Fear need not always be harmful to our lives.
We can have a healthy relationship with fear by approaching it as a continuum. A vehicle to get where want to go.
And so, from farm to table, so to speak, here’s how we engage with it.
We notice it, name it, greet it, accept it, thank it, love it, unravel it, share it, and lastly, channel it. Let’s unpack each of these elements.
First comes noticing. Not judging or fixing or fighting. Merely noticing. Standing as compassionate witnesses to a feeling that has arisen. Staying at the sensation level of our experience as an objective third party. And so, observing our flushed skin or our fluttering stomach, our curious mind says, huh, now there’s an interesting feeling. That’s all.
Then, once we’ve pressed the pause button with noticing, we move into naming. We announce to ourselves that there appears to be an experience of fear. That’s what this thing is called. It’s just a feeling, it’s not who we are, and it’s not going to last forever. But there it is.
Next, we greet the fear with a welcoming heart. Like an old friend. And we accept it as a natural part of our life experience. Giving thanks for its primitive but practical powers that have been evolutionary advantageous to human beings since the dawn of time. What a glorious endowment.
Moving forward to the most challenging part of all, we love the fear. Let us count the ways. We love fear because it protects us. Because it keeps us in tune with our bodies. Because it guides our journey like a compass. Because it offers insights about important parts of ourselves. We might even imagine ourselves bear hugging the fear.
Okay, now that we have noticed, named, greeted, accepted, thanked and loved this feeling, the next step is to unravel it. Because our fear is never really our fear. There’s always something deeper at the bottom of the feeling. Some fear ancestor. Something we’re afraid to know about ourselves. Which isn’t always easy to uncover, but it’s there.
And that’s when sharing comes in handy. Once we communicate our fears to at least one other person, realizing that we’re not alone in our pain, their divine human mirror reflects back to us what might be lurking in fear’s shadows.
And once we figure that out, now we can use it to drive us where we want to. Our fear melts into determination and fuels us to take action.
That’s the fear continuum.
Notice it, name it, greet it, accept it, thank it, love it, unravel it, share it, channel it.
It’s a big ask. Cultivating such a holistic relationship with fear requires significant physiological, emotional, mental, interpersonal and social resources.
But once you learn to hold your fear from a position of power, choice, energy and action, there’s no stopping you.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How might you meet your fears in a new way?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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