One of the biggest limitations we all face, as we try to find this point of power, is fear. No one escapes this limitation in some form or another.
Once, early in my consciousness studies, I was ruminating on the idea of power. I decided I would look for my power in a meditation. Once still and quiet, I looked around and saw a ladder leading up. I climbed for a very long time up beyond the clouds, and came to the edge of a wall. Over that wall, I knew I would find my power. I peered over that wall, and what I saw struck instant fear in my heart. My power, it seemed, went on for as far as the eye could see into infinity. I quickly climbed down that ladder, a bit awestruck.
Awesome power does require an awesome responsibility. Was I ready for that?
Fear is something that I have studied very closely for some time; you could possibly refer to me as a “fearologist.” Fear has attracted my close attention ever since an incident that occurred many years ago. A mentor told me that if I wanted to know what my destiny in this world was, all I needed to do was to sit in meditation and in that space, walk down a road, and meet my future self coming in the other direction. I could ask this future self what my destiny was, and I would get an answer.
So I did this meditation. And when I met my future self, I was told the following: “Your purpose is to lead people through their fear. Fear is the root of all the problems on your planet. Indeed, the opposite of love is not hate, but fear. Hate is simply one form of fear. In fact, the reason we do not experience peace on Earth is solely because of fear.”
When I first heard these words, I really didn’t know how I would ever apply the concept of “leading people through their fear” in my life. But I walked away from that meditation with a firm knowledge that fear is simply an illusion. And because I “knew” that fear was not real, I was less affected by it in everyday situations.
What do I mean by that? I mean that I understood that being afraid wasn’t a valid excuse. This was the single most important idea that helped me move beyond fear.
Exercise: Fear-Busting Rehearsal
When something frightens us, our body is conditioned to respond with a cascade of responses. We refer to this set of responses as “fight or flight.” When visualizing, the physical body does not know the difference between a real or imaginary situation, so it responds as if the situation is real.
We can use this tendency to shift our reaction to something that usually causes fear. This is a way for us to face our fear prior to the actual event:
- Imagine the event that causes the fear in as much detail as possible.
- Notice where the emotion of fear arises. Often people notice it in their throat, their gut, their heart, but it can be anywhere.
- Bring the emotion to neutral. How do you bring an emotion to neutral? Choose from many ways:
- Push your awareness through the discomfort;
- Untangle the feeling until it subsides;
- Notice the direction the feeling moves, and run its movement in the opposite direction; or
- Focus on your breathing until it subsides.
- Play with the above until you find what works for you.
- Bring your attention back to imagining the event, and repeat.
- Notice how the fear is different the next time you imagine it. Continue until you have no fearful emotion when imagining it!
Maybe this takes you only one time, or ten times, or 100 times. Continue to notice how it is different each time. It has been my experience that as you get used to shifting things in this way, fewer repetitions will be needed.