for doubt to express its fear.  …Faith knows not, nor seeks to know, for in faith this moment is complete.

The path of faith is a journey beyond time, space, or dimensional limitations.

The mind may not go ahead seeking to make the way known.  Instead, the mind is controlled, neither by leash nor techniques, but by the faith of this moment’s “knowing”.

Please understand.  Known is the past, while “knowing” is only of this moment, the eternal “now”.

Can you accept a challenge of this magnitude?”

To be sure, he’s not writing of the faith that “knows” a specific outcome for whatever it is that our heart desires.  The river holds no doubt or fears that it will spill over its banks one day, or dry up and become parched, cracked earth.  No … the river, the trees, the flowers, the clouds, and on and on, live in this sacred, grace-filled moment.  Fear, vulnerability, the need for safety and specific outcomes don’t exist here.  To live, to die, to be re-born in all its many shapes and flavors, is to always be an expression of All That Is.  Faith is to relax and soften into this infinite circle of knowing.

When in doubt, be with a tree, or a stream or anything that lives in the fluidity of this immeasurable moment.

 

 

 

 

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fear8454306326_d943005bf9_zBlessings Day 304: I met with my fear counsel/council this morning. We decided to let myself have two specific fears before breakfast today. Meaning give it a soft space of acknowledgment, don’t push it away.

Then again before breakfast, I met further with my fear counsel/council – the wise elders who know a thing or two about fear. The counsel I received was to take action on three things. I did. Then finally I had breakfast!

It wasn’t so scary after all, it was pretty clean cut and meeting one of those fears gave me so much encouragement about next steps. Thank you fear council, I couldn’t have done this without you today.

If I ignore that fear, it’s still in the driver’s seat, it’s got me by the proverbial balls anyway. I can say yes to fear, let it have its say, and it has a lot to teach me about who I am being in the world at the deepest levels and even more, how I can lean into it, instead of running from it.

“All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness. It wants room to unfold. It wants to relax and tell it’s story.” From Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth.

 

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Blessings Day 301: ah, fear, master teacher that you are, visiting at all times of the day and without seeming invitation. You even invade my dreams.

Are you afraid fear that I won’t see you, I won’t accept you, I will abandon you, or perhaps you think I will stuff you with another glass of wine, a cheese danish perhaps, at the very least, a change in the subject. Do you need to have a soft place to be with me, do you need me to be with you awhile, acknowledge you tenderly, let you trickle down the crook of my arm, not getting stuck here or there, freely flowing and letting the current carry you?

I’m here to let you know that I care about you fear, you were friend and teacher when I cried foe. I will kneel beside you like my own child, sweep you into my arms and kiss all your fears. I won’t tell you they’re wrong, I’ll tell you they have their place. Fear, and your friend courage, I ask that he be with me while I let myself be with you, Fear. Maybe, really for the first time in my life.

“come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
of dying.”  ~Joy Harjo

And in your fear you cling tighter.  I will give you that soft space to be, neither denying you nor swept away in you.  You, who have left no earthly visitor untouched.  You only asked one thing: to be welcomed with an unshielded tenderness, the way we do with our children.

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I love, no adore, this quote, appended below, from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of eat, pray, love) in her new book “The Signature of All Things”.  It’s relevant to include it here, as it illustrates the theme of recent blog posts: allowing acceptance of the voices that come.  Maybe they wake us in the middle of the night, or perhaps it’s at the moment we rise up from that darkness of night and into the sometimes tenuous and raw vulnerability of morning.

Whenever those voices come, they teach us we would not know the courage to move forward had we first not known fear.  So much would be missing from the world without the life-giving blood of anger and the force for which it propels us into positive change.  It is the yin and the yang of life and one aspect will always be in relationship with it’s complementary aspect — fear and courage, anger and change, for example.  And like the proverbial grain of sand that transforms into an iridescent pearl, our lives are a continual evolutionary dance of sand and pearl.

“I live a creative life, and you can’t be creative without being vulnerable.  I believe that Creativity and Fear are basically conjoined twins; they share all the same major organs, and cannot be separated, one from the other, without killing them both. And you don’t want to murder Creativity just to destroy Fear!  You must accept that Creativity cannot walk even one step forward except by marching side-by-side with its attached sibling of Fear.

{…} I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with love and respect, saying to it: “I know that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to leave me alone or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never leave me alone or be silent, anyhow.  But I need you to understand that I will always choose Creativity over you.”  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert “The Signature of All Things”

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Image by CED-Leah  

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Excerpted from The Essential Rumi – translated by Coleman Barks

I post this because it is such a great follow-up to my recent “letting myself have” post.  The practice I talk about in letting myself have is now my spiritual practice of pure acceptance with whatever arises.  So this poem really seems a great complement to that practice.

There’s often so many things I read that sound good on paper (like The Guest House), but I want to know ‘gee, how does one attain that’?  I need tools, that’s me, it’s how I roll.  Tools lift these lofty ideas into something tangible, real, doable and useable.

I woke up for a couple of nights in a row, drenched in sweat, heart pounding over some big fear dream.  The old me would say: it’s over, let’s get a shower and your heart will calm down momentarily.  Let’s just not think about it, it will go away.  This time I laid in bed letting myself have the fear, the pounding heart, the vulnerability, the not feeling in control.  I sat with it and breathed with it and when it was ready it moved on.  It came to re-visit me again in the next night, i did the same practice and again it moved on.

Every don’t want, shouldn’t be, I can’t, I won’t, this should not be happening, you can’t make me … all of them, I can let myself have all of it.  And why should I?  Because suffering is the only other option.

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Courage

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This week’s inquiry (followed by song lyrics, which I originally heard in a Science of Mind church):

What waits for my courage?

Let me fall
Let me climb
There’s a moment when fear
And dreams must collide

Someone I am
Is waiting for courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me

So let me fall
If I must fall
I won’t heed your warnings
I won’t hear them

Let me fall
If I fall
Though the phoenix may
Or may not rise

I will dance so freely
Holding on to no one
You can hold me only
If you too will fall
Away from all these
Useless fears and chains

Someone I am
Is waiting for my courage
The one I want
The one I will become
Will catch me

So let me fall
If I must fall
I won’t heed your warnings
I won’t hear

Let me fall
If I fall
There’s no reason
To miss this one chance
This perfect moment
Just let me fall

Cirque du Soleil lyrics
Album: Quidam

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