Fear is a given. We experience it repeatedly in our lives, whether it be related to work, relationships, new experiences or more. A few weeks ago, I noticed that myself and many others were encountering or living in some form of fear.
For me, my feet were stuck in a molasses-like mud and as I trudged and moved forward, there was another plate below, pulling me back.
I was “moving” forward in the midst of the fear, however I let the fear grow. It did not cripple me as it might have years ago, but the fear certainly prohibited any ability to live in “whats real”.
Pema Chodron in speaking of fear and reflecting on Trungpa Rinpoche’s teaching, says “when fear arrives, when insecurity arises, when we feel groundless, what happens? Does it set off this chain reaction of aggression, which actually just intensifies our fear and our paranoia and our insecurity; or do we face towards it?”
I thought I was “facing” towards it, but each action was still based and rooted in, fear, and thereby setting of that precise chain reaction.
So how, when fear arises, does one move past it?
A first suggestion came as a reminder from a friend: when we feel the fear, can we observe it? Not dive into it but observe it. As if it were this foreign entity we don't actually know or quite understand. In order to do so, we are required to drop any self criticism and judgement for having that specific fear. As we observe it, as we distance ourselves from it, we might also get to learn from it…
The second recommendation comes from Carolyn Rose Gimian who suggests “smiling at it.” She says, “there’s no real formula for how to smile at fear, but lately I'm just trying to turn up the corners of my mouth, when I start to panic.”
So how did I move past?
I acknowledged that there was a difference between the problem and the fear propagated by the problem. I recognized I was in a struggle with fear. I was moving and taking actions rooted from fear, not reality, not the problem itself.
So I gave up the struggle. I took a breath. Many breaths, in fact, and I finally refused to perpetuate the negative thoughts which merely generate more fear and I turned up the corners of my mouth.
Next time fear arises, can you face it, acknowledge it and then begin to turn up the corners of your mouth?
Can you look at the problem and not the fear and move from the problem.
PS: Our greatest inventors, our greatest change makers... they create(d) solutions to problems, not fears. Just a thought :D.
With so much love and light,
Rachel (to receive these in your inbox, subscribe below!) xx
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