A few years ago I had the pleasure to read an article by a woman named Tama Kieves of www.awakeningartistry.com . She is a spiritual coach and a teacher of A Course In Miracles as am I. So naturally her 'message' spoke to me. The following is her's and I offer it to you as a way of getting 'a different perspective' on the difficulties of life and how you might make use of them. How is fear your guide and how is it your gremlin?
The Tremendous Gift of Fear
Are you resisting fear in your life? So many of us want to scuttle into safety and security. But fear is the gateway to the sublime. We're supposed to be scared "out of our minds." That's the point. That's when we tap into another intelligence, a non-linear knowing. Best-selling author Sharon Salzberg, tells us that in some forms of Buddhism, crisis is called "the proximate cause of faith." Fear is here to lead us straight into the arms of buoyancy and grace.
Years ago, teaching A Course in Miracles class, I asked my students "When did you know that God or Spirit was real for you?" I expected to hear stories about unexpected money coming in or meeting a best friend or lover. The answers surprised me and touched me deeply. I listened to experiences of car wrecks, cancer, confusion, divorce and infidelity. "Bad things" had lifted these people into a more nourishing experience of life.
It made perfect sense. It took deep emotion to strip away the ordinary ways of manipulating life and surviving petty difficulties. Many of us have to be "scared out of our minds"...to tap into the new direction of our hearts, to feel the soft underbrush of faith that is always there, a knowing that is embracing and consistent, a basket into which all the broken pieces fall together and meld into a new foundation.
Pain grinds down your defenses, wears you out, and burns through the tired little monologue of ordinary reality. That tired narrator is in the way of the sweetest, softest voice you will ever know. It's hard to hear the twinkling of a billion stars, or the rush of a river that exists only in your soul, when someone is on the bullhorn reciting tasks, wrongs, and future imaginings. Pain exhausts the narrator into silence so that you can sense the "Something Else" that makes no sense and just may knock you senseless with surrender and grace.
All that said, I wish I could ease your walk with fear and pain. When fear hits like an unbearable storm, here's three focuses you might find helpful:
Your Soul is Stronger than Your Story: There is a part of you that is stronger than anything you think about yourself. Your true Self, your real identity, is eternal, enduring, regenerative and whole. No matter what happens, this self is never injured or limited in any way. Years ago, I was in a seven year committed relationship with the "love of my life" when he left abruptly, on a Wednesday, for another woman. "I will never live through this," I thought, holding back nausea, terror, shock and despair. I remember standing in front of a Seven Eleven hating the world and all the normal people experiencing their usual lives while my life stung like acid. But I did live through it, day by day. Something within me kept breathing. Something within me divined the next fledgling steps to take. Eventually a new life ripened into existence. My soul was stronger than my story.
There is no Fear in the Present Moment: All fear is in the mind, not in the moment. All fear comes from thoughts about the future or about the past. Anchor in the sensations of the body: the way your feet feel on the ground or the way your breath feels in your nostrils and lungs. All is well. Listen to the rain against the window or the hum of the refrigerator. If you focus on taste, touch, sound, or sight, there is no room for fear. Be right here. There is peace and freedom awaiting you in this moment.
Likewise, anchor in love, and there is no room for fear. A friend of mine just recently lost her young son to a freak accident. I am so humbled by her experience. When she felt love for her son and his life, she did not feel fear and grief. She says she had a true sense of love and perfection. When she thought of anything else besides the love, she felt ravaged by loss. Love, of any kind, is always an antidote to devastation. Find something to appreciate, care for, or behold in this moment.
Holding Onto the Past Will Block Your Potential We cause ourselves unnecessary pain when we reject our present lives, thinking things like "I wish this would go away," or "But my life shouldn't be this way." A Course in Miracles teaches that "The vision of one world, will cost you the vision of another." It means we literally block our peace and abundance, by looking at what we used to have or what we should have. We miss the singular opportunity that is available to us right now. There is a carousel horse that has your name on it right now. You are invited to have that ride into destiny.
Years ago, I had a coaching client who had experienced a bad divorce with his wife. He couldn't let her go. Even though she had remarried, he still burned the torch for her and talked about what might have been. He felt lonely, abandoned, and terrified that he would never find love again. But when he did a healing ritual to release his wife, he felt released and at peace. He started dating one of his female friends. Of course the woman he now loves (even more than his wife) had been there all along. But he couldn't see the potential. He could only see his past.
*** This month I invite you to see your fear with new eyes. Fear and pain barge into our lives, rattle our bones, and steal away the comfort that we knew. But they come as messengers. They come to wake us up to that which we do not know. They push us into new territories and new reserves of strength and creativity. Here we discover a Loving Presence, new ground, new steps, and new potential. Fear is the ticket to a new ride.
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