Woof! What wild times we are living in right now. Transformation of ourselves, our society, and the planet as a whole is now. There is no certainty and things change day by day and sometimes hour by hour.
We humans do not do well with the unknown: our reptilian brains like life all laid out and predictable. And that is just not an option now.
How we respond to uncertainty is usually with fear: fear of lack (food, money…), fear of missing out, fear of death, even fear of one another. The feelings are real, but the futurizing conclusions are not. The more we allow fear to run rampant in our heads and lead our life, the more taxed our immune systems become and the stronger the fear just builds on itself, taking us further out of control.
A very helpful tool I use again and again to center myself is remembering that FEAR is an acronym = False Evidence Appearing as Real. What this asks us to do is look at now vs. what could happen in the future, which is vast and unknown (there’s that unknown again.)
Before you accuse me of minimizing or white-washing this very serious situation we’re in with the Covid-19 pandemic and the real emotions we’re feeling about it, stop. I am taking this pandemic and its effects on us very seriously, which is why I am posting videos, blogs, songs, and tools for living simply every day.
Back to this re-centering tool.
Step 1: Grab some paper, a pen and two bowls or baskets. Designate one bowl with a sign: TRUE NOW, the other with FALSE.
Go into your fear and feel it. Take a deep breath. Break down the fear into what specifically you are afraid of by asking: What am I actually afraid of? Running out of food? Lack of available medical care? Contracting the virus? Fear for your beloveds’ safety?
As a specific concern is identified, write it down on a small strip of paper. Then immediately ask: Is this happening right now? If it is not, put it aside in the FALSE basket. If it is currently taking place, put the slip of paper in the TRUE NOW basket.
Step 2: After identifying, naming and categorizing the fears, congratulate yourself on doing this practice! It is scary, yet a bit liberating, right? It’s now time to kick into being fully in the now by expressing mega gratitude, another practice that highlights what is so right now.
Write down 10 ‘somethings’ – both tangible and intangible – you are grateful for. Go wide, go deep, go small, even. “I am grateful for________.” Some examples to get you started: health, a warm home, the caring of your friends, deep love for your partner, fresh food in the garden, a pen to do this exercise with…You get the idea.
Daily, your practice is to write 10 different somethings each morning upon rising AND each evening right before going to sleep. When new fears rush in or identified ones rear up, run Step 1.
Engaging with this practice of identifying your fears, giving thanks for what is so and what you have now, will change your experience of this challenging yet opportunity-rich period we’ve been given.
Part 2 of this Dismantling Fear process leads you through the next steps of releasing the FALSE fears and turning the TRUE NOW ones into actions for solutions.