Journey to Mindfulness–Day 5

Day 5:  Have tea with your fears.  

Fears.  Thoughts that linger, grow bigger in both volume and anxiety.  “Awful-izing” and “what if” lists get longer.  Breathing becomes restricted, shallow.  Tension in the neck, shoulders, and even chest.  Complete overwhelm.

The truth:  Fears are just thoughts.

Shocking, right?  They are just thoughts.  Thoughts we give power, to debilitate us, to make us weep, to bring us to our knees.  A thought monster.

The obsessive patterns of fear and worry, bring great havoc to the body.  The physical and mental disarray that fears promote, deter you from building the life you want.

For today, or any day you find yourself immersed in fear, try this simple exercise:

Create a quiet space for yourself.  Maybe in your favorite room in the house or even in a beautiful and tranquil place in nature.  You can even clear the clutter from your office desk at work and put the computer and the phone to sleep.

Make yourself a cup of tea.  Chamomile.  Mint.  Lemon.  Any type of soothing and relaxing beverage.

Prepare a writing surface–to journal or mind map your thoughts.  Use a sketch book or journal.  Even a scratch piece of paper will work.  The purpose of writing is significant and yet quite simple:  It transitions the thought out of the mind and into reality.

Be present with your fears.  Notice your breathing.  Find your center.    Allow your fears to surface.  Be curious.  Be compassionate.  Forgive yourself.  Question, in the most tender and sincere way, your fears.  In famous Byron Katie tradition, “Who would you be without that thought?  Is it true?  How do you know it’s true?”  Write out your thoughts.  Make connections about where the fear is, and why it is present.  Formulate the truth for yourself through structured compassion and analysis of these ideas, these ideas that might be true and might not be true.  Notice where you place your energy, your power.  Feel the truth, the freedom, the relief in knowing and acknowledging what it is you are thinking, what it is you are telling yourself about your life.  Take as much time as you have and as much time as you need.

Close the exercise with an affirmation:  These fears.  These fears.  I am more than these fears.  These fears are here to protect me.  And while I am doing the best I can to make good decisions, there will be surprises.  I can handle it, and no matter what happens, I will all be okay.  So, thank you fears, for loving me, for reminding me I am whole, and good, and taken care of so judiciously. Validate the fear.  Acknowledge your strengths.  Feel the grace of the moment.  Let it go.

Mindfulness acknowledges fear with the compassion it needs to settle your soul, to find your truth, to reaffirm your strength.  Be mindful of your fears and they will not rule your life, but rather, they will open the door to new growth, new possibility for strength and development of true character.

Build the life you want, one moment at a time.  Have tea with your fears today…and let it go.

 

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