Working with fear

In my deep immersion of this Work for more than 14 years now it continues to amaze me and humble me how powerful fear thinking can be in over riding our clear thinking and ability to act from a wise, integrated space. How it can so profoundly block connection, seeing and hearing – and creative thinking.

There is so often what we “know” we value, and all the wisdom we have learned along the way – and then when we are in the grip of a fearful belief, that wisdom is nowhere to be found and we find ourself acting out of the fear movie in some habitual way or shutting down or fleeing the scene. Missing the support or other valuable information reality might have to offer in that moment.

We ‘know’ that wise stuff. And then in another moment, we don’t. We have capacity to think creatively one moment, and then in the grip of a fearful belief – we lose access to it.

I have been talking about it lately as the fearful mind ‘override’. Noticing with compassion how it can happen to all of us. Fear thinking is powerful, and the responses it triggers make it even harder to simply think or problem solve our way out of it.  Without a way to directly engage with the fears that set our reaction off, those patterns stay in place, even if our best intentions are to act from a more grounded place.

Our minds have a powerful ability to project a reality, figure things out (make a story) – and I believe a core function of survival – and those things together with fear can create a lot of confusion in how we process what is happening and how we see the immediate or distant future.  Our minds also have an amazing capacity for curiosity and learning, when the right conditions are in place. I have noticed that fear thinking closes that space down, and inquiry and some pause for contemplation wakes the inquiring mind back up.