The Awareness You Need for the Life You Want Part 3: Awareness of Fear
Fear is just excitement without the breath. Lauren Chelec Cafritz
This is Part 3 of a 5-part series: The Awareness You Need for the Life You Want and it’s an introduction to the topics in my new book, “The Awareness You Need for the Life You Want; Simple Tools for Brave Healing,” due out at the end of the year. My mission with this series is to help you understand awareness as a path to healing on a deeper level; to help you master the skills and develop a powerful life-long practice that’ll transform your life.
Today I can’t wait to talk to you about fear, you know that feeling in your body that tends to ruin everything? I love Lauren’s quote above because fear’s really just a sensation. We’ve gotten to know it as a survival notice – and of course, that kind of fear and our reaction to it is important. But when you continue to react to life from a place of fear even when your life isn’t being threatened, that does ruin everything; everything you’d really like to do for a better life.
I want you to start thinking about fear as a feeling in your body. What does it feel like? Can you come up with a recent example from your own life where you were afraid to do something? Speak at an event, call a co-worker to let them know how you feel, talk to your spouse about something that’s upset you? When you feel that fear, where is it in your body? What does it feel like? What happens to your breathing?
We’re first using our body awareness to shift what we’ve labeled as fear into a sensation. And now it’s time to realize we can start to recognize this paralyzing kind of feeling as a feeling pointing us in the direction of exactly what we need to do to get rid of it or ease it. Thing is, taking the action you’re afraid of is the quickest path to overcoming and transforming the feeling.
So, step out on the stage and start the speech, make the phone call, speak up with your loved one and let them know you’d like to talk. Any small action will alleviate the feeling of fear in you as your body actually does something about it. You’ll then be teaching yourself a new way to respond when the feeling comes in the future.
Let’s practice. So conjure up that example I asked for and check in with your body for a few moments. Feel the fear inside. Where is it, what does it feel like? Now soften, relax and release. Make room for the feeling. Allow it to get bigger if it needs to. Part of the practice of body awareness is to fully allow the feeling to be present. When you honor it this way you’re telling your own soul, “Hey, I hear you, I feel you, you’re okay, we’re okay.”
Sometimes when we practice body awareness with fear it can get very intense. We’re using our awareness to remember where we are, what we’re feeling and that we’re safe, even if we begin to experience very visceral sensations.
Close your eyes and practice feeling the sensations through several deep breaths. Then come back when you’re ready.
Now grab your notebook, pen, and timer. Set the timer for five minutes and fill in the blank: If I wasn’t afraid I would __________.
Fear is a combination of thoughts and sensation. As we practice awareness we’re separating ourselves from those thoughts and sensations to observe them. Maybe your fear voice has a name like your inner critic did. In my case when fear shows up she’s a small, powerless three-year-old and I sense her as a tightness in the middle of my chest. Many times, when I have the awareness and separate the now woman from the little girl I’m able to take her hand and do the thing I’m afraid of.
Being aware of fear in a new way is one of the most powerful techniques for transforming it. We can’t do what we’ve always done and expect a different outcome. Through practicing body and thought awareness specifically for times you’re afraid and especially when that fear has to do with something you must do to feel better, you’ll be able to create new responses. And you’ll begin to trust fear as a compass pointing you in the direction of your desires and dreams.
You’ll find more resources at www.BraveHealer.com including my 6-week online course called Write to Heal. Stay tuned for the next part in this series, Awareness in Action – Gratitude, and get ready to use the body and mind awareness you’ve practiced, to learn how to shift from doubt and fear to clarity and confidence.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series next week!
Are you feeling alone, overwhelmed or lacking support in your business? Maybe you’re just simply seeking clarity and in need of a little guidance? If so, then Success 7 is right up your alley and we invite you to watch the short video below!
Laura Di Franco, MPT is an intuitive writing strategist, holistic physical therapist, published author, poet and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She teaches transformational tools and powerful strategy for nourishing and inspiring your fiercely alive whole self. Learn more about Laura on her website.