is wisdom. It is our subconscious minds sublimating an inner realization about
something in our environment that is the opposite of what we want. Our inner wise-self is speaking
to us in the only way it can, by triggering our amygdalas, the watch-dog
of our brains, and stoking the fire of our limbic systems to get our attention.
The trouble is, we often obsess so intensely on the emotion itself that we
become lost in the negative mindset that fear entails. If we are to uncover the
information that our guts are telling us, we must consider
the fear itself to be a hindrance to that goal.
Fear is the bad trip that gets worse
the more scared we feel. For indescribable reasons, we magnify
the likelihood of the negative possibilities that lie before us. These doorways
are real, but only as options for which we have the choice of exploring to a greater or lesser degree. Although our first thought may lead us to conclude the worst, most often we have the option of discovering an alternative set of
possibilities. If we do not choose to de-escalate ourselves and create a different feeling, we will find ourselves walking a
path that we do not enjoy at all. If we become afraid enough and for long
enough, repeating our thoughts about the things that we do not want to see
happen, we will inevitably bring these things to pass.
This is why the alternative to fear is
the only real option for those who choose to champion the best case scenario. So
this obviously introduces a new question: What is the alternative to fear?
Before one engages in the
proliferation and elaboration of the possible answers to this question, we must
first sit with it. We must shift our minds from the topic of fear entirely, and
remember what it is like to have a good time. What does that feel like? Can you
remember this when you begin to feel afraid? If you can, you will never be
ruled by fear. Often we cannot. When this is the case, we must first negotiate our negative emotions by choosing to
deliberately place our thoughts on things that bring us back to that feeling,
and only then can we pursue the specifics of the problem to create solutions.
The second part of this process is the
element that many of us have come to place the most focus upon. We skip the first step, controlling our vibe, and we go straight
to problem-solving. The trouble, most of us have discovered, is that it is the mood that we
are in when we shift into the pursuit of solutions that ultimately determines
the elegance, and indeed beneficiality of the solutions that we choose to carry
out; not to mention the competence of our execution of that intended solution.
If we are still carrying too much internal speed when we go into action,
we are likely to botch things up royally.
The answer lies in slowing down the situation from the inside out. This is how we take charge of what is
happening. We command energy only through deceleration, provided that we do so
in a sustainable manner. We cannot slam of the brakes of a dynamic situation
that has a great deal of inertia, just as we cannot slam on the brakes of our
minds. We must do it slowly, and based of what make sense to us at the time. We
must work with the dynamics of our specific situation, and use that system to
gradually bring things down to a sustainable speed.
This always begins with a breath. We take the few seconds necessary to take a deep breath in, and then a bit
further, and then gradually, gently, release it back into the wild. As we do
so, we begin to feel connected, centered, and clearheaded. Everyone knows this.
We learned it when we were little kids, when our parents told us to slow down
and take a deep breath. It is very simple, yet how often do we actually do it
in a moment of heat and speed?
This is the skill that we need to move
forward through fear. We must use it whenever we think of it. The truth is, we
need to do it more than we currently are. This is almost always the case. If it
were not, you would not be reading this page. You would be in a state of
meditation. You are, perhaps, quite relaxed reading this article about
transcending fear through slowing down, but you probably would love another
deep breath right now. I'll bet it would make you feel even better than you already do.
If you can connect with this feeling,
of being safe and secure, slow and content; if you can conjure the feeling that everything is
going to be alright, whatever fear you are experiencing will melt away. That is
because this feeling, what many have called many things, is the opposite of
fear. Fear and this feeling cannot coexist in at the same time. It is that Law
of Emotional Opposites.
When we realize that we have allowed
our emotions to take control over our thoughts, we always have the choice to
change our angle of attack. We can take things head-on, with negative emotion
driven by fear, or we can finesse the situation to an even better outcome. The
choice is up to us. We are the only ones that can redirect the course of our
This choice is about more than just
becoming braver people so we can expand our lives because we now are less
afraid of challenging our fear. Yes, that is a fantastic benefit. Even more
than that, we must consider the state of the world, and our role in this
We are part of a climate of emotion, and we each have a part to play. Beyond our immediate surroundings, when we choose
to walk with fear, we do nothing to change the feeling of our world. When we
choose to allow ourselves to feel anything but appreciation and happiness, we
are not being part of the solution that, if we think about it, we enjoy being
part of. Feeling good, after all, is better than feeling bad.
Imagine you walk into a grocery store.
You collect your goods, and you pay the clerk, avoiding eye contact and
remaining anonymous, lost in your worries, lost in your thoughts. How have you helped this clerk to be in a happier state?
You have not. When the next person walks into the door and pays for their
groceries, the clerk is likely to assume that they too want to remain anonymous,
and so does not strike up a friendly conversation. Now the world behind you is
deflected in a negative, or at best neutral direction.
Now imagine that you are entering that
same store on Christmas Eve. You bring your last minute items to the counter, and
you smile brightly at the person behind the register. You ask them if they get
to go home soon. You sympathize with the fact that they are not at home with
their families, and you feel genuine thankfulness for the job they are doing,
and you tell them so. You are in the zone. When you walk out that door, how do
you expect the clerk will act toward the next customer? You have deflected
your community in the general direction of up.
This is how worlds get transformed. If
we all agree that this is something that we want, and I think I am safe in stating that
this mostly the case, we will find that every day can be like Christmas. Isn't
that the point of transcending fear anyway?