In my last post, we talked about how fear can keep you in a stinkhole of suffering, and I touched briefly on the effects that living in fear-based survival mode has on your autonomic nervous system.
The ANS controls most of the processes involved in keeping you alive, and it does so without any help from your conscious mind. (When was the last time you consciously digested a meal?)
When our ANS is out of sorts, incoherent, or scrambled, then we are out of sorts. In other words, that incoherence causes unpleasant stuff to happen, like heartburn, indigestion, or even worse, cellular damage which over the long term your body becomes unable to properly repair.
When your ANS is in balance, your body is functioning at its best; you feel energetic, creative, and more in love with life. All those processes that keep your body alive are just humming along, or whistling while they work.
What does any of this have to do with talking with fear?
Once you’ve practiced sitting with your fear (ahem, read the last post), and used your senses to understand and name your fear, you’re ready to do more than walk with fear. You’re ready to talk with your fear.
Wait – that sounds woo-woo!
I know what you’re thinking here. Sounds a little airy-fairy. But here’s the thing. If you get quiet, really quiet, and start asking questions, you’re going to get some valuable answers about your situation that will really help you out of the stinkhole.
What does this mean, then, to talk with fear?
If your fear, anxiety, and worry are parts of yourself, it stands to reason, then, that talking with your fear is sort of like talking to yourself. (Only without everyone thinking you’ve finally snapped and lost your mind.)
It means going within for the answers you need. By within, I mean, getting in touch with all that juicy, gooey stuff below your conscious awareness. Yep, talking ‘bout the subconscious realm here (a favorite subject of mine, yes).
And to keep it simple, I’ll put your subC thoughts, actions, and programming into the simplest possible light. Everything that happens below our conscious awareness (which is actually 95% of all your thoughts, beliefs, and actions) has one and only one objective: to keep you and that gorgeous temple of a body of yours safe and free from harm.
How do we do it? How do we talk with fear?
Start with a few good questions (and there are loads of resources online for this).
Think back to when you first experienced this feeling. What was going on at the time? At what other points in your life have you felt this way? Connect the dots. Find the meaning in the subtext.
Is this something that is really going on in the present moment, or have you catastrophized something from the past that is over and done? (Is your inner monologue stuck on repeat?)
What single action can you take today to positively impact your situation?
What harm is possibly being avoided by this worried, anxious, or fearful situation? What false rewards are you receiving from staying in this stinkhole? (What do you gain by staying in this cycle?)
You know that great feeling you have when you talk a problem through with a friend? You get that clarity that eluded you because everything was doing somersaults in your brain until you verbalized your situation? Well, I’m here to tell ya (remind you, really) that you can do this for yourself.
This talking is what creates the opening for clarity. Meditation is a great facilitator of this process, as is journal writing. Sit in purposeful silence with the intention of gaining clarity on your situation. Let one question lead you to the next. Be creative and open and fire away!
Stay tuned for Part 3: Embracing Your Fear
(Yes, I really just said that.)