This past couple of months I have been focusing on building my coaching practice. This new path of running my own business is a totally unknown territory. While I swim in this ocean of unknown things that I need to work out to achieve my goal, I am TERRIFIED! The voice in my head is having a blast! My relationship with fear has been, well something like this “I don’t like you in my life” “I know you have a place but I still don’t like you”. However, this past month I have had deeper insights about fear, let me explain….
As I read Alan W Watts’ book, Wisdom of Insecurity, A Message for an Age of Anxiety, I got a new perspective on my fears and life. Watts stated, “This is then, the human problem; there is a price to be paid for every increase in consciousness. We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain. By remembering the past we can plan for the future. But the ability to plan for pleasure is offset by the “ability” to dread pain and to fear the unknown”. Watts explained in his book how our divided mind is the cause of our suffering. He take us on a journey to understand how we have come to see ourselves as separate and points to the impossible task of separating something that is naturally Whole.
There seem to be a continuous conflict within us, we want the pleasure but not the pain. As for me, I want the good feeling of helping others thrive, working for myself but I resent the fear/pain that comes with making it happen. It is clear that both go hand in hand, we cannot have pleasure without pain just like we can’t go up without going down and just like we cannot have life without death. Watts stated that “life and death are not two opposed forces; they are simply two ways of looking at the same force, for the movement of change is as much the builder as the destroyer”
So far I have been treating fear as “the bad guy” in my life movie where sometimes I want to defeat it and other times I want to run away from it. I try to be brave every time and face the fears, whether it is to push it away by motivating myself, pretend it is not here by focusing on the positive or trying to ‘fix’ it by thinking, analysing, strategising. However, Watts suggest that “facing fear is still not understanding it. To understand it, you must be it” He added, “Understanding comes through Awareness“.
Awareness is the experience of each present moment where the mind and the heart are wide open. In other words, we must simply allow the present experience. When I stop resisting and surrender to the pain/fear, I allow my Fear to Be and thus allow my Self to Be Whole. Watts argue that the thinker cannot be separated from the thought, or the feeler from the feelings, that there is simply only Experience. So when we try to separate the Self from the Feelings, we are going against nature thus creating more pain. We cannot run away from nor fight something that is happening within us. Based on my own experiences, it doesn’t work and it makes things worse! The security blanket we hold on to is a trick of the mind, it is the Ego trying to save itself using the memory of the past. But Watts explain, when you are remembering the past, you are doing it in the present which is then “part of the present experience”.
Therefore to be Free and at Peace is to:
- Stop the fight within (let go of judgments, of good vs bad/ this vs that… of the divided mind)
- Stop holding on to the known/past (the illusion of the security blanket)
- Be fully open to each present moment, allowing yourself to Be what the present moment is (Not the past or the future)
How I do this?
I find a quiet place, breathe in and out, allowing my thoughts and feelings to be. I use a journal to write what comes. If I am really stressed and not focused, I just start where I am, starting to write how I am feeling… then my thoughts starts to flow. And more often than not Ideas/solutions/insights will appear to me and instantly as Watts wrote, my pain/fear is then “absorbed”.
If you are worried about anything, try not to resist instead allow your worries to come through, be fully present and open, your worries have a message for you, just listen. If you need help, please contact your health practitioner and if you think I can help, let’s have a chat, just click on get in touch and send me a message. I hope this has been helpful.
With much love and TO THE BEST IN YOU
Reference: The Wisdom of Insecurity, A Message for an Age of Anxiety by Alan Watts
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