When asked if he ever feels fear: “I feel what you feel. You name if fear. I name it call for action.” Moretei Veshiba, Founder of Akido
As I write this article, I am reflecting on the multitude of global hardships that are occurring on a daily basis. No matter how positive the eventual outcome, considerable confusion and pain are often a part of all transformative journeys.
In our own country, ongoing economic upheavals continue to cause many of us to feel increasingly insecure and frightened.
Change, especially change that is not of our choosing, has the ability to uncover and ignite our deepest fears.
Individual and collective journeys of change and uncertainty present the opportunity to choose: Will we take the road called Fear and allow ourselves to be consumed by outer and inner messages of doom and failure? Or will we choose a different road; into the Quiet Mind and Healing Heart for renewal and personal commitment to success and happiness?
We have a choice. This article is about being intentional in how you choose to use your mind to best advantage.
Like you, I can be negatively affected by messages of fear and doom. If I’m not careful, my automatic fight or flight response can and does kick in. After all, my brain and automatic nervous system are designed to lead me either to action or into withdrawal in response to perceived danger. However, I know from past experience that taking even a few steps down the path called Fear can quickly lead me into irrational and paralyzing responses of anxiety, despair and hopelessness.
Have you noticed that if you focus primarily on what is going wrong in life, this perception exponentially grows, often creating a downward cycle of inner panic and a general state of dread and anxiety? Before you know it, life seems overwhelming. Without knowing how to avoid walking into this mental quicksand, you can innocently get sucked into its grip. And as you might have noticed in your own life, being consumed by fear and anxiety can rob you of happiness, time, energy and health.
If you are experiencing fear at the moment, know that there are definite steps to lessen the anxiety and helplessness you may be feeling:
- Right now, in this instant, give yourself permission to feel the fear without judgment or resistance. Judging and resisting only intensifies fear, so lovingly release these reactions. Tell yourself: “I love myself even when I’m feeling fearful.” Accept all of your emotions as beautiful expressions of You.
- Move into the Now, which is the only place where healing can occur. The past and future are non-existent and therefore cannot provide healing or safety. Let go of dwelling in past regrets (“If only…..”) or in future worries (“What if….”). Tell yourself: “Today, I am coping and getting stronger.”
- Ask yourself: “What are the lessons of strength this fearful situation has the potential to teach me? “ “How can I grow and evolve by facing my fear?” This will put your fear into a different, more positive, perspective.
- Practice deep breathing, hypnosis, meditation, positive visualization and affirmations. As you relax, imagine a powerful light filling you with confidence, grace and strength.
- Remember a time in your life when you felt very confident and happy. Really feel the memory, with all of your senses, and enjoy the power that is intensifying with your remembering. Call upon this memory often and allow it to help you identify yourself as a strong, capable person.
- Shift your focus toward self-care and nurturing. Consciously take a break from anxious thoughts as you enjoy a massage, a body-mind-spirit healing session, a walk in nature, a warm bath, candles, aromatherapy, a healthy meal, relaxation CDs, soothing music. Feel all tension and stress melt and flow away.
Today, I am recommitting to my personal goal of becoming fearless. I want a heart open to receiving joy and a mind functioning on a highly productive and focused level.
I am choosing the road called Fearlessness. Will you join me?
Our personal choice is to expand our ability to become fearless and to practice heart-nurturing reflection, empowering self-talk and positive visualizations. We can choose to focus on what is going well in our lives, rather than what is not working. In this way, we are taking charge of the neural pathways in our brains that are continuously growing in response to our thoughts and experiences.
By making positive internal changes, the outer world will reflect and mirror your growth, courage and strength.