I’m currently making a film on fear.
Good time for it, right?
I wish it weren’t.
Not too long ago I sat down with Dr. Joe Dispenza to interview him for the film, which by the way is called Facing Fear. We were in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs. He was about to do a huge week long workshop. As we were setting up I mentioned that I’d already done some 30 interviews for the film, and he asked me what had I learned about fear.
It stumped me, that question, because during the past year, speaking to all the luminaries that I have about fear, I’ve learned a lot. But how to encapsulate that in a quick response as Dr Joe is getting miked up – I couldn’t, really. It’s complex. And I won’t fully understand fear until I finish the film. But here is a potted version of what I’ve learned so far –
There are two types of fear – real fear and imagined fear. Real fear is survival based fear, and it inhabits the body. Imagined fear is illusory based fear, and it inhabits the mind.
Our bodies can’t distinguish between real fear and imagined fear. One of the reasons there’s so much sickness and ill health in our society is because we live too much in imagined fear and the chemical secretions that result damage our biological systems.
So we have this coronavirus and we’re scared.
We’re scared of getting sick.
We’re scared our loved ones will get sick.
We’re scared of losing what we have.
We’re scared of suffering.
We’re scared of dying.
We’re scared someone we love will die.
Ultimately, we’re scared of change.
Because this little bug is causing monumental change.
Personally, socially, geo-politically.
So let’s look at the fears associated with this virus. And let’s look at what we can do to mitigate those fears. Let’s consider what we can control. And acknowledge what we can’t control. Let’s consider what’s the worst that can happen. Because one thing I’ve learned about dealing with fear is that we have to look unflinchingly at the worst possible scenario.
We can only deal with fear if we don’t shirk from it – we must face it head on.
What I’ve learned is this: to deal with fear we first have to determine whether the fear is real or imaginary. For instance, our fear of death. The statistics coming through so far indicate that even if you do get infected, the chances that the infection will be mild are very high. And the recovery rate is high. So perhaps your fear of death is an imagined fear.
If you’re elderly and have underlying health conditions, the stats aren’t so good, admittedly. And if you’re a health professional and for whatever reason you’re not fully protected, you’re at high risk. But this raises the next aspect of how to deal with fear –
Look at fear as your friend.
Fear is a friend tapping you on the shoulder saying: Hey, watch out – there could be a tiger in that cave. Once you start looking at fear as your friend you can use it as an early warning system that enables you to plan and make change. And once fear becomes your friend it becomes, well, less fearful.
Fear of going broke?
Look at what you can control, and what you can’t control. You can’t control the stock market, but you can control if you sell or stay. But consider this: fear contracts, hope/love expands. Decisions made in fear now will be decisions you’ll regret later.
The other thing I’ve learned is that there’s no point trying to rid yourself of fear. That’s just not going to happen. But if you find your fear – find out what it really is that you’re afraid of – and then befriend it, and get to know it and hear what it is it’s trying to tell you, then you can use it to make changes in your life.
One of my interviewees said you’ve got to lean-in to fear. In other words, work with it. Get it to work for you, to better your circumstances, and your life.
What’s the best thing to do right now? Raise your vibrations by eating well, exercising, sleeping heaps, taking vitamins, laughing a lot, and meditating.
This little bug is testing us.
It’s asking us to stand up and declare: Who am I, really?
We as individuals, we as communities, we as nations, and we as a species will be defined by how we handle this unprecedented threat to our well being. I for one would like to be defined by my handling it with calm, with dignity, with compassion and generosity of spirit, with a love and deep respect for every human being on this planet – and with grace.
If I can do that then I don’t mind dying…