“Before a person can accomplish anything of an enduring nature in the world, she must first of all acquire some measure of success in the management of her own mind. If a person cannot govern the forces within herself, she cannot hold a firm hand upon the outer activities that form her visible life.” – Mastery of Destiny
As I begin this journey of facing my fears, I need to remember that that fear is afraid of itself. Whenever I face it, I need to greet it by name and imagine myself saying to the fear, “Hey you, I see you there and you can’t scare me. I know you want me to run screaming from you, but I am not going to. If you want a piece of me bring it.”
Fear can’t stand up to that kind of awareness. I must continue practicing this and eventually I will transform my anxiety into an ability to rise to the occasion.
Of the list of fears that I wrote yesterday, I included on the list several things that I do not intend to deal with this month. For instance, on that list was the fear of rodents particularly rats and mice. I am not dealing with that because as of right now I live in a home where they are nonexistent. Same goes for my fear of snakes. I don’t need to deal with that fear either. Nor am I going to deal with the fear of heights. No bungee jumping or skydiving this month. I have more pressing fears to face.
The fears that I face are in my own mind. In order gain control of my fears, I need to first gain control of my own thinking. It is said that you learn what it is that you need to learn when you are ready, and yesterday, I saw an interview about Dan Harris talking about his own anxiety and that he dealt with it by using meditation. His new book 10% Happier is at the top of the New York Times Best Seller’s List.
So, for me, today I have begun meditating. I will meditate five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. The meditating that I am talking about is simple to do, once I have determined that is what I intend doing.
Here’s how simple it is. Set a timer for five minutes. Sit upright in a chair in a quiet location. Close your eyes. Now for the next five minutes, focus on your breathing. When (not if, because they are guaranteed to occur) thoughts come into your mind, dismiss them and return your focus on your breathing.
This is not just something that is toted by “unwashed hippies and rogue gurus”. Many studies have been done concerning meditation and many believe that it is more effective than anxiety medications. Meditation rewires the brain from the anxious flight or fight response to a more restful response to life’s challenges including fear.
The meditation I described above only requires five minutes twice a day. I think I can take five minutes to develop the restful parts of my brain and make them stronger than the fears and anxieties that I feel. Are you willing to also begin developing this fear fighting tool in your life as well? Please comment! It can get very lonely here in cyberspace!