There's a saying among the optimistic - fear is courage that has said its prayers.
But there are those - like the world's most opportunistic hockey mom Sarah Palin - who use fear to fuel pessimism and hate. Sarah Palin's brand of fear can be like a virus. Contagious. But you don't have to catch it.
You can see how destructive fear is. Just watch Sarah Palin rile up a crowd to the point where you hear shouts of "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" coming out of the audience.
Flashing her poisonous smile, Palin prefers to fan the flame of fear for her own short-sighted political gain rather than spread serenity, strength and real power.
This is how fear - at its worst - operates. You can see and feel the hatred emanating from the crowds hearing her attacks and accusations.
Does any thinking, feeling person really think Obama is a terrorist? The answer is no. But when the country is gripped in fear and knows in its gut that no one is home at the White House - it's human nature for some to want a scapegoat.
When you're in fear, reality becomes distorted - even for the most rational person. Sarah Palin is exploiting the nation's fear - and her supporters are goosestepping right behind her. People like Palin always have a final solution and though it's always temporary and transparent - it can wreak serious havoc and harm.
But you don't have to play into the trap that fear represents. Whether your fear is personal or political - and people like Gloria Steinem would say the two are inextricably intertwined - you can use it to challenge yourself, to motivate, inspire and rise above.
You don't have to deny fear - but you can decide not to let it dominate your life. Better to face your fears and conquer them - rather than giving in to worry and blame and taking on the soul of a Sarah Palin supporter.
Trust me, I'm not in denial. I know how tough it is out there. I work as an energy healer and success coach in Manhattan. This week, panicky friends and clients have been calling my office or coming in with frightening stories of people moving into "tent cities" or living out of their cars because their loans and credit lines were cut.
Celebrity clients of mine are downsizing dramatically: canceling house renovations and trips because they want the cash. They won't be lining up outside the soup kitchen but they won't be spending their money either. The hard times won't be over for awhile.
I wrote a book in 2005 encapsulating my work and philosophy called "Life Shift." The problem is - people want their life to shift only when they say so.
We're living through a Life Shift right now - but all most of us can see and feel is fear.
My work is all about making dreams come true but when times are tough I'm the last person who will tell you to deny your fears and chant a lot of positive affirmations.
Here's the real "Secret." The way to overcome the negative power of fear is to face the truth about what you're afraid of - and by doing so, release it.
What's your worst fear? Admit it - and write it down. Be honest - no fear is foolish! Are you afraid of:
1. Losing your job?
2. Losing your house?
3. Running out of money?
4. Living in a tent?
5. Panhandling on the street?
6. Dying of starvation?
Once your truth about your fear is out there - you can release it. Then you can powerfully shift your energy and focus on creating positive things you want to create in you life. Then you experience an authentic Life Shift.
We need our fear. It gets us out of the way of the bus. We just don't want to get stuck there - because then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If we don't deal with our fear then we run the risk of becoming like Sarah Palin supporters - cowards in thrall to a steely, scary, incompetent scapegoater. We become people who run the risk of calling Obama a terrorist.
The only thing you have to fear is your own inner Sarah Palin.
Better yet, use it. Suit up, get on the ice, face your fears and say:
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