From Fear to Joy

by Cheryl Brewster

As I was considering story ideas for this newsletter, I had a very strong hunch that I needed to talk about overcoming fear and finding joy. However, I was finding myself stuck for how to write about such a complex emotion as fear in a compelling way… experiencing a minor state of fear myself in the form of writer’s block. While letting the idea simmer for a few hours as I did other work, the answer came to me in the form of a paramedic and a military bomb expert talking on CBC Radio about dealing with fear. I love how synchronicity always answers the questions that I’m working with!

When we feel fear, it is very real to us and may very well seem like a “life-or-death” decision. So how do people who face fear as part of their jobs deal with it, people who actually have to make life or death decisions? How do they find calm and focus?

The paramedic discussed handling “elevator thoughts”, those worrisome thoughts that she has when going up in an elevator to a response call – as she’s standing still, waiting, noticing her imagination running wild. She explained that such thoughts can cause your body to go into the fight or flight response even before knowing the facts of the situation. This is fear of the unknown and a reactive need to control the outcome. She said not using alarmist language is critical to keeping a focus on staying calm and being helpful, as is trusting in her training and experience.

The bomb expert talked about “fear soup” – the rush of adrenalin and worrying thoughts that toxify the body. He said he does not want his body to be sick, so why do that to himself with worry? His advice was to focus on the present, and have a positive vision of outcomes.

We are not all paramedics nor bomb experts, but we all still feel fearful at times. The lessons of using positive words and thoughts, as well as an appreciation of what you have already achieved in your life, are crucial to keep in mind when feeling fear about a major business decision, career change, and other life events. Create positive images of your future and do not get stuck trying to control the unknown.  Take Your Stand in keeping these images in mind, rather than the fearful ones that may come up.  The Intuitive Life is a focused one; where we put our attention determines the quality of our experience. When you find yourself wandering off, of when you’ve noticed that fear has crept in again, Keep your inner vision clear through the Power of Your Stand. This takes practice and courage, but the reward is freeing yourself to allow joy into your life. Look for Part 2 of this article in my next newsletter, when I will provide insights into finding and keeping joy in your life.  Until then, consider this practice:

Before you go to bed at night, practice “Take Your Stand – Live the Life You Imagine!”  Do a mental review of what inspired you during the day, including what you enjoyed and appreciated about yourself, your learning and growth.  Really savor the pleasure of your experience and being you. As Joseph Campbell reminds us, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

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