Five Things To Consider
Most of us don’t have the patience to deal with those who disagree or “come for us” right now. It is not the time. In fact, over and over again I see and hear that it’s “cutting off time”. We are shredding our friends and family lists, dropping people mid-sentence and issuing warnings to the remainders that they best agree, tread lightly if they don’t, or they will be next!
Oh, it is real out here folks and I don’t see it getting better unless we want it to and that’s not as simple as it sounds.
Getting better requires shifting to the other side of fear in order to be and stay centered in the midst of conflict. I’m on the learning road with you with this one. Sometimes I am a lot further along in what I am sharing with you, other times I “did not pass go or collect $200,” because I had to go directly to starting all over again.
Fear is one of those big challenges for me. I know it is for so many of us and that is why we must take it on. If we really want to see significant change in our lives and society, we have to stop meeting fear where we know it, and do the work of getting to the other side of it.
It is on the other side where we meet our true selves and start to understand others.
That is long time, ongoing work and I can’t save any of us from that, but here are 5 things to consider that CAN help get you started or just get you curious.
1. Understand that fear is an emotion that can be felt and released.
There is a strong belief that doing what you are afraid of while still being afraid of it, is the way to conquer fear. What if instead of carrying the fear with you, you stopped and noticed where fear was showing up within your body and simply felt it there? Recognize the feel and the force of it and let it be. In other words, what if you gave it some real attention by not reacting, but just feeling it?
2. Turn your attention to the thoughts fear is creating in your mind.
Notice the chatter. Fear talks. Oh, it talks. But you know what? We listen. This time instead of listening and believing, and then creating even more fear, recognize that fear only knows fear… so what it is presenting in your mind are only options for keeping or building fear. Fear cannot present you with ways to be fearless, so recognize that you are limiting yourself by listening to those thoughts.
3. Stay in the present moment.
What is actually happening right now? Is that person saying all those things that your mind is telling you that they will say? Are you experiencing anything that is happening in your thoughts?
“This will end badly… my child will never be respectful or have friends… my boss is always going to disrespect me… my father and I are never going to agree… my partner always overreacts…” Most likely, none of this is happening right now, so shift back and stay in this moment only.
4. Breathe where you are and take it all in.
We can never shift to the other side of fear if we cannot center ourselves. Centering ourselves allows choice to come in. When we pause and give time to belly breathe deeply and intentionally, we can bring ourselves to a place of stability and physiological safety, ready to face the reality in front of us. With this comes the choice to stay in fear or release it and choose an option that will allow us to move forward without it. We can choose to shift to the other side of it.
5. Do a physical movement of leaving it behind.
Visualize fear as something that is someplace in the room. Move toward that place, face it and then physically move past it. Look around, see that you are on the other side and then consider what your other options are without fear. They will come. Sometimes it is doing nothing for right now. Sometimes it requires silence and thought. It might be time to offer to listen more deeply. It might be time to realize that this is not all that important now that fear is not hyping it up.
I paid too much money for an air conditioner that fear had convinced me because of no delivery date at this point, no one answering my emails, now reading the numerous BBB complaints and being number 22 on the phone for customer service attention, that I was not going to get my money back. I allowed fear to hype me up to think all of the bad things that would happen (which my mind played for me as if they were actually happening) which would result in me losing my money.
Then I stopped…
I felt the fear in my stomach and my heart and I used their intensity to push me back to the present moment. The reality of the present moment was that I had at least a couple of hours to be on hold with the speaker on, going about my business waiting for the countdown to my number. It took 56 minutes. During that, I decided to think about this situation. I realized this was just me waiting to request that they cancel my order. Nothing was happening that required fear, so I released it and sent it on its way.
I shifted to the other side of fear and spoke clearly and firmly about my disappointment in their customer service and my desire to not do business with them while staying very present and centered, and then it was done.
I got what I wanted not what fear envisioned.
Too many conflicts are being dictated and driven by fear. We have a long road to travel together and it is going to be full of conflicts. I know which side I am working to be on and it’s no so much the side of right, but rather the other side of fear.
What choice will you be making?