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Fear…

Can it be our friend?

Learning to be at peace with fear will completely transform your life. Not saying you’ll  never feel fear again, it is a natural part of the human experience. In fact, you will even discover that fear has something to offer you. When you do experience fear, however, you will know how to be with it so it doesn’t run your life. Until we know fear intimately, until we allow ourselves to welcome it in as a friend, fear is in control of our lives. And when we can relax with fear, it truly becomes our ally rather than our adversary.

We are used to dealing with fear as an opposing force that needs to be reckoned with. We try to overcome it, push through it, fight it, conquer it, avoid it, cope with it, and manage it. Whew! Sounds like a lot of work. What is common to these strategies is resistance: we move against our experience of fear in an effort to eradicate or control it.

How about instead, stop running and turn around to meet fear.

Avoiding or suppressing our inner experiences, like fear, actually perpetuates anxiety, separation, and dis-ease.

Fear, like all of our experiences, is a tap on the shoulder that says, “Can I come in, please?” Welcome it in as an old friend! To quote the Everest climber George Mallory, ” When we know our experiences intimately, they cease having the power to control us. When we are integrated and relaxed, and we can, finally, put down our vigilance and weapons of defence and separation.
Hello, fear.” The meeting comes from a place of openness, curiosity, gentleness and self-compassion. After all, this may be the first time you are actually welcoming the friend that may have been your companion for a very long time.

Notice what fear brings up in your body physically, what sensations do you feel? Observe without judgement, simply observe with an open mind and heart. No strategising, or manipulating, no wishing for the experience to stop, not limiting it in any way – simply a kind and loving noticing of what is true for you in the moment.

Now, let’s go a little deeper by asking the fear questions. Here are some suggestions:
– Why are you here? What are you trying to tell me or do for me?
Hint: You may find that fear is trying to protect or motivate you.

-How do you look at the world? What do you expect from people and situations?
Hint: You may find caution, suspiciousness, doubt, or mistrust.

-Anything else you would like to tell me?
Hint: Simply be open.

You are doing something so amazing – you are allowing a rejected part of you to come out of the shadows to be seen and heard. It is no longer stuck in your unconsciousness where it irritates and pressures you. It is invited in warmly.

If this process sparks an urge to make some changes, have the courage to follow it, as this is your natural life path, not one based on fear and limitation.

Use fear as a gift, an invitation to break down your inner boundaries.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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