Feeling fear….mindfully!!

At first I HATED my 50 minute drive to work….still do on occasion, but I appreciate the drive better if I have downloaded some podcasts at Zencast for free http://www.zencast.org/ and I feel that I am learning…

Appropriately the other week as I was driving along, worried and scared about work, I found two podcasts, Fear by Gil Fronsdal and Redemption by Jack Kornfield – 2 of my favourite mindfulness teachers.

I wrote down some of their key points as it helped me so much that week!

When we feel fear – it is a good idea to first examine the beliefs & ideas (thoughts) behind it- where do they come from?  Often our fears are so much worse in our imagination…(too true for me, all that lost sleep and what I feared most, conflict, didn’t eventuate!)

Next be a body witness: where do you feel the fear in your body, what shape / colour does it take, sit with the fear & observe it if you can….or do something that helps you to feel peaceful and then sit with the fear…. Observe too whether you feel scared of the fear….and sit with that if you can…  I found observing the fear in my body actually helped me to be less scared…less overwhelmed.

And Gil also talked about the need for Generosity & Integrity….and somehow this helped me to remember that other’s feel fear too, that I need to have compassion for how others are feeling and to find a way to maintain my integrity as well as those around me in conflict…   Pema Chedron says that it is important find the middle road between silence and listening and action….don’t be a doormat, but don’t dominate either….

These strategies helped as I drove to work, to observe my fear and to see what was behind it and amazingly the situation when I got there couldn’t have been more different to how I imagined it was going to be!  Hopefully it will work next time too!!

I had a chuckle at this quote in Jack Kornfield’s podcast:

 ‘Fear is the cheapest room in the house, I hope you can improve your accommodation!’ (I’m sorry I can’t remember who said this, you will need to listen to the podcast!)   It’s so true, we can so easily REACT out of fear rather than finding a different place to interact from….I’m upgrading to a room with a view!!

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