We’re born with no Human Manual to guide us through this life. But, there are clues and subtle guidance that illuminate our paths…if we can but see. 51 pages. Chapter Titles: Are You Listening?, Habits of Thought, Having It All, What If It Ain’t So?, Fleeting Thoughts and Maple Leaves, The Message in the Madness, Good Luck Bad Luck, Life Cycles, Gentle Lessons, Born to Shine!
In a world that encourages mediocrity, you’ve chosen to remain conscious… and true to your limitless nature. Possibilities lay before you at ever turn – when you have the eyes to see them.
Radiance is a clearer lens to look deeply into truths you’ve always known, but may occasionally forget. We all do. But, with each remembrance we step into our magnificence more fully and come home.
Enjoy strolling through these letters as you would a lone country trail. Walk slowly and let the words seep into you and mingle with your own wisdom. There’s no hurry. No destination to get to. You are where you need to be.
It would be my honor to hear any comments you’d like to share. Email me at karen.wrightminded.com.
Chapter 6: The Message in the Madness
“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom.”
~ Marilyn Ferguson
As time passes, I see more and more clearly that the quality of my life is directly related to my success in managing my mind - specifically my self-talk.
It's like I'm reading a story to myself all the time. A story filled with heroes and villains, joys and tragedies. There are spellbinding fears and liberating feats of courage. Fragile hopes and agonizing doubts. I am, at once, the writer and the reader and the critic.
Every word and every scene is born of thought. And strong emotion is the power that nourishes those thoughts and rears them into the destiny they are to fulfill.
Emotion is the native language of self-talk; the language of our stories. And, for good or bad, it seems our most prolific emotion is fear. It, and it alone, is our lifelong saboteur. And our ever-present teacher - if we will but learn.
If it seems that I'm writing about fear quite often these days, it's because it is lurking in my periphery almost non-stop. And my self-talk reflects fear's mantra: "You'll never amount to anything. Your dreams are fool's gold. Life is never going to be better - not for you. You're going to struggle until the day you die."
If those words were uttered from a parent to a child, we'd call it abuse. We'd see the devastation words cause. We'd hear the self-loathing cloaked in the accusation. We'd be sickened by the parent and heartbroken for the child. And in a way, our minds play parent to us. Telling us what is possible and folly. Determining whether we advance or retreat.
I have no doubt that I am not alone in feeling the sting of fear's malice. This scene of self-abuse passes unnoticed each day for more people than we can imagine. Concealed in our private and soundless thoughts. A dirty little secret that makes us feel unspeakable shame.
I had a shoulder massage recently and commented that the muscles at the sides of my neck felt like bone. I'd seen Charlie, the faux skeleton in the corner of the room and saw that no bone existed where mine did. Years of tightening those muscles had frozen them into a perpetual clench. No amount of relaxing eased them at all.
The masseur told me that the tightness was most likely from unconsciously lifting my shoulders toward my ears. Physically, that made sense, but I wasn't aware of doing this particular activity as continuously as this state would require. He assured me that it was reversible with manipulation and ceasing the culprit shrug.
He encouraged me to become aware of when I lifted my shoulders and consequently begin to reverse the tightness. As I walked away I wondered how a person is to become aware of something that they are unaware of!
But, I did. And I surprisingly found that I tightened my shoulders all the time. Even when I wasn't seemingly stressed. I'd suddenly realize that my shoulders were raised. This went on multiple times a day for days...it's still going on. The muscle still feels like bone, but a wee bit softer.
I only mention this because awareness is the key to almost any change in what we unconsciously do. Like defeating fear. Fear lives in our unconscious and manipulates us from behind a veil. We might consciously know that we are afraid, but most often we are unconscious as to why. So, awareness of fear's first strike is key.
Because we experience fear as an emotion, we will most often first feel fear as a physical sensation. Our bodies are much quicker at reacting to our unconscious than does our thinking brain. So, begin to recognize how your body displays fear. Do you stop breathing? Does your stomach tighten? Do you feel like running away? Do you get myopic - seeing nothing else around you?
Fear is most easily defeated when it first appears. Before it has a chance to hypnotize you into submission. The moment you feel the sensation of fear, name it. We are always less afraid of something we can name. "I'm afraid I'm going to fail." By saying your fear out loud, you give your conscious mind a chance to engage. You might have been told before that when you're afraid, imagine the worst that could happen. And then ask yourself if that is at all likely to happen. Most often it isn't. That simple step of asking kicks our logic and reason into play and we can get an upper hand on fear's impact.
After becoming aware of fear's presence and naming it, put it to good use. See if you can find the lesson in this fear. What is it here to tell you? To teach you? What is its positive use? Fear isn't necessarily the enemy, but it is a messenger. Rather than shoot the messenger, understand the message.
Waking Up is about becoming aware; becoming conscious. It only takes a desire and a suggestion to wake up to that to which we were once blind. And once awake, we naturally take action – which is fear's arch enemy. Fear paralyzes. Action frees.
Hear fear's message and then begin immediately to take action. Any action. Where movement exists, fear cannot. And so, I end where I must begin. Not sure why I forget this lesson so regularly, but I do. I've succumbed to fear's paralysis once again. Time to get moving!