Category Archives: dealing with fear

The Wisdom of Fear

Anything worth doing is going to have some fear attached.

Think about some of the life changes you’ve experienced that brought up deep worries or concerns.

Having a baby.  Getting married.  Getting divorced.  Changing careers.

Big events invite big emotions. And fear can be the big bow atop the gift that awaits us. Do we dare open it? Or not?

Fear has a way of throwing us off balance.  When we tug at its bow, we get the sense that we are unraveling. It makes us feel uncertain and insecure.

We find ourselves questioning whether we really want the new life that these changes will bring. We may also find ourselves releasing and grieving for the past as a necessary part of moving into the new.  But fear is not meant to discourage us.

So, what is fear’s purpose?  And how do we respond to it?

Its purpose is to notify us that we are at the edge of our comfort zone, where we hang in balance between our old life and a new one.  Fear, in this sense, is not trying to hold us back, but move us forward to our highest expression.

Fear informs us that the change we are facing is significant, and so approach it with the proper reverence.  The more we learn to respect fear and even welcome it, the more we will be able to hear its wisdom. It lets us know that the time has come to move forward–or not.

We may never feel completely comfortable with fear, but we can honor it, recognize it, listen to what it has to say, and respect it as the bringer of transformation for our life.  Sitting quietly in meditation or journaling about your feelings can bring greater understanding of the change you are making and help you to hurdle any inner obstacles.

We can’t open a gift without first untying the bow.  While fear is a strong emotion, it helps to remember that it almost always comes alongside anything worth doing in our lives. When we work with fear rather than against it, we transform it into the gift of courage so that we can move forward to our highest and best self.


Let Love Lead

It’s a brand new day.

How will you approach it?

Will you go about mindlessly, bouncing busily between activities, not feeling that deeper sense of accomplishment?

Or, will you break out of that routine with a renewed sense of purpose?

It comes down to you.  You and only you.

Ask yourself if you are bringing the energy of fear or love into your life.  Which is it?

Do you find yourself wasting your days out of carelessness or laziness?  If so, this is a fear-based response to life (dig deep and you’ll discover that this carelessness or laziness comes from being afraid of things not working out, of being a failure, or of being successful).

Do you find yourself doing things that strip you of your personal power or make you feel miserable?  If so, this is another fear-based response (afraid of being rejected and not fitting in, so you do things to please others or to appear as someone you are not?).

Where there is fear there is no love.

Replacing a fear mindset with a love mindset requires a shift in personal thinking. It’s not always easy; it requires some work and patience, and once you get into the practice of it, your life will begin to change in unexpected, even miraculous ways.

Ask which fears are blocking out the presence of love. Step outside of yourself and take a long non-judgmental look at You. What scares you? What motivates you? How do you define yourself? Take an inventory of what you think, feel, and do.  What is the motivation behind your actions? Is it love or fear?

Once you have identified those fearful thoughts, deeds, and energy, it’s time to send the energy of love.  The energy we send out is the energy we will receive (this is a universal law…check it out for yourself).

You can do this in a number of ways.  You can repeat the word “love” as a mantra.  You can repeat an affirmation such as “I see all things with love,” or you can choose your own wording. You can also visualize waves of love emanating from your heart area or chakra while directing those waves toward specific situations or people.

Find a way that resonates with you and commit to it.  Approaching each day with love instead of fear will change the energy of your life path.

It’s a brand new day, and it’s your life.  Let love lead the way.


Things That Go Grunt In The Night

Sometimes we let our fears get the best of us. Our imaginations get carried away, and we find ourselves blowing things out of proportion.

We had been slogging up a steep, winding trail in the Himalayas, en route to Mt. Everest.

Adjusting to high altitude took its toll on all of us. Headaches. Nausea. Hallucinations. I swear I saw a pink elephant laughing at me. At nearly 18,000 feet, where there’s less oxygen, the mind begins to play tricks.

I popped another diamox (medication used to accelerate acclimatization to high altitude) to get me through.

We made camp, convened in the dining tent for a dinner of yak cheese, kala chia (black tea), pasta with veggies, and some kind of mystery meat. Lhakpa, our sherpa, told stories about the Yeti. He said he came face-to-face with one, and described it as a human ape about eight feet tall. Yeah sure. “The only yeti I’ve seen was the one in my mirror this morning,” someone joked.

After dinner and storytelling, we each retired to our own tents to rest up for tomorrow’s acclimatization hike. A sleet storm had moved in; I could hear it dancing off of my tent. I fell asleep to the sound, sleeping quite comfortably despite the bitter cold temperature.

And then the urge to pee awakened me.  Darn it. I drank too much tea at dinner.

I looked at my watch. 3:37 a.m.  Not now, I whined.

I really did not want to go out into the freezing air.

I fumbled around for my headlamp and Charmin and unzipped my tent to face the night.  The toilet tent that our sherpa’s assistant pitched was two tenths of a mile outside of camp. I took a deep breath and made my way down the path, my body shivering, just to squat over a hole, and as I did, the cold air rushed to violate me in the process. Jesus! I miss the feel of porcelain!

Suddenly there came a grunt.

I stopped midstream.

Then another grunt. And another. What the hell?

My heartbeat quickened. Adrenaline raced through my veins. What should I do?

Images of Lhakpa’s Yeti filled my mind.  I. Was. Scared.

The grunting moved closer. And closer.

I could hear it breathing just outside the privy. Holy crap!

Finally, I decided to make a run for it. I pulled up my pants, armed myself with my roll of Charmin, and bolted, only to run straight into the source of grunting. It knocked me flat on my butt.

When I came to, I saw it.

A yak.

Thank God! I sighed, as warmth trickled down my leg.

I didn’t know whether to kiss that yak, or kick it, but I never felt so relieved (in more ways than one!).