Three Ways of Living With Fear

Today I’m sharing about three ways of living with fear. I hope it somehow lightens your load, and adds greater ease to the life you’re living.

Three ways of living with fear

We all live with fear. It’s something we cannot live without. It’s nature’s way of preserving the mindbody we live with. It’s our relationship with fear that determines what kind of life we live.

One way can seem like the easy way, yet it is the root of our suffering. That way is to react with fear the way water pours down the grooves of a mountain. This way of living takes away our power. It freezes us from moving forward effectively with any choice outside a primal reaction. And the more we react to fear in this way, like the grooves in a mountain, our habits of reacting to fear become ever-deeply engrained in our minds and bodies – and we begin to mistake our reactions to fear and the beliefs we attach to them as The Truth, as well as who we are. The truth is that this way is very dangerous, as this way of dealing with fear can both immobilize us in terror, and it can be disguised as rage and violence. This way can be thought of as two ways: going in with fear or out with anger.   Going out with anger is slightly more powerful; yet both ways are a way of blindness, feeding fear, and the seeming need to protect the self against the “separate” world. The way of anger, though opposite fear in its emotional direction, is identical to fear in the way that makes these two one way: This way is void of self-awareness.

The second way can seem like the hard way, yet it is the root of all our power. This way is also called living with courage. Living with courage means moving forward through your fear, not away from it. When we move through fear, our fear is transformed into power. This is much the way a boxer deals effectively with the onslaught of punches. By going calmly forward and fluidly around the blow with eyes wide open, it is seen for what it is, and met with an equal water-like conforming force in awareness. The force is then completely avoided or, as in most cases, greatly diminished, with grounded feet and a fluid and prepared mind and body. This way is immersed in self-awareness.

The third way could be thought of as an extension of the second way, as it involves courage and awareness. Yet for the deep practitioner, it possibly goes beyond courage, as this person gets glimpses of the fascia – or inter-connectivity – of life. And so if life is one, there is no need to fear life. Like all things of form, the first two ways have a level of polarity. The third way can be thought of as the middle way – or THE WAY OF NO WAY. When we see all sides from this perspective, fear dissolves, and we can choose with unobstructed awareness. This could also be called BEYOND THE SELF AWARENESS.

I was speaking to a client about this recently. He asked me how he could apply this to a life situation. The following was my explanation:

All things of form have opposites: our bodies, our minds, our thoughts, etcetera. Our essence, our life force, our soul, or whatever you’d like to call it, has no opposite. While we are living with a mind inside a body, we are subject to oppositional thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Yet we can, through practicing awareness, view life through the window of the middle. We still feel the feelings of life’s roller coaster moving through our bodies; we still have the gamut of thoughts passing through our minds; yet we do not mistake our thoughts and feelings for who we are. This subtle recognition opens a little space – enough space – for us to experience peace in any situation.

This way combines courage with wisdom, and an awareness beyond the self. It is the way of no way. It is the highest form of human evolution, and it is how we can save ourselves from our own insanity.

No one lives in a constant in their habits of dealing with fear. We tend to be on a continuum depending on the situation. The more we choose to face fear with courage, wisdom, and beyond the self awareness – the more we choose from the middle – the more peace we will experience. Which way will you choose?


Everything is connected

A Few Thoughts About Peace, Art, and How Everything is Connected

I recently watched the HBO documentary “The Latin Explosion: A New America.”  What an inspiring story about how people can come together.  Watching that moved me to reflect on how the Latin influence of salsa music and dance, that was my introduction to dance, changed the life I live in so many profound ways.  It moved me to reflect on how the struggle through art to bring out the best in themselves by a singled-out group of people brought about such interconnectedness to the entire world.  It also moved me to reflect on how people as a whole can use their struggles to bring them closer together in sharing peace and loving Life – not their life, your life, or my life – but Life.

If you haven’t done so, I would suggest that you visit a salsa club, even if only to observe . If you go to a popular salsa club, you will see people from all over the world dancing together and having fun.  In fact, it is common for DJs to call out countries of people who are in attendance.  And there is no discrimination among countries.

If we can do it there, we can do it everywhere: It being enjoying peace and celebrating the beauty of loving life with our fellow humans. There is a primal part of us that is tribalistic and easily reacts with fear, distrust, and anger. Yet there is a deeper part of us that was born from the same stardust, that recognizes our own essence in our brothers and sisters everywhere.

The vibrations of music, dance, and other forms of movement and art shakes us to our cores until we are all resonating on the same frequency like the universal recognition of a flower’s beauty. And when we do this, we recognize ourselves in others; they recognize us in them – And we know we are one with life.

We must approach life as art by looking deeper in to see deeper out with the wonder of a child’s new eyes filled with wonder, compassion, and trust. We must do this with wisdom through eyes that have seen violence and hatred carried out by people who are asleep; and on some level carried out by ourselves when we were and are asleep.

How do we help others awaken? We first awaken ourselves into the knowing of our interconnectedness, and keep that as our priority: that being that knowing on the deepest level that there is no us and them.  There is only Life.  We commit, and recommit as needed. Then we can see ourselves for who we really are – and only then can we see others for who they really are. This state of mindful awareness allows others to see us seeing them, and in turn helps them see themselves seeing us.

When there are people who seem unaffected by this, we must keep planting seeds, wondering about the parts of us that are like the parts of others we fear and distrust, keeping an open heart by offering our trust even after we have been hurt by the world; and know that we are making a difference that is not yet obvious to our doubtful eyes, and is all very clear to our loving hearts and inner eyes. This does not mean trying to convert others into our way of seeing life, but rather to keep on living as an example of a mindful, awakened being.

Surely we have to set relative boundaries at times to protect our bodies from the bodies postured to harm the bodies we embody. But do not think it is your your body you protect. Rather, think it is part of the body of life, as is the body of the the one moving with aggression and violence. Keep aiming toward peace, and peace will be the window from which you see the world – thankfully in large part to the beautiful storms that sculpt you into the work of art that you are, a Flower in the Field of Life.


Everything is connected