How do you define fear? Do you fear fear? Or do you befriend it? Work alongside it?
I feared fear. It still creeps up once in while when I encounter things that are new, that requires me to step out of my comfort zone. But it does not paralyze me anymore. I'll tell you a story of when I saw fear's face. At least in my own imagination.
It was a few years ago in an acting class. We were given a choice between a few classical poems. I don't even remember what I chose. We only used it for that particular class. Anyhow, we were asked to read it a few times, just connect with it on a rudimentary level and understand what it means to us. Then we were asked to choose a word, any word from there, that stuck out at us. I chose F-E-A-R. I think on some level, I knew I had to face my own fears and so I was drawn to it.
The exercise was done in pairs. One person was the speaker and the other just a neutral support. We had to be connected, sometimes physically, sometimes just spiritually by our presence and focus on that person. I was the speaker at the time and my job was to break down the word "fear" to its smallest components, by each letter. I started with speaking the letter "F" and letting it affect my body, my movements, my gestures. I couldn't over think it, just follow my impulse. I have to say that this was an advanced class where everyone there was just as focused, committed and supportive as I was.
There was no right or wrong with this exercise. The only guidelines were what I described above. At times, I felt my partner placing their hand on my back or hand, where ever their impulse was leading them, based on what I was doing. This is why connection between partners is crucial. You are speaking to one another without words. After having gone through all the letters separately, I placed them back together again and said "fear". The word had never connected with me on such a deep level as this. My breath changed, my body changed, my whole being changed and continued to change until I was finished. I felt in my soul I was really facing it by evoking it within myself with the act of speaking. It haunted me, frightened me, threatened me, seduced me... until I stood up to it and grew larger than it. Suddenly, it had left my body and I saw it for what it was. Just a manifestation created from my mind. And it wasn't scary anymore. It didn't bother me anymore. In fact, I felt a sense of relief and release at the end. I had a great partner who supported me and followed my movements. At one point, his arms were wrapped around, as if to comfort and protect me from the fear. This work is done in a space of complete trust, just to let you know. At the end, we ended up on the floor, back to back. My breath had dropped. I felt light, open, determined- fearless. I had fought my internal battle.
We all have fear of some sort.
Fear of taking risks, fear of looking stupid, fear of sounding stupid, fear of commitment, fear of love, fear of being alone, fear of failure (that's a HUGE one), but it's what we choose to do with that fear that matters. People who become aware of their reason for the fear and then work with it from there are the successful ones. I believe fear is a gift in that it gives us the opportunity to grow and shift our own paradigms once we pass it. Most people fall back into their old paradigms to relieve the fear. That would be the easiest way. "I'll stay home and continue to watch T.V because it's reliable and safe, rather than go out and seek a better and more fulfilling job." They settle. But fear is the threshold that brings us closer to reaching, living and being our greater potential.
Now, I'm not saying I want to live without fear completely. On the contrary. It is what gives me the indication that something great is about to happen. It is an indication that I am about to grow a step closer into my true self.
Alright, side story. Today, during my lunch time at work, I took a chance to go up to an executive suite and speak with a man I met yesterday. I know he is very connected with the right people in fields I want to explore. During my elevator ride, there was a tingling feeling in my belly and my heart pumped faster. It was fear knocking on my door. And when the elevator door opened, I was literally open up the door to that fear. And there was no one there! It was a beautiful, lavish office with a receptionist desk but no receptionist. It was quite warm and inviting. The suite was shared between many companies. There were instructions there to call whoever you needed to call. I sat down, found the man's name and dialed. I was prepared to talk to him but not to leave a message. So I didn't. Maybe I should of, but eh- the past is the past. But I sat in that office for a few moments and just took it is. And it felt great. I felt like I belonged there and I know I'll be back. The moment was not then for us to meet.
So you see? What I thought was going to be scary and intimidating turned out to be a beautiful and inviting space. And I know in my heart that I belong there. I am worthy it of it. I think maybe that's the key to working with fear. Believing we are worth what we want.
And those are my thought...