Stay Alive All Your Life! – Part 2

by Cheryl Brewster

What makes you come alive and stay that way, even when it’s hard; when you feel yourself shutting down and it takes pure grit to stay true to your integrity and dreams? How do you keep growing to improve personal effectiveness? Author and expert on world mythology, Joseph Campbell knew this one well:

“Suddenly you’re ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you’re alive and it’s spectacular!”

I love this!  Are you like me? I don’t particularly feel spectacular in the middle of the pain, suffering and horror that’s part of life. But I have been through it enough times, to know that indeed, there is always an equal or greater benefit; something spectacular that occurs through the process, onto the other side. It takes great courage and tenacity to live this way. The results are priceless: Mind mastery and learning how to hold our ground in the face of uncertainty. With an eye to our personal and spiritual development, instead of feeling overwhelmed and beaten, we begin to emerge with skills and mindsets that turn great suffering into great victory.

It takes time, great self-compassion, guts, and the willingness to trust and develop our intuition, to feed our resilience, and to keep the faith, even when it appears counter-intuitive.

As Campbell emphasized:
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That’s what it’s all finally about…”

Ahhh, what it’s really all about… the rapture of being alive! Business and spiritual leader, Marsha Sinetar, agrees: “It’s the “burning desire to be or do something that gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment.”

The rapture of life can only occur with a burning desire for it. How do we keep the fire stoked when it’s hard?

  1. Science proves it: “high vibe” thinking feeds the flame
    Our brains are hard-wired with a “negative memory basis” to notice potential threats and protect us from harm. Studies done by John Cacioppo, Ph.D., (Ohio State University, and University of Chicago), demonstrate that the brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity, meaning our attitudes are more heavily influenced by negative rather than good news. Research has also shown that a specific ratio of five (five “high-vibe” thoughts to balance out the “one low-vibe thought”) is the magic formula to balance out this negative memory bias.  Worth remembering!  Working “with” our physiology rather than judging ourselves for habitual negative thinking is empowering. It course-corrects us into the extra energy of inspired action that we need for true change and growth to occur over the long-haul. As ancient wisdom reminds us, it is our continued commitment to choose “higher vibration” thoughts to feed the flame of desire that feeds our intent, which in turn feeds our will, which feeds our behavior, and ultimately, feeds our destiny. This leveraging of our negative emotions/memory-bias into holistic, focused, resilient, “alive,” possibility thinking becomes automatic over time. And that’s huge. Now there’s hope, encouragement and something to look forward to, even when life is very hard and hasn’t turned out the way we thought it would.
  2. Give yourself credit and re-energize past successes
    What are some of the toughest times you have been through?
    What helped pull you through? What belief, inspiration or process did you use?
    How did you become a better person through this difficulty? How can you apply that to current circumstances?

    3. Have enthusiasm and clear intent moving forward
    Begin and end each day with vision, re-charge throughout and end it in reflection: spend time in the morning in visualization, prayer or meditation to re-stoke that burning desire and pre-plan how you will “Create Your Day.” It takes just one minute of mindfulness several times throughout the day to keep coming back, to build focus and follow-through. In the evening do a review; celebrate wins and also identify where you can improve. Apply the 5-to-1 ratio to rehearse how you will do things differently tomorrow…. by getting excited about our improvements, now course-correcting becomes more positive, more enjoyable. We have something to look forward to, feel more resilient and capable. Now true change is happening, so that even in the midst of our hardest challenges, we have something to hang onto, a reason to keep going, a grit, tenacity and energy that feeds us, that feeds the rapture of being alive!

Call to action: on those tough days; dig deep – bridge the gap of where you are to where you want to be by applying the 5 -to-1 ratio to this very moment… right here, right now. From this viewpoint you actually are where you want to be, only now you get to enjoy the ongoing journey as a way of life, not just sporadically. To paraphrase Campbell…. my god, you’re alive to your innermost being and reality…. and that’s spectacular… that’s what it’s really all about! Draw on the power of intuition to keep feeding the sacred flame within you – that’s its job and you can trust it to help you come alive and stay alive all your life.

 

Resilience: The Tension of Opposites

by Cheryl Brewster

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and stay more centered through life’s difficult events. It is our capacity to manage change, using it to feed our souls, even after it feels like we’ve been drained dry.  Remembering this, especially when it’s hard, helps us make sense of our worlds when they feel chaotic.

Your personal resilience (or lack of it) reveals where you are taking an honest look at your  reality.  Challenge will create a tension of opposites. and this tension is designed to support you being true to you. This intuitive resilience is built in to all of us and is tied to the magnificence of your Soul. Its job is to ensure that you honestly, actively identify and honour your own needs as you take care of others and life’s responsibilities.

What’s important to remember about resilience, and the “tension of opposites?” Our commitment to personal resilience will always help us grow from challenge or adversity. Just as “need is the mother of invention,” challenge is the mother of resilience. Making peace with these apparent opposites is where our power to excel gains quantum fuel. What makes a magnet so powerful is the opposing forces that result in a powerful magnetic energy field. The same is true of resilience:

  • Confusion leads to clarity
  • Boredom creates innovation
  • Pain can feed productive purpose
  • Anger reveals where change needs to happen
  • A lack of energy can reveal the need for more creativity
  • Challenge can feed enthusiasm
  • Creativity transforms resistance
  • Difficulty can reveal easier ways of doing things
  • Struggle births flow

So the next time, you go through something difficult, and start experiencing the “opposite of resilience,” which would be a lack of energy, or not feeling creative or capable, try a “One-Minute Resiliency Recharge.”  Your true desires are being revealed; you need to find out what they are! Set a timer for one minute and:

  • Be Curious: How could this current challenge compliment, rather than oppose or contradict what you’re trying to do?
  • Be Aware: Where are you losing energy? What will help you gain it back?
  • Be Wise: If the tension of opposites supports resilience, what is the new insight or action that is being revealed here?
  • Be Creative: How is this showing you to think, be and act in more empowered ways?
  • One of my all-time favourite “Mindful Minutes”  is to ask myself…. “what would happen if…”
    I chose to be ____________________ about what’s happening (and drawing from my favourite list of words, like: enthusiastic, creative, bold, daring, smart, cheeky, happy, peaceful, confident, successful, enlightened), etc.Robert Fritz echoes this in his book The Path of Least Resistance:

“From this choice the meaning of the word desire changes for you, from “idle wishes and hopes” to “true vision of that which is the highest in human aspiration and vision… as you learn to master your own creative process, you develop a capacity for truth. Good, bad, or indifferent, you will still want to know accurately what is going on.”

The more accurately we can “read” our own lives, complete with strengths and shadow, the more we grow our awareness, intuition and confidence to act.

Call to Action: How will you use the Tension of Opposites to recharge resilience? Email me, I’d love to hear about your experience!
About Cheryl Brewster, B.Msc., Transformational Speaker, Intuitive Consultant and Life Coach: Under every difficulty is a greater inner potential that our intuition accesses. My expertise is inspiring my clients, whether individuals or organizations to re-frame difficulty as a path to tangible, measurable results.  If you’d like to learn how my intuitive consults, coaching programs or speaking services, can support your success, please contact me for a complimentary exploratory call.   As an interfaith ordained minister,  I also offer spiritual counselling and officiate ceremonies for life’s most meaningful moments.

How to Live Your “Calling”

by Cheryl Brewster

Do you have a “calling“? That deep sense of purpose or urge within you that “must” be explored.

Are you:

  • Feeling a shift coming; a hint of something new that hasn’t quite arrived yet?
  • Already working on your passion with great enthusiasm but results are taking longer than expected leaving you with a feeling of stagnation?
  • Feeling that your life is in the doldrums… not much is happening and you’re not sure what to do?

These occasions can be very unsettling and we can begin to:

  • Doubt ourselves and the bigger picture of our lives.
  • Give up hope and slip into confusion or despair.
  • Romanticize about the good old days before we followed our passion.
  • Feel anxiety about our future, regret decisions and condemn mistakes from the past.

In short, when things get difficult or seem to have run their course, we get scared and shut down. But we need to do the opposite; we must keep our hearts open.

Gregg Levoy in his book entitled “Callings” describes this ebb and flow beautifully:
“We love to quote the philosopher and poet Goethe who said that “whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. But we forget that he also said, “To put your ideas into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

And from poet Stanley Kuntiz: “The poem in the head is always perfect. The challenge comes when we try to convert it into language. This is especially so when we discover, as we often do that saying yes to a calling requires not just one act of heroism and risk-taking, but a prolonged period of action that can stretch into years.”

We must remember this when things get hard. We must continue to “take our stand” for our callings. Our callings have two fundamental features to them; they give great meaning to our lives… and they always come with a way through. But we must listen to that intuitive heart centre to find our way!  So how do we stay open to our callings and the new directions they take us in?

6 Simple Steps to Feed the Calling of Your Soul

1. Know Thyself!
Philosopher J. Krishnamurti reminds us that “the mind is the result of the known; it is the result of the past.” This past includes the limitations of a conditioned mind. In order to free ourselves from those limitations, we must be willing to see what’s ineffective in our thinking and release it. Observe yourself – watch how consciously or unconsciously you do things… as awareness and self acceptance increase, so does authentic personal power. These “aha” moments of, “oh, that’s what I really do” are life-changing when we follow through on them.

2. Practice Silence
An occupied mind is a busy mind, too full for anything new, original or creative. Mindfulness steeped in self-compassion keeps the heart and mind open to receive insight. Receiving equals energy – this is critical for those prolonged periods of action that our callings require. Practice silence by moving attention away from a busy, consumed mind, and instead, into the quiet, the stillness.

3. Practice “one-minute comfort breathing”
Risk taking and heroism arise from your bigger sense of self  – your “little I” will be challenged… expect that and be prepared for it.  A breathing exercise that brings immense comfort is “breathing in, I see the me that is uncertain.  Breathing out, I smile a hug into it.”

4. Use fear to your advantage
As Thich Nhat Hanh encourages, “we have the power to look deeply at our fears, and then fear cannot control us. Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”  How do we touch nonfear? Accept yourself as you are now, while simultaneously dropping self-defeating thoughts. We tend to think we’d be free if we didn’t experience fear, but that’s just not the case! If you can be free even though you have uncomfortable feelings, then you really are free! Let’s face it, there’s always going to be something that challenges us, but when you’re not overcome by those uncomfortable feelings, you really are free. So now, we are giving birth to impertability – we begin to cultivate a mind that is beyond disturbance.

5. Practice “what if”
What’s that one thing you’ve been really wanting to do but you’ve been putting off? What will you feel like when it’s done? Just a few minutes visualizing that can free up the energy to take that one first step… and then another, and another.

6. Be strategic with intuition
What does your soul need to replenish itself? If you took just one mindful minute right now to ask that question… you would be tapping into the energy of your calling… you’d be cultivating the wisdom and strength required to do the most difficult thing possible… put your ideas into the world. And that is the joy of living your calling – Take Your Stand!

Call to Action:
Rather than judge your emotions as good or bad…. see them all as equally important. Enjoy experimenting with the steps above and share your experience with me… I’d love to hear from you. Or better yet, if you are new to my work, let’s book a complimentary 15 minute exploratory session. And if you are an existing client and it’s been a while since we’ve connected, let’s get you in for that one-on-one session or workshop to explore and rejuvenate your stand with complimentary 15 minute post session follow-up!

If you enjoyed this article, let us know! Individuals and organizations find Cheryl Brewster’s expertise as a Professional Intuitive, Transformational Speaker and Coach refreshing and timely. Her private clients experience greater clarity and confidence in taking action during transition. In her corporate workshops, Cheryl inspires focus and follow-through. To explore her work further, visit TheIntuitiveLife.com or email cheryl@theintuitivelife.com.

 

 

 

Decision Making with Ease

by Cheryl Brewster

At some point in time, we all hit the wall.  And it’s not pretty. It hurts. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to make a decision with ease. We wonder, worry and second-guess ourselves to death. Our fear of making a mistake can become a pattern of denial, delay and despair.

The upside to hitting a wall is that it always points to the doorway of new understanding. And when it comes to decision making with more ease, that doorway is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability to notice what’s happening in your head so you can make better decisions. It frees you from past conditioning, fuzzy thinking, overwhelm and unconscious patterns that keep you in doubt and procrastination.

Mindfulness is a hugely important ability to foster and has gained massive respect around the world and particularly, in business. Over 22% of major business organizations include some sort of mindfulness training in their human resource offerings to staff. It reduces stress, promotes clear thinking and focus, improves health and reignites creativity.

Given the critical number of decisions we need to make each day, mindfulness is no longer an option… it’s a necessity.

Mindfulness helps with the decision making process, using the ABCs of Intuition: Aware, Breathe, Connect.

1. Aware – Be the observer.
What’s happening to you as you consider the decision you need to make?
Watch yourself.
What are you thinking, feeling, sensing?
Notice your body sensations.
Developing the habit of observing yourself can pop you out of the unconscious knee-jerk reactions that occur, especially when you feel worried about someone in your care.

2. Breathe for “one mindful minute”
It sounds too good to be true, but one “mindful minute” can save the day, let alone your sanity. Once you’ve established yourself in observer mode, stay there for one minute… don’t try to figure anything out…just be present in watching yourself. Allow the mind to settle into the breath, not carried away by thoughts, sensations or emotions, just focused on even, regular breaths. Breathing for just one minute helps you find your centre again. From here, knee-jerk reactions or emotions can be identified and set aside. Mindful breathing unhooks you from the flight/fright/freeze that is the natural consequence when feeling uncertain or threatened.

3. Connect – by asking yourself what is the next right thing?
The clarity you will receive from this very short process is astounding. It creates a laser-like beacon for you to follow. You can only ever do one thing at a time so mindfulness reminds you of the choice and power you have to do that one right thing.

This does take courage. Why? Because this process promotes change. And sometimes (or should I say often), we don’t want to change! But when change has the capacity to instantly take us out of worry, frustration, fear or guilt and back to peace and personal effectiveness, then we need to ask ourselves…

What price am I willing to pay to return to peace?

Often times, most times, it’s simply the decision to let go of past regret. Without awareness and over time, overwhelm can become a habit so we must remain diligent in paying attention to our decision making process. Are we in ease or do we keep “hitting the wall?” The doorway of mindfulness remains ever ready to show us the way. In walking through it, we overcome fear and are able to course correct much sooner.

If you’d like to learn more about Mindfulness and Intuition as a path to self development which includes making decisions with more ease, email us for your complimentary Mindfulness Report or introductory coaching session. We’d be happy to hear from you! Stay updated by signing up on the website for daily inspiration, and check out our calendar for upcoming events.

Mindfulness – the Super Power You Cannot Afford to Overlook!

by Cheryl Brewster

How does Mindfulness work, how can it help you improve your life and build resiliency? Whether it’s big, little, voluntary, crisis, opportunity or adversity, change is a part of your Hero’s Journey.  When we understand how our “Reptilian Brain” works, embracing mindfulness becomes a “no-brainer” (excuse the pun) because of how it frees us from irrational fears, thoughts and habits!

Things you must know about your Reptilian Brain
(from Shawn Smith’s book The User’s Guide to the Human Mind…. amazing book….. a “must have”:

1. In its effort to solve problems, the human mind can create the very thing we fear – like an over zealous body guard/worry machine, it never stops looking for problems!
2. An anxious mind does not defer to logic and tends to remember events with a lot of emotion attached to them, making us respond as if the past is about to reoccur.
3. Emotions have a way of sneaking under our radar and driving our behavior without our awareness so we train ourselves to avoid what we “think” is coming.
4. The mind creates a “false dilemma” – either I can have the thoughts and feelings OR I can live my life (example: I must get rid of these self-critical thoughts before I can…”)
5. We attach emotional content to thoughts, symbols and memories… sometimes the memory of a painful event (or fear of something we’ve never done) evokes more distress than the actual event.
6. The primitive mind’s response to pain and fear is: avoid, avoid, avoid… it persuades us to avoid things by giving us the pain of anxiety and sadness. (geez, thanks)
7. When we approach something dangerous, the mind tries to smack us with one form of pain or the other – systems like the amygdalae are regularly dishing out punishment to keep us safe!
8. Our limbic (emotional) system and flawless recall can keep us focused on that one single fender-bender, ignoring thousands of times we’ve driven without a problem.
9. The mind’s only job is to protect us and if we’re not careful, we can start to believe what it says…. the more we allow the mind to control our behavior, the more entrenched we become in the kind of thoughts that are dominated by fear, anxiety and depression.  We can begin to see all of this like a frantic dog barking at squirrels… all of these thoughts, feelings and sensations are not threats!

So here’s the juicy part! Once we understand the reptilian brain is just trying to do its job, we can free ourselves from the death grip it has on our ideas, creativity, dreams, goals, communications, desire for authenticity and greater success and happiness in life. In understanding how and why it does what it does, we build awareness…. in that awareness we stop limiting ourselves and free ourselves from irrational fears and unhealthy, reactive outbursts. Through Mindfulness we “pop ourselves out” and even if it’s just for a few moments, done over time, even just 10 minutes a day, the effects of mindfulness are profound!

Definitions of Mindfulness:
1. Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s in your head without getting carried away by it! (Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier)
2. Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, non-judgmentally (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living)
3. Mindfulness is me living an authentic life, being present and okay in the transition of uncertainty and shadow as I evolve and grow (Me… Cheryl Brewster)

Benefits of Mindfulness:
1. It’s simple, can be done anywhere and is scientifically validated to improve cognitive functioning, emotional intelligence, health and wellness, decision making and a whole lot more!
2. Mindfulness is breaking a lifetime habit of unconscious repetitive thoughts and fears – it brings us to choice and the ability to take necessary action
3. It drops regret, guilt, perfectionism, self-sabotage and stress and builds up self-awareness, self-esteem making us better communicators and healthier members of society
4. Measurable on brain-scans, mindfulness helps to create new neuro-pathways which means you are evolving your actual physical brain, let alone your ability to enjoy life more!

How it works:
1. It’s simple, can be done anywhere – – just sit straight, notice the feeling of your breath coming in and going out and focus your full attention on the feeling of the breath – that’s it!
2. Notice when thoughts come in and just keep starting over when they do
3. By withdrawing just minutes a day from the chatter of the mind and the incessant worry machine of the reptilian brain, we “harmonize” to the greater wisdom within
4. This “super power” frees us from past conditioning and can bring clarity and focus even in the transition of uncertainty by helping us stay “in the present” not the past or the future which is where the reptilian brain is accustomed to taking us.

The “empowerment” muscles that are formed are priceless…. imagine the possibilities of your Hero’s Life!   It’s as simple as ABC – Aware, Breathe, Connect to the solutions, peace and prosperity that are always present. The reptilian brain may not feel that way, but the truth is, our greatest potential can only be accessed through mindfulness. While this “sounds” easy, it takes commitment, courage and grit to ride the waves of emotion that may come up in befriending that reptilian brain and making it our ally, but it’s so worth the effort…. If you enjoyed this blog, let us know! Cheryl Brewster’s mission with TheIntuitiveLife.com is to support Conscious Changemakers in their Hero’s Journey to clarity, peace, empowerment and confidence through the ABCs of Intuition and Mindfulness. To book your intuitive consultation, coaching mindfulness training for you or your organization, contact us!

Fearless Action to Master Change

by Cheryl Brewster

Take Action!

What wants to move through you? That idea or project that is relentless in its pursuit of your attention and call to action. The one that keeps tapping at your shoulder, yelling in your ear and tugging at your heart… the one that says if you don’t slow down and really look at this, you’ll continue down the slippery slope of unachieved goals, regret and unexpressed creativity.

In her seminal book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” Susan Jeffers provides a powerful, clear strategy for turning pain into power. Her bottom line is that the only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it! So why don’t we? I love her two-fold answer… the first is education (you didn’t learn the facts about fear); the second is the reminder that every time you feel afraid, that it’s simply because you are not feeling good enough about yourself.

The  interplay here between intuition and self esteem makes sense.  Intuition is the driving need for self expression; it’s also the path through fear that takes us from pain to power.  The heart knows the way…the heart always feels good about itself… in fact it can never not feel good about itself because it’s the very essence of life,  limitless in its power. Intuition then, uses the power of the heart to shore up where we don’t feel so great about ourselves so we can move forward into action!

So how do we overcome fear and take action to follow the heart, and honour those intuitive impulses? As Jeffers brilliantly counsels:

  1. Reframe fear
    Remind yourself that when you feel fear, it’s because you’re not feeling good about yourself….Fear then, can be seen as a useful marker, pointing the need and path to higher self esteem.
  1. Decide that “I’ll handle it” is your new (and only) life perspective.
    When fear becomes a habit, we’ve allowed “less than” beliefs or helplessness to feel stronger than the reality of our capability and  infinitely powerful essence . When you decide that no matter what happens, “I’ll handle it,” fear dissolves!
  1. Take Action
    Feeling good follows action – too often we reverse the process thinking that when we feel better, then we will act.  The opposite actually is true. Whether it’s massive action, or one tiny step, the truth is, that nothing will change without taking action.
  1. Measure results with a pain to power chart.
    Check-in daily  to see if you’re moving on the chart from pain to power. If you’re not, it’s because you’re not taking responsibility for that area of your life.
  1. Practice the ABCs of Intuition.
    Aware, Breathe, Connect – this simple 3-step process is the link between self esteem and action.  AWARE of the power within that’s stronger than any obstacle; BREATHE that power in and CONNECT to the heart – it knows the way…. we can trust ourselves and the process of life…. we can drop self doubt and take action from an inspired, empowered place. Self love steps out into action, no problem!

If you have a calling or intuition that you know you’re not following through on as completely as you could, ask yourself why you’re resisting or delaying. You’ll get an immediate answer. Now what is one small thing that you can do to move yourself from the pain to power chart?  Do that thing… the highest form of integrity is the noble task of honoring what wants to move through you.

If you enjoyed this blog or would like to share the results of what you learned and applied, email us! We’d love to hear from you and celebrate the success you are creating! If you are not already a subscriber to our daily quote of inspiration, be sure to sign up.

Cheryl Brewster of The Intuitive Life is a personal and business intuitive, specializing in self development through mastering change.

 

 

 

Empowerment Amid Transition

by Cheryl Brewster

Conscious Changemakers are Brave!

Awareness breaks the cycle of fear; transition becomes opportunity, possibility and even excitement! Empowerment through Transition…  Clarity and wisdom distilled by you choosing a POSITIVE life experience; creating prosperity from the upheaval that feels anything but positive. Here’s to your Joy, Trust and Courage as a Conscious Changemaker! Remember… we were born to be Happy.

In my recent workshops that address these issues, 4 key steps stand out as superior navigation tools to ride the transformative waves of emotion and change we’re going through:

Four Steps to Empowerment Amid Transition using the ABC’s of Intuition
Aware, Breathe, Connect

1. What are your top 4 prosperity fears?
Remember prosperity isn’t just financial… it applies to all of life’s areas.
When you name them, you identify your fears; they are no longer vague, slippery, lurking or screaming shadows that can never be nailed down and resolved.

2. Trace the energy signature.
Where did this fear come from? See where it leads to… notice where you can take this on as your personal identity rather than just a fear.

3. What triggers the fears?
While you can’t control the people and events around you – you can choose your response. Courage is required! Remember that pain will show us what needs to change but suffering and overly zealous self recrimination are useless. This is choice point. Do you want to stay stuck in the trigger or break free by dropping the charge?

4. What changes can I make to focus on peace instead?
This is your portal of power; the transformative pipeline that takes you from fear and heavy negative energy to peace and knowing. Your own personal energy signature knows what to do and takes you straight to that place of freedom within you. Fear can be transformed to inspired action!

If you enjoyed this article, you will enjoy the ABC’s of Intuition Teleseminar.

Cheryl Brewster is a Personal and Business Intuitive who Inspires Conscious Changemakers through readings, mentor programs, teleseminars and workshops. For more information www.theintuitivelife.com

 

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.”