There's a lot to be afraid about these days; the economy, politics, Covid-19, isolation and wildfires for starters! And we all have our own personal challenges as well! This week, I had a situation with a family member that was terrifying for me. Unfortunately, we have been taught to avoid fear, fear fear and try to live life without fear. The truth is that we will always have fear- our nervous systems are wired so that we are prepared for attacks by predators! As Ralph Waldo Emerson says "He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life".
So how do we handle fear and even learn the secret of life from it?
It's helpful is to notice when we first experience it and to accurately assess the current fear inducing situation. We can start by asking ourselves "What do you believe is happening that may not be true?".
We can also check in with our body sensations and see where we are holding on, where there's strain or tightness and breathe into that area, softening and letting go.
It's helpful to bring to mind an image that is particularly calming and just focus on and breathe in that image for several breaths.
We can also choose a few empowering words, something like "I have fear, but my fear does not have me" and breathe in and out several times, repeating the words to yourself.
Touch is also a proven way to minimize fear so try hugging a loved one or a pet or even squeezing your own hand, providing a comforting sensation.
Finally, connection is the antidote to fear. The words of Rumi are particularly helpful:
"Life's waters flow from darkness. Search the darkness, don't run from it. Night travelers are full of light and you are too. Don't leave this companionship. The moon appears for night travelers. Be watchful when the moon is full."
I often feel like separating myself from others when I am in fear. I am uncertain of how to express my fear without embarrassment and often choose to "grin and bear it". Instead, I need to remember the words of Rumi, that we are all living in fear but connected with each other. It is important that we not "leave this companionship"- that we acknowledge that we are not alone. There are benefits to surrounding yourselves with people who are positive, authentic and open, willing to "search the darkness" with you, and not run from it. My Sunday Gatherings are an exquisite opportunity for just that; to join with other "night travelers" for an hour of meditation, writing and reflection. Join us! REGISTER HERE: https://www.thegathering-la.com/events-1/sunday-hour-of-calm-6 Acknowledge your fear and move through through the fearful emotions, thoughts and bodily sensations. Allow your fear to sit next to you, reminding you that you have fear but that you are not your fear. Answer the question: With my fear beside me, I can now... Allow the answer to come to you. Listen and be guided. You are strong, safe and supported. Hope to see you at a Gathering. You will leave feeling calm, clear and connected. Remember that we are all in this together. Please forward this newsletter to someone you think could use a little nurturing.
With love and light,
Lawyer/Entrepreneur/Mom/Immersive Meditation Leader/Ripple Maker
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