I know it’s not Halloween yet, but I couldn’t resist. Pretty awful illustration of a terrifying squid, right? Only a mother could love.
One day I was talking to a friend about fear; I asked what she was afraid of. She said, “Nothing, I’m not afraid of anything!” And the truth is, she is pretty fearless. But fear is a tricky one, and hides under so many of our patterned responses, we may not even know that fear is the base of whatever we are experiencing. Understanding the nature of fear and all the ways it manifests gives us the knowledge to address as we identify the source.
Fear is contraction, a tightening against unwelcome input. Different that what we expected or wanted, maybe possibly painful, wrong or bad, fear is the energy that says to our bodies, minds, hearts; everybody BRACE.
This is elemental, primal stuff we are experiencing, the same tightening our ancient cave dwelling ancestors felt when they heard a growl coming from deep in the sleeping cave. And, we have not evolved from that primal response, we do the same thing energetically as those folks did, we tighten, and we start telling stories of judgement and blame.
The only way out is in. If we keep contracting with more anxious energy and drowning in the ‘what ifs’, and ‘here we go agains’, more tightness is just more tightness, ease and peace a distant memory. So, what if we flip the narrative, play with the terrifying visage of fear, and treat it differently, so we get the ‘treat’ of peace and ease.
Think about something that causes you to feel anxious, irritable, sad, confused, alone, overwhelmed, for just a minute, bring one hand across your forehead, connecting the healing energy of your palm (we all have it) to the neurovascular reflex acupressure points on the forehead, that bring nourishment to nerves, flow to lymph and blood. Bring the other hand to the solar plexus, a gathering of nerves at the center of the body, right at the edge of the ribs. Keep thinking of whatever fear face contracts your body and mind— really ‘be’ with it, as you breathe and hold these powerful points. As you hold, you are teaching your brilliant primal brain that going into fight or flight mode is not necessary, not today. Feel the ribs expand and soften with the breath, drawing on the power of a full exhale and full inhale to release toxins (fear’s faces) and draw in nourishment. Take a moment to appreciate how cool it is, that we have tools for ease right at the end of our armbones. Give yourself a good squeeze, go on, wrap those arms around and give your sweet self a hug, you deserve it.
I can’t control things. I’m not safe.
I got you. Right here, you are ok.
Give me a hug. Breathe.