When the news brings the awareness of actual tragedies into your everyday life, it can be rattling.
Hearing about random shootings, missing planes or freak illnesses brings up thoughts and feelings we'd rather not have.
Countless wildly successful people have mentioned that they experienced some level of fear just as they were about to launch to the next level. The ones that actually do make the launch to the next level are those that keep their fear in check.
The solution to overcoming fear lies not in finding the shortcut around it but in seeing fear's fundamental paradox: Western culture views tenderness as weakness and repression of feelings as strength, but actually the opposite is true.
How to answer to fear is different in every case. What is important is that we do not automatically react to fear by either doing the thing that scares us or not doing it. Fear is just a warning light, there to alert us that we need to inquire more deeply into ourselves.
The practice is to acknowledge our fear and embrace it rather than deny or run from it. To embrace our fear means we are making a conscious choice not to allow it to define who we are or what we can accomplish.
I've learned to separate my fears from my intuition and, at times, to follow my intuition through the fear. I've learned that love is a powerful antidote and can scare the demons back into the dark -- but according to Srinivasen S. Pillay, the main enemy of fear isn't love.
When we truly believe that we are not our bodies, that we are not our personalities, that there is a part of us that is greater than all of this, then we begin to know that who we really are is safe at all times -- and fear has no grip on our lives.
In this video, I'm sharing my favorite teaching about fear, which comes from the late Rabbi Alan Lew. This simple, little-known idea about fear has been life-changing for the women and men I work with.
Whether it's financial, the loss of a loved one, a health issue, or any other hurdle in your path, I find that if you take a step back and change your perception of the situation, you just might bounce back and prevail.
You have to ask yourself: When the bomb goes off, are you going to run toward it, or away? I hope that I would have the courage to run toward the bomb. I also hope to never be in the situation where I have to find out.
If we think our life dull and routinized we may profitably think more on our predecessor, Odysseus, and why someone 2,700 years ago thought it so important to write about the twin perils of fear and lethargy.
Fearful people live their lives as if they are passengers in an out-of-control car. Rather than doing something to control the situation -- by getting into the driver's seat -- they operate the car as passengers.