GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


June 22, 2009

I’m Afraid

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 6:24 am

The human condition: I’m afraid.

Afraid, it’s more prevalent than dog poop. It’s everywhere.

Everyone is fearful. Everyone!

Those who deny their fear are consumed by it. Those who recognize it as their birth right use it to their best advantage.

The bravest person you know is afraid of something. No one escapes.

Fear can flatten you or fuel you; you have a choice.

You just have to recognize that “choice” is an option.

Talking about your fear to other fearful folks makes it into an object that needs to be overcome, rather than a feeling that can be transformed.

Remember: That fear feeling you are feeling, belongs to everyone. You are not alone.

The only question is: How do you handle it? Does it eat you up or do you metabolize it?

It’s not a case of getting rid of fear; that’s snake oil. It’s more about recognizing it as a condition of existence, like breathing, and guiding it when it gets out of rhythm.

The best way I know to neutralize fear is to find it. It’s easy to find in your head. Just listen to your own conversations with yourself. That conversation isn’t fear. It’s just fear’s shadow. Real fear can only be felt in the only place you can feel – in your body.

The next time you are fearful, notice where that fear lives. Chances are you are going to feel it in the front part of your body somewhere between your throat and your bowels. If you pay attention, you’ll be able to pinpoint where your fear lives. It’s now a knowable sensation. It’s no longer an unknown fear, or an unreasonable fear, or an imaginary fear. It’s real!

All fear is real. It can be verified in your body.

Once you locate your fear, you are in a position to do something with it. Just like when you notice that your breathing is askew, you can take some deep breaths to steady the ship.

The way to best manage fear is to fully feel it. That means to locate it in your body and give it your full attention. That doesn’t mean to discuss it; it means to feel it. Put your attention on the part of your body feeling the fear and keep it there. Notice what it feels like and stay with that feeling. You’ll be tempted to distract yourself with something else so you don’t have to feel this feeling. Decline that invitation and stay where the action is.

This is how you metabolize fear so that it passes through the immobilization stage and becomes somewhat inert and levels off to a manageable level.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice this technique because we are conditioned to so many stimuli that trigger fear. Once you begin to recognize fear as a feeling, you have a new choice to do something about it – feel it fully.

Being afraid is normal. Staying afraid is a choice.

Feeling your fear is not a matter of bravery where you have to stand up to it. It’s more of an opportunity to offer this hitchhiker a ride out of town.

NOTE: Not all fear is immobilizing. Sometimes it’s a feeling you can use to your best advantage. It can fuel you to do something your normal octane level couldn’t accomplish. That’s usually a case of one fear overriding another when you fear the consequences of inaction more than you do the fear feeling itself.

It’s scary to be afraid. It’s scarier not to feel it.

The next time fear makes a visit, invite it in and give it a massage. Feel it fully and watch your tensions melt and fade away.

All the best,

John




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