Why So Much Fear by Stephanie
I've always been fascinated with fear. Curious about why we have so much fear, seemingly everywhere. Rather than focus on why so much fear, I rather focus on what to do about it. For many of us fear keeps us stuck in a life pattern that makes us unhappy, stressed, confused, tired, etc.
What I have come to understand is that for many of us, fear is the default when we lack clarity about our life. Meaning, when we lack clarify about who we are, what we want, what matters to us, etc, we will often to stay stuck...in fear.
Why even discuss this?
A few reasons.
Like many of you, fear has impacted all areas of my life at one time for another and to differing degrees.
Owning a business whose mission is to provide sanctuary for body, mind and spirit is no small task in a world that consumes fear in all its forms and then projects it onto everyone and everything. What I have learned in our business is that when we are able to provide sanctuary for people...something radically starts to shift.
We begin to see people (ourselves too) awaken to who they really are, which is love, unconditional. It's beautiful. And excruciatingly painful too. Childbirth? Running an ultra marathon? When love is felt fears are faced. Paradox. Yes.
Dealing with fear causes us to experience a whole range of emotions. That's healthy. However, when intense emotions arise, many of us lose our way. We lose our way because we aren't clear on who we are, which is love and why we are here, which is to love.
Fear is at the root of all emotion that isn't love...jealousy, attachment, judgment. When we live in fear, we will suffer.
So, we need to deal with fear, in all its forms, if we wish to raise our children in a loving world.
In my experience, when you get right down to it, we are either operating from fear or from love.
And in order for the Sanctuary to "run" from love, instead of fear it's important, we are clear on our "offerings".
As in business, as in life.
Our personal mission guides our choices, our life. When we lack clarity about anything, the usual default is fear.
Fear of what? You name it. Fear of loss, rejection, the unknown, being who we are, missing out...the list is endless.
Fear as default applies to any area of life (relationship, career, money, spiritual practice, healthy, etc)
What to do?
Below are a few questions that help anchor me in the present so I continue to make choices that align with who I am, which is love.
1. Do I wish to experience inner peace or conflict?
Inner peace, of course!
Note: Some of us still like being in conflict...it provides a distraction of sorts and gives us an excuse not to take responsibility for our life. Ouch, yes. I get it. Some of us are in conflict and don't even know it. All have been true for me. It's part of the human condition at times. It's up to us to be aware and then make the choice again and again as life carries on...
2. What must I be willing to do in order to experience inner peace?
Be open to trying things that support this way of living. There are many things/ tools we can do/ use: books, meditation, a mentor, energy work, prayer, workshops, podcasts... I do all of this and then some :) The point is, I am willing to do what it takes to live a peaceful life. Over time, we may need more or less of these things/ tools based on what we are facing in life. More stressful times = more support. Make sense?
3. Who must I become to experience inner peace?
Become a student of inner peace. Know thyself. Use the tools above.
Today, right now, begin to practice: acceptance, non-judgment, non-attachment, presence, compassion... and the big one - forgiveness. These are only a few and often the ones that are most profound.
Many words, many suggestions. It's really quite simple.
If you focus on choosing inner peace and practicing forgiveness, the rest will follow in time.
True inner peace is unconditional love, joy...presence. When we experience true inner peace, we have clarity to make choices that align with who we are...meaning we make loving choices cause we remember we are love!
Practicing forgiveness frees us from the past (hurts) and future (worry). Forgiveness roots us in the present. Life only happens in the present. You are life. You are love!
The last point I want to share really makes the above "stick" for me by getting me into action, everyday, in small and when needed, larger ways:
"My desire for success in any area of life, must be greater than my fear."
Meaning, my desire to live from love in all areas of my life (this is how I define success) gives me the courage to face the fear and do what is required to continue.
Relationship Pain by Stephanie
"It's in relationship we heal...when we have the courage to...cause it takes lots of courage to create peace." -Stephanie :)
Last week I wrote about transformation and Shamanism.
This week I want to share about relationship pain.
Relationships are one of my favorite topics. They have posed the greatest challenges for me, and have also been the most gratifying part of my life. Hmmm...a paradox? Yes! And I love a good puzzle :)
Because of this, I want to help you heal your relationships!!! It's so darn worth it.
And when I say heal, we always have 3 options: accept, change, leave.
Think about it:
1. At some point or another, everything we do involves others...relationships of some type at some depth for some period of time. You may erroneously fantasize you can do it all alone, forever. I disagree.
2. Our ability to have good (peaceful, positive, prosperous, playful, present) relationships is a foundation for our well-being.
3. Relationships show us where we are on our spiritual path and can become our life long spiritual practice, greatest teacher.
Perhaps at some points in your life, relationships caused so much pain, you felt you "didn't" want to engage. Understandable yet not sustainable.
Maybe you experienced feeling like relationships were more trouble than they were worth. Makes sense.
As humans we don't like "pain".
And yet, pain, suffering, and trauma is how most of us learn.
By learn I mean, "wake up".
Why do we continue to do this to our self?
Why are we so resistant to waking up?
The cool thing is, we can choose to awaken.
We can choose to stop having to experience so much pain!!!
By awaken I mean we choose to become more conscious, aka, deal with our stuff!!!
Cause if we don't deal with our stuff...life has a funny way of dealing with it for us.
And when life deals with it for us, it is often more painful than necessary. Something big has to happen to get our attention and then we act like something happened to us...when in reality, we simply have chosen to stay asleep at the wheel of our life.
Perhaps this sounds harsh. Well, I am here to provoke your truth, and living your best self. That said, this isn't about right and wrong...good or bad.... It's not about judging ourselves and others and playing in that triangle of dis-empowerment I have spoken about --- victim, rescuer, perpetrator.
Part of awakening means we understand, through personal experience (knowing) a natural human tendency to want to avoid pain at all costs, thinking it will go away. The flaw in this line of thought is...whatever we avoid, will ultimately surface. You know the line, "whatever we resist, persists".
What to do?
In addition to getting serious about a daily meditation practice to focus the mind and center the emotional body--- start paying attention to your self talk and therefore your beliefs about relationships. It's only through awareness that we can transform. Ask yourself questions...
Are relationships painful?
Are relationships joyful?
Some? All? Depends on person, situation, what you want?
Am I attached, expecting, judging?
Working with people on healing relationships both on the meditation cushion and in shamanic energy sessions is one of my all time passions.
At some point, hopefully not on our deathbed, we realize that we all need people, it's no so serious, and it doesn't need to be so darn painful...if we are willing to commit to awakening.