A psychologist, author, mindfulness teacher and snowboarder, Dr. Kozak has been a great influence on my work, and I was honored to get a chance to interview him recently about fear, psychology and mindfulness.
I have been a faithful follower of and participant in Rhonda Britten's Fearless Living Boot Camp for the last two weeks. Although I feel I've made some progress, I also feel like something has been holding me back.
I am a new adventurer in fearlessness, but this insight allows me perspective enough to say that I was wrong to expect ease throughout life; I was wrong to reject opportunities because I was scared of what other people may think, or because they didn't look exactly as I had dreamed they would.
My last couple of blogs have focused on helping you become aware of your deepest fears and discover the negative patterns and habits that are dominating your life. This blog will look at how you change those undesirable patterns.
Most people hate closed MRIs. I used to be the same way until I decided to challenge my thoughts about them. What I found is if I allow my inner child and imagination to come forward, my spirits become lifted as a reward.
For me, the fear of nonperformance, the fear of failure, the fear of not living up to expectations (my own, more than anyone else's) is what I consider to be my biggest in life. I can attribute a lot of my personality traits and obsessive behaviors to this fear.
I need to feel safe, open, and confident that all people's hard work will make a positive contribution and a difference in the world. What, then, is my next step? I will feel the anger and be fearless anyway.
Fears hold us back in so many ways. Remember, most of us are living lives of habits and patterns ruled unconsciously by fear. It's time to WAKE UP to our fears and begin to live our lives from a conscious basis of love and understanding -- not an unconscious basis of fear!
All of these new experiences produce fear. If I didn't feel afraid of trying some of this stuff, I would really be nuts. Fear lets me know that this is real, and there are consequences, and I am alive. Feeling the fear is a good part of this journey.
Fitting out is not about being rebellious and purposefully trying to get a charge out of people like you did when you were a teenager. Fitting out is about being okay with following your heart, with being who you are.
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.
Whatever challenges you may be experiencing, it's times like these when we can choose to either be destroyed by our fears or be willing to endure the temporary deconstruction of our parts, thus creating awareness and shifting our perceptions, in order to be whole again.
My sister Janet told me that I'm stronger than she is in dealing with the loss of our mother. Maybe that's true, but I think it's that I let other people's well-meaning but fear-based comments pass through me, rather than letting them take hold of me.
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.
When I arrived at Kalani, I was trying desperately to integrate what I'd learned at the monastery into everyday life, and I felt like I was failing. I was stuck between worlds. I needed a bridge, a translator, a medium.
When we stop rejecting and hating fear, we disarm it and remove its power. As a result, fear stops being frightening and disruptive. What we reject becomes fiercer and scarier; what we welcome eases and lightens.
Whether amongst friends or strangers, authentically sharing your feelings creates a bond that lessens fear and isolation. Identifying with and sharing your successes and struggles with an empathetic group makes life a little sweeter. (Less scary, too!)
Everything you need to know about being fearless you can learn from watching children. They play with each other without ever knowing each other's names. They run, jump, climb, fall down and get right back up again. They are also our greatest teachers.