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Overcoming F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Is there something, anything you are afraid of? What are you afraid of? How does it make you feel? Instead of letting your fear get the best of you, you can find out how to fully experience it, name it, get to know it and take it by the hand so it can become your friend and ally.

"Bless you for your fear for it is a sign of wisdom. Do not hold yourself in fear. Transform the energy to flexibility and you will be free from what you fear."

Everyone has known fear. It's unpredictable. It can overpower you in an instant and throw you into total chaos, yet it can also save your life. Fear is after all a natural response to physical danger, BUT it can also be self-created, such as the fear of failure, being out of control, being different or being lonely. There is a fear of the future and of death. You may fear love because you fear being rejected; fear being generous because you fear you will not have enough; fear sharing your thoughts or feelings in case you appear wrong; and fear trusting because you are dominated by self-doubt and insecurity.

This self-generated fear is found in its acronym: F.E.A.R. or False Evidence Appearing Real. It appears real, even though it is a fear of the future and it hasn't even happened yet! Therefore, it is of no real substance, arising when the ego-self is threatened, which makes you cling to the known and familiar. Such fear creates untold, and unecessary worry, apprehension, nervous disorders and even paranoia!

The immediate effect of fear does what? It shuts you down, and—in particular—to shut off the heart.
Let's try something.
Just for a moment, let your body take the stance of feeling fearful. What is your posture? Look in the mirror. Have you hunched your shoulders forward, folded your arms across your chests, or assumed a similarly contracted position to shield the heart? You've triggered the need to be on the defensive haven't you? In this self-protective place, the heart is out of reach, and you cannot feel love or even friendliness. Try saying "I love you" with real meaning while your arms are firmly folded across your heart—hard to do isn't it!

As long as you push away, deny or ignore fear, it will hold you captive and keep you emotionally frozen, unable to move forward. In that place, you become untrusting of love and spontaneity; you get angry or hide. But where fear contracts and closes the heart—resisting love—love expands and opens the heart, embracing fear.

There are two worlds out there "There's a world of love and there's a world of fear, and it's standing right in front of you! "And, very often, that fear feels far more a reality and certainly more urgent than the feeling of love. When a child is born, a mother experiences a feeling of real, pure, unconditional love with barriers. All of a sudden, what was happening was so immense that it just stomped all the fear away. But one can also understand why you are so frightened, terrified, becasue when that world of love comes rushing in, that world of fear comes rushing in right along with it. To open yourself up to one thing, you've got to embrace the other as well."

Remember times you have met fear and moved through it, so many times when fear arose but you kept going? Those are moments of fearlessness. Fear may close the heart, but courage comes out of heartfulness, out of releasing resistance. Fear will even stop you from facing your shadow and participating fully in life, but fearlessness will give you the courage to dive into the unknown.

In other words, being fearless does not mean you deny fear, it is not a state of being without fear. Rather, it is fully experiencing the fear, naming it, getting to know it and taking it by the hand so it can become your friend and ally.

However, allowing fear in and making friends with it is no small feat; fear is a powerful emotion that demands understanding and patience. But trying to block it will simply create further anxiety.

Fear comes—you breathe and let go. Fear comes—you see how the mind needs reassurance and tenderness. Fear comes—replace it with love. When you do this, you are inviting the fearful and anxious parts of yourself to get to know each other, even to sit down for a cup of tea together.

Meditation enables you to be with fear. As you do this, you'll begin to see the benefits of fear, the unexpected insights and flashes of understanding that move you into courage and a deeper awareness. In this way, fear becomes your ally.

Sit comfortably with an upright spine, take a deep breath and let it go.
Focus your attention on your breathing, just watching the natural flow of your breath.

Staying aware and open, allow whatever feelings are present to arise.
Have no judgment, rejection or aversion. Accept whatever you are experiencing as simply a part of what is.

You do not need to change anything.
Just be with whatever the feeling may bring up in you.

Be kind and caring to yourself.
Keep breathing and accepting, breathing and being with what is.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINDANCER99 8/17/2011 3:29PM

    As someone who has had a life long history with fear and anxiety, this is an excellent blog! You make many good points and suggestions.

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CHUBRUB3 8/17/2011 2:12PM

    Marion, you are a wonderfully deep thinker.
Certainly opens my eyes and mind to other things.
emoticon emoticon

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SAFIYAH9 8/17/2011 11:51AM

    Great post!!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just as there are people that support us, and we know most of who they are, we also support so many people that we are unaware of; extending the cycle and giving back.

If we are lucky enough, behind each of us stands at least one supporter. This nine times out of ten was once thought to be none other than our life's parnter, spouse, better known as the stay at home wife while leaving the other spouse free to work. While this is still ONE valid scenario, it's not so much any more. It's simply not always the case. Most of us now will find that we have other kinds of supporters in our lives. In some cases, our supporters are the people whose help allows us to do the things we’re best at, see to our obligations, or pursue our dreams. In other cases, our web of support may come from the people who are there to help us through life’s challenges by offering us their strength and bolstering our spirit.

Our support may come from our families and friends or from the people we hire, people we work with, —nannies, assistants, gardeners, healers, therapists, and advisors. Our supporters may be the mentors who help us express ourselves by listening to us as we share our thoughts and feelings. Our supporter can be the person sitting next to us at a networking meeting or the teacher from our childhood whose words still resonate in our minds. We have always had supporters around us whether we noticed them or not. No matter where the support comes from, few of us can make it through life without it.

As we take the time to acknowledge everyone that has ever supported us, we can’t help but express heartfelt gratitude. Understanding our place in our human support system helps us see that just as there are people that support us, we are a supporter to many people. By gratefully accepting the expertise and assistance of our supporters, we are enabled to consciously and more easily build a life that we love. Thanks to our staff, groups, team members, friends, and loved ones for all their support. To keep that spark ignited and the fire under our butts to succeed we all need each other’s support to thrive in this world. It's ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!



Are We Numbing Ourselves?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace.

Did you know that we are born equipped to experience a complex array of diverse emotions; we females mores so than the male gender. Even that being the case many of us, are still uncomfortable confronting our most powerful emotions. We tend to shy away from delight and despair and deny life's colors by retreating into a world of monotone grey. We may numb ourselves to what we are truly feeling. It's just easier to suppress our emotions than to deal with them. Sadly we may momentarily turn to crutches some of them being alcohol, food, sugar, shopping and too much television. We may even numb our hearts. While it's normal to temporarily seek distractions as a means of coping with intense emotions, numbing yourself prevents you from confronting your issues and keeps you from ever finding resolution or peace. When you are numb, there is no pain or powerlessness, but it also deprives us of joy or healing.

These activities that we chose to numb ourselves may seem harmless and even pleasurable, at the time but over time using them inevitibly eventually diminishes the quality of your life and faster than you think. Numbing yourself so that you don't have to feel intense emotions can often satisfy a surface need while blocking your awareness of a deeper need. You may find solace in food or shopping when what you really need is spiritual nourishment. The less you feel, the less alive you feel. Your feelings add vividness to your experiences and serve to connect you to the world around you. It is possible to disavow yourself of numbing behaviors a little at a time and once again taste life's rich flavors. When you sense that you are engaging in a particular behavior simply to deaden your emotions, stop and ask the question, why. Examining the feelings that drive you to numb yourself can help you understand what is triggering your desire to emotionally fade out.

With each numbing activity that you cut out of your life, you’ll find yourself being more aware and experiencing a greater emotionally acuity. Senses once shrouded by the fog of numbness become sharp and acute. Traumas and pain long hidden will emerge to the forefront of your consciousness and reveal themselves so that you can heal them. You’ll discover a deeper you—a self that is comfortable experiencing and working through intense emotions with courage and grace

Could this be a possible reason that hinders your weight loss journey, your spiritual, and mental/emotional growth as well? Something to think about.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CGIARNIERI 8/17/2011 5:36PM

    Thank you so much for your inspiration. I have done it before and I'm definitely a work in progress, because I'm guilty of not doin it everyday either! emoticon

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VMASSEY2 8/16/2011 7:12PM

    AMEN AND AMEN You got me. I have done this for years. Just not today. One day at a time emoticon

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SNOWMAIDEN 8/16/2011 4:46PM

    You got me - guilty as charged...working on it though

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WENDYSPARKS 8/16/2011 2:36PM

    Thank you!!!

Wendy emoticon

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ZURDTA- 8/16/2011 1:58PM

    Indeed... something to think about...

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

It is good to remember that one of our goals in life does not have to be perfection. Even though we think we must be perfect and strive for it in many ways it is not a requirement. Not of nature or of any God anyway. But, how often do we lose sight of this truth? So often in fact that when we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, so to be imperfect actually becomes a prerequisite. And life is so much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

This by any reasoning doesn’t mean that we stop striving to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection—especially in life 101. After all living things are in a ceaseless state of change; your hair nails are growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is coarsing through your veins. Life changes more than it stays the same. Don't misunderstand, we all have our moments of perfection, but sadly it does not last long because it is an transient state of matter. So trying to hold on to perfection even for a fleeting moment or forcing it to happen is only going to cause frustration and pensiveness.

In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect, myself included. One way to push ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and realize that no one is out to judge us to see whether or not we are perfect. Most times, perfectionism is in all probability a holdover from childhood—an ideal we inherited from what Barbara Colorusso describes as brick wall parenting. Guess what we are now adults, and even though we have been instilled with overstriving for perfection we now have the ultamite freedom to choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience our world as much more of a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, we embrace ourselves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANDMA_SANDY48 8/16/2011 9:25AM

    Good on you ... Sandy

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SNOWMAIDEN 8/15/2011 3:22PM

    As long as I can look back on the end of the day and know that I did my best, it doesn't have to be perfect. I can't do perfection but imperfection to the best of my ability, 100% effort? - now that I can do!

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DEE0973 8/15/2011 12:19PM


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CHUBRUB3 8/15/2011 12:15PM

    Love it!
....can I know your first name?

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

How many of us have a friend or family member that constantly tries to hinder or sabotage our weight loss efforts and life style change?
Even if it's one person or it could even be oursleves which is the biggest hinderance of all, it's enough to do damage and cause set backs.

There’s always going to be that one— in the work place, in your church group, and the most inevitable place you'll find one; your closest friends and family. Sometimes they mean well; good intentions, or ever notice that more often they seem a tad spiteful,and more often than not they actually have no idea that they are sabotaging you. Regardless it can be hurtful, demeaning, emotionally because every time you take a positive step forward to gain commitment, consistency and control over diet and exercsie, they’re at your elbow-- offering you foods they know perfectly well you are trying to obstain from. And ever notice it's not just any food but your favourites?

What’s going on? Why is it that the minute you tell someone you're on a weight loss program to lose wieght that the people closest to you seem to go out of their way to sabotage you? You'd think they'd encourage and support you in your decision and efforts wouldn't you?

Well I've come to the conclusion that it can be summed up in one simple word—Change. Because making the decision in getting fit through diet and exercise; completely changing your lifestyle, creates some pretty huge changes in your life—changes you welcome and embrace. But it doesn't just effect you. If your friends and family members aren't on board with this mode of change, they can be oblivious, AND jealous. but mostly they are uncomfortable and confused with your changes. To them you may have could even be considered radical, and it simply uncomprehensible and so their reaction is usually because they themselves are:

1.Feel guilty. And for some it's a REAL guilt trip because you're accomplishing what you've said you were going to; losing weight, becoming pysically fit, building more self confidence and self esteem and they're not. So in tempting you to become unfocused, less dedicated means you’re "normal" again, and they can once more return to their comfort zones.

2.They don’t understand. They’ve never had a weight problem and simply don’t realize how hard you’ve worked to accomplish your goals thus far or what it's going to take for you to reach that ultimate goal and maintain it. They think it’s just plain rediculous and unnecessary for you to be worrying about what you eat.

3.They miss the old you. You're not yourself! You've committed the impardonable sin! You've stopped supplying them with all those home made, high calorie, high fat baked treats from home. And then there was the end of the day and week endsocial gatherings around a football game on the spent in the company of high-fat potato skins and a keg of beer. Yeah you men aren't excluded in this! You're not off the hook! Now you’re spending more time in the gym and have less free time for them. Now they’ve become afraid of losing you and they just don't know how to deal with all this change and certainly aren't coping well with it.

Whatever you do DON'T overreact by becoming defensive. DON'T assume. Sometimes the situation is in pure innocence.
I mean unless the saboteur is being blatantly deliberate, give him/her the benefit of the doubt as to their motives. It could be your own mother or girl friend, wife has made you your favourite; the way to a man's heart is through the stomach and only knows or believes that it's their way of showing love? It just doesn't pay in jumping the gun and becoming instantly defensive.

The best policy? Just say no. You wouldn’t expect a friend to forcably influence you to take a drink if you were a recovering alcoholic, and so you shouldn’t have to subject yourself to having fattening food imposed on you either. Tell the food pusher, "No, thanks," and leave it at that. You don't owe them any explanation. And you certainly don't need to feel guilty if you choose to avoid someone who’s either intentionally or unintentionally hindering your cause.

Take it and leave it. Granted, the thought of wasted food is hard for many of us. Especially if you were taught and guilted from childhood to eat everything that's put before you. "May I remind you that htere are other children who are not as fortunate as you to have what you have......etc etc. Remember, there are times when discretion is the better part of valor. So when your stomach signals that you're full and regardless if there is a forkfull of or a serving of _______ left untouched on your plate. Push it away. Even though you took it, you CAN leave it.

Watch for patterns. Be on the lookout for triggers that cause diet downfalls. Keeping a journal may help you recognize people, events and what you eat that do you in, allowing you to develop strategies to combat them. If you know, for example, that there are likely to be high fat and sugary sweets in the staff room, it’ll be much easier to divert the temptations if you have your own healthy filling, satisfying snack.

Above all, remember that in the end all, what you put in your mouth is your responsibility. While others may tempt you, ultimately you’re in charge of your own life. Look at difficult situations as opportunities to flex your newfound control muscles-- and reinforce the idea that you’re not adopting a healthier lifestyle for someone else, but for you.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZURDTA- 8/16/2011 2:04PM

    Yeah... I know a few of these people... alas.

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SNOWMAIDEN 8/15/2011 3:12PM

    Ah yes, the saboteurs. I was given a huge slab of chocolate cake along with the words - "you've lost weight and I haven't, it's not fair." - she was being serious! Cream was then poured over it. Now I love my cream but huh? It beggared belief!

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SMURFY_47 8/14/2011 8:44PM

    just what i needed to hear as i stuff my saboteur (myself this time) back in her hole and reclaim my life. thank you!

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