And how do you feel as you get closer to your dreams becoming a reality?
Are you excited? Are you scared? Funny how those two emotions – fear and excitement – often go hand in hand. The really interesting thing is that when you look at the biochemical expression of these two emotions in the body… there is only one molecule of difference between fear and excitement.
Over the course of your life, you may have noticed that fear (resistance) does not go away. It cycles, it spirals, it varies in length or intensity, it may even change shape, color, or identity – in the LTYF program I interview an Amazon Top 25 Seller who shares how she created a comic book creature to represent her resistance!
You may have heard the saying: Feel the fear and do it anyway.
But what is the first directive there? FEEL the fear.
You cannot pretend that fear is not there, or minimize it, brush it off, or ignore it. And it doesn’t say: Think about the fear. It says FEEL the fear.
Let that fear run freely through your body. Take a moment now and close your eyes, invite whatever fear or resistance is coming up for you to flow through your whole body. Truly feel it. And as it runs and cycles around your body, see if you can sense your way around it, see if you can feel how right on the edge of excitement that fear is.
Free-flowing fear is liberating. It’s what animals do instinctively and why a horse can run for it’s life one minute and relax and eat grass the next. It’s only when you try to contain fear – by ignoring it, trapping it in your mind, or denying it – that fear turns toxic and can ruin your dreams, or your health, or your relationships.
Fear is the signal from your ego that you are going into uncharted territory, because your ego’s primary mandate is to keep you safe. But the ego only knows what it has already encountered. So when you venture into new territory, the ego feels unbalanced, it feels you tipping into the unknown and so it pulls you back saying, “Whoa! Be careful!”
Take a moment now and thank your ego for doing such a great job of working to keep you safe. Thank your ego for using fear to effectively deliver the message to you. And take a breath.
I like to use an analogy to illustrate the ego’s motivation when it creates fear or resistance against new or expansive things. In the physical body, there is a function called the Homeostatic Mechanism. This means that the various systems of the body are hardwired to maintain equilibrium (or balance), no matter what challenges or extremes occur.
In the blood, for example, if calcium levels drop below the normal (balanced) level, your body will pull calcium from your bones to maintain equilibrium, or homeostasis, in your blood.
The Ego’s Job – Balance
I feel the ego works together with the subconscious to maintain psychic, emotional and energetic homeostasis in the same way. So when you’re faced with an unknown, or challenging, or expansive possibility, the ego feels you tipping forward and says, “Yikes, out of balance! Here we go, let’s yank you back here into balance. Let’s maintain homeostasis, because that’s our evolutionary imperative. That’s what we’re hardwired to do.”
So it’s really important not to beat yourself up, or get frustrated when fear and resistance rise up again and again. Our conscious mind understands that these new steps will make our world better. But our ego, working together with our subconscious, cannot understand future possibilities. The ego and subconcious are anchored in the present and the past and all they know is that you are no longer in balance; and their primary job is to maintain homeostasis!
The process below is designed to reassure your ego that although you are tipping a bit – because you’re stepping up your game, or making your world bigger – balance will soon be restored and all will be well again.
Feel Your Fear & Dialogue With Your Ego
Take a breath. Spend some time now dialoguing with your ego about whatever fear or resistance you’re feeling and while you’re talking (out loud or in your head) also tap with 3 or 4 fingers on the fleshy part of the side of your hand. This is an acupuncture meridian point that will help integrate your emotions with your visceral body during this dialogue.
STEP ONE: Because you are allowing your fear to run freely through your body, you will also be able to access all the thoughts, beliefs and feelings connected to your fear. Perhaps you just want to call them out, one by one, as you tap on the side of your hand. Perhaps you want to talk about each feeling, or belief, or fear and where it came from and how it makes you feel and the effect it has on your life, or your relationships.
For example – tap on the side of your hand as your speak:
I hear that I’m really scared about being seen.
I understand that I am scared that people won’t GET me and will judge me; but then they won’t even be judging me, they’ll be judging their assumptions about me and that REALLY pisses me off.
I recognize that I don’t feel safe trying new things… I’m flashing to a memory of when I was 7 years old and I came to my Mom, so proud of the machine I just built and she screamed at me, so angry, and then she cried because I’d wrecked her clock and her toaster. I was devastated. I never wanted to hurt my Mom. I decided that I mustn’t ever act exuberantly on my ideas again. I made a vow never to risk my creativity and offer my pearls to the world again.
and so on. Go into your own life, your own experiences, go as far back as you need to go. Allow all your fears to flow through your body freely and speak them out, one by one. All while tapping on the side of your hand.
And when you’re finished speaking out everything that arises for you (keep tapping the side of your hand the whole time) and all your hopes and dreams for how things could be different, take a breath. Keep tapping, and then say, “And I love and accept myself anyway.” If you cannot say those words, then change them to, “And I would like to someday love and accept myself anyway.” Take another breath and relax your jaw, roll your shoulders, and stretch your neck.
Just sit quietly for a while now and feel into your body, feel the sensations. Feel whether your heart feels open, or closed. Feel your back. Feel your feet and your knees, feel your neck and your head. Just notice what’s happening in your physical body. Your awareness will help your body to integrate. Take a few breaths.
STEP TWO: Now speak to your ego and your subconscious like you would speak to a scared child. Tap on the side of your hand again as you speak. Explain what is happening in your life and at this point in your journey to freedom and explain why and how this is all for the good.
For example (take a relaxing breath) and tap on the side of your hand:
My dearest ego, I thank you so much for taking care of me and for doing such a good job of keeping me in balance. I totally understand that you are just doing your job right now. And you are trying to hold us back where you know it’s safe, because this new direction, this opening, this expansion feels scary and risky. It is the unknown and it is messy. It is not calm and safe… yet. And I want you to understand that we are in transition. I am asking you to trust me. To release your hold, to release your control and allow me to take us to this next level of openness and expansion and expression.
I promise that when we arrive in our new place of being, I will welcome you wholeheartedly to help us be balanced and centered in this new space.
STEP THREE: Now move from tapping on the side of your hand, to tapping or lightly thumping on your chest, like this:
As you tap with four fingers, or gently thump on your chest with your knuckles (the thymus meridian point), explain why and how this temporary imbalance is actually moving you to greater safety and even more secure balance. Feel free to repeat things you’ve already said.
For example – tap on your chest as you speak:
I hear your fears Ego, and I understand you are just doing your job – and I need you, I don’t want you to stop doing your job. I just need you to trust me for this short, transition period, to step aside and let me take care of us during this shift.
Because I am moving us to greater alignment with our life’s work and purpose. I am taking a step along the pathway to bringing us into greater expression of our true self and I want us to work together.
I am open to this new way of us working together to keep us safe. I am open to trusting you and having you trust me. Thank you.
And if you feel new fears arising at this point, return to Step One: just keep feeling it, letting the fear run through your body and speaking it out.
Keep going until you have nothing left to say and you have felt everything there is to feel. And wrap it up by saying (while tapping on your chest or the side of your hand): And I love and accept myself just the way I am, right now. Again, if you can’t say that truthfully, then say: And I would like to someday love and accept myself just the way I am.
Fear As Teacher
Use this same process whenever you feel fear arising. Even just allowing your fear to run through your body – instead of tamping it down, boxing it up, or willing it away – will have a profound effect on how you experience your life. Allow yourself to feel around the edges of that fear and maybe you’ll be able to feel how excitement is hovering there too.
Maybe you’ll even get to the point where you feel that fear coming and you welcome it, as a teacher, as a signpost, as a messenger and you even enjoy the rush of it! If you’ve ever galloped a horse, or jumped off a high diving board, or driven really fast, you’ve already experienced how fear and excitement can be a rushing, exhilarating place to be – some may even say, enjoyable.
And once you’ve used this process to take care of your ego’s needs, you will likely feel a whole lot more excitement than fear! Then, maybe you’ll be ready to move forward in creating the life of your dreams.