Tag: facing fear

The Fear Virus: 3 Little Stories

What the Heck is the Fear Virus? Little Story #1

I have a story to share about a tooth. About 15 years ago, I went to a dentist for a cleaning. While there, he looked at one of my premolars that was filled when I was very young. I was told emphatically that I needed to get a crown on that tooth; it was on the verge of breaking…so he said. He gave me the line that it was better to take care of it now than later as I might end up needing a root canal instead. He was passing on “the fear virus”.

Here’s the irony. I heard the same thing from another dentist a couple of years before. And yet, nothing had happened with that tooth in that period. That dentist was also rather emphatic. I could now believe this second dentist, take on the fear he was trying to instil in me for his profit and my financial detriment, or I could trust myself and walk away.

I’m really glad I walked away, for as I said, many years have passed and absolutely nothing has ever been wrong with that tooth! I could have gone through all that pain, discomfort, and expense for absolutely nothing but fear.

Why am I sharing this? Because this is happening to so many people every single day. Because we place way too much authority in the voices of “experts” who can only see life through the veils of their training (aka indoctrination) and perspectives. It’s a warning to all, a call not to submit to the fear virus that is proliferating across our planet.

Little Story #2

I’ll give you another example. Earlier this year, my partner was told by his doctor that if he didn’t have a certain procedure, he “wouldn’t see another Christmas”. Setting aside for the moment the completely unethical and unprofessional aspect of such a statement, this message naturally induced quite a fear in my partner. Worse yet was the fact that the doctors who were to have performed this “life saving” procedure failed to get in touch month after month. It started to cause panic in us both with each passing week we were put off, until I remembered something important: the Universe knows best.

By breaching ethics in the egotistical way he did, to plant that seed of unnecessary fear in my partner, this so-called doctor certainly caused far more harm than good (so much for “do no harm”). Maybe that procedure will one day be necessary. Or maybe it never will be. Either way, it isn’t meant to happen now, and it certainly won’t be helpful to have it under a falsified threat of impending, early death. True to my remembrance, the failure of the hospital to set a date for the procedure gave my partner the time he’s needed to re-evaluate his symptoms, reconsider what’s really happening with his health, and reflect on whether Dr. Ego even meant what he said or was just having a bad day and taking it out on him.

Little Story #3

What brought these stories to the surface is another tale I recently heard from a client whose doctor had tried to instil the fear-virus in her by saying that because she was run down and overstressed with responsibility, it was all the more important for her to have this shot and that shot and to take this pill to make her feel better. I won’t share more about that personal story, but I will share how angry it made me to hear it for several reasons.

When a person is facing challenge, they don’t need to hear how much more at risk they are for this disease and that disease and this or that psychological issue. The last thing, NOT the first thing, they need is a pharmaceutical option. First they need to be reminded that diet, sleep, and exercise are key. They need to be encouraged to self-care. They need to be reminded of their own power to heal. And they need to be reminded that challenge and difficult feelings fall on everyone; it is not a pathology to feel down when facing hardship! Popping a pill isn’t going to change anything; in fact, it may very well cause more enduring problems. And don’t get me started on shots!

The Molar Moral of the Story

Look, we all have to make our own decisions. What I’m trying to bring to light here is that too often, we relinquish what sovereignty we have because we think someone else knows best, and we usually do this out of fear. It’s a mistake! A big one. Our beliefs are powerful vessels of our faith, and it seems someone is always out to steal that power or steer it towards whatever serves their egos, pocketbooks, or paradigms. It’s time to recognize and own this power for ourselves.

We’ve got to start recognizing when someone else’s fear is trying to worm its way into our own system. We’ve got to start seeing how we ourselves might be trying to push our own fear off on others. And most importantly, we’ve got to stop taking actions out of fear and wasting precious time, money and energy.

Need a way to start? Check out this journal entry of “Four Steps to Overcoming Fear“.

 

Bliss of Being: Lessons from a Bad Rehearsal

In 2012, the Pure Heart Ensemble launched a CD, Bliss of Being, at the White Horse in Black Mountain. It was an amazing experience. We played to a “standing room only” crowd and even ended the night with a standing ovation…and not just because people were already standing!  ; )

I felt incredible love and appreciation being both given and received by all present. For me, it was a night to remember.

But I don’t want to write about the performance (er…transformance) so much as I want to write about the rehearsal. There is an old saying that a terrible rehearsal guarantees a great performance. So I guess I should be grateful that rehearsal was such a trial for me. The night of performance, I was so calm and centered, and I know it was because I had totally lost it at the rehearsal.

So what happened? Every self-doubt I have about myself rose to the surface the night before the show. A tornado of thoughts spun in my head. I’m going to make a big fool of myself. I can’t do this. I’ll never be able to do this. I was completely aware of them but not quite able to turn them around. I know this happens to a lot of performers…especially perfectionistic ones.

I was in complete and utter fear. I “knew” I was out of my league, trying to sing with these stellar, well-trained, “real” musicians. I am a joke. They are surely thinking they’ve made a mistake inviting me to be part of this ensemble. I am doomed to be replaced by someone who can really sing and who knows an A# from a G on paper.  I’m going to let everyone down. I am going to utterly humiliate myself, and on and on thoughts flashed through my head.

With each disturbing thought, I then had the thought that I was totally out of control with my thoughts…not to mention my ability to sing through all this. That just compounded the problem. Clearly, there was something going on within me far beyond the situation at hand. What I really wanted to do was run screaming to the bathroom to cry. Instead, I was determined to hold it all together…which probably just made matters worse. Did I mention the whole damn thing was being videotaped? I probably should have just run away crying. I would have surely been fine within five minutes or so. Embarrassed, but fine.

Instead, I sucked it all in to the point of feeling quite the insecure diva and fantasizing that I’d have an accident on the way to the show and not have to sing at all! I wanted to escape my certain humiliation that much. Fortunately, the witnessing side of myself was skeptical of my unfolding inner drama. The mind is nothing if not entertaining.

When I did finally get home that evening, in the safety and privacy of my home, I did cry. I remembered being on TV in the 4th grade and how a group of my peers made fun of me the next day. I felt all those feelings of not being worthy, of not being good enough, and on and on, moving up the spiral of healing to a new place…a place that would allow me to be present for the actual performance, a place that was asking me to hold a higher frequency of self-acceptance and confidence…something I could then transmit to whoever came to the concert.

I came to the point of accepting my fate be it humiliation or whatever else was in store. I would survive. Arriving at acceptance and detachment from outcome, which was possible only from going through the storm (not around it or over it or under it), calmed me completely and delivered me to a whole new level of being…the Bliss of Being. Was the drama necessary for me arrive? Well, it was this time around. Next time, maybe not. So often, we judge ourselves for the way things unfold. We forget, maybe because we don’t like the idea, that we aren’t in control.

I suppose this may surprise some people who think an experienced performer such as myself has already overcome such thoughts and feelings. I am a transformational voice coach for heaven’s sake, a person who helps other people use the voice to purify themselves and lead them into authenticity. But no, I still have these experiences…usually when I’m stepping up in some way. The point is, I go through it. I don’t let the fear, the thoughts, the feelings paralyze me, though they so easily could have. Neither do I buy into the “buck up” attitude many people will prescribe with unwanted advice to make themselves more comfortable. I’m voluntarily and completely in the discomfort of my emotional states until I am out of them. I know too well the gold they hide to turn the other way.

I share this story because I know people do let themselves be paralyzed from stepping out of their safety zones. They believe the thoughts that say they can’t, shouldn’t, and don’t deserve it. They have the emotional fear which seems bigger than they are. Or worse, they think they have to push away their doubts and feign some more appropriate image. What a tragedy of lives unlived and creative expressions never realized. But fear is always a tiny mutant shadow that only looks big and ominous when we refuse to look at it.

When we face our fear and allow the depths of our honest feelings, we discover a reserve of strength within us to accept what is. We step beyond our limitations into new territory. We grow. And then we really have something to share…an openness that heals.

From bad rehearsals, to terrible speeches, to botched performances, to humiliating auditions, what lessons have you learned from continuing to step forward and in deeper?

 

About the Author:

Beth Ciesco is your Selfcare Specialist, a certified yoga teacher and meditation facilitator. Check out the rest of the website to learn more about Restorative Healing YogaMirror MeditationE-Motion Alchemy, and Voicework as capital S Selfcare tools. You can also follow her on these sites:

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