With world events and the introduction of Covid into our lives, most therapists and doctors are reporting a definite increase in feelings of worry, uncertainty, fear and concern with the patients we are treating. It is as if the world is releasing the negativity that has always been present but buried, so are the people of the world also experiencing these challenging emotions. The positive aspect to all of this is that is we as individuals learn to cope and conquer these unpleasant emotions, perhaps the world, its land and it's living creatures can heal from the inside out, too.
Most of my clients, colleagues and friends have mentioned that these past few years and brought forth feelings, memories, relationships and situations that no longer serve us. I would like to provide some tools and techniques for facing fear and uncertainties and finding a way to live life to its fullest in spite of these experiences.
Having grown up in a home where my mother was very frightened, and my father was brave and courageous, I had the opportunity to decide which way of life felt most fulfilling. I choose a life of courage. It meant I had to challenge myself as a woman born in the 50's. As a young adult, I found avenues to learn to be OK in different countries and in activities requiring strength. I camped on the beaches of Mexico, traveled to South Africa during apartheid and attended a witch doctor ceremony in Soweto, I walked to 500-mile Camino with just my back pack and returned to walk 2 other Camino's northern Spain and Portugal- and all of this alone. I raised my kids to take on challenges such as bungee jumping and parachuting out of airplanes and climbing Half Dome. All of the led to wring my book, Facing Your Fears and Following your Dreams. I am not recommending these adventures for everyone, although I do have some suggestions when you are feeling afraid and uncertain.
Realize that we are only born with 2 fears. The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. The rest are learned fears. The great part about that is that we can unlearn and of the fears we have learned from society and our families and our life experiences. I recommend feeling the fear and deciding that courage feels better. Practice replacing that feeling of fear with the word courage, by saying to yourself, I have a chance to display courage here.
Taking action or making decisions out of desire instead of fear or uncertainty has so much more power and a greater chance of happiness than hiding behind the limiting effects of fear. Make choices and decisions out of your desires. Allow yourself to search down deep to realize your dreams and goals on a daily basis
Spend a few moments each morning in mediation, prayer or journaling. Even art or music can change or negative enery. This helps you connect to source and to yourself. I believe our spirits do not concern themselves with fear or uncertainties. I don’t think you have to be religious to feel the life source or spirit inside of you. That part connects to everything else on the planet and the adventure of life. Our spirits came here to experience life, not hide from it. Think about your life, have you learned more during tough times or during challenges, or during the easy or less challenging times? I believe we learn so much more during the challenging times. We learn that we are strong and resilient and able of doing so much more than we have been taught to believe about ourselves and our limitations.
Walk outside and breathe. Have you ever noticed how our bodies can feel relief once we walk outside? Getting out in nature is even better for relieving fear and stress and worry. We can learn from nature. The animals do not fret about the future nor do the trees complain about the weather forecast. Nature can teach us to live in the moment and to be present. And think of the act of breathing. No one taught us how to breathe. That life force comes naturally and spending time in nature can return us to that feeling of being alive in this moment
Use stop thoughts- to change negative thinking into positive thinking. Negative thinking feels painful. Think of when you do something kind for others and how good that feels. Now think of how it feels to do something unkind. There is such a big difference. Negative thinking is being unkind to yourself and to the energetic field around you. Changing your focus to something positive, like a gratitude, a goal, a pleasant idea or memory is being kind to yourself and that positive energy emanates from you. Once you get in the habit of positive thinking, it becomes very difficult to focus on the negative. Remember- what you focus upon, grows.
Let’s all do the inner work to help each of us bring a positive transformation to ourselves and to this world.
- Janet Whitney