The end of the year is a great time to reflect on all of the healthy lessons we have learned, while also prepping for an amazing new year. 2013 has had a series of ups and downs for me and my family. In all of the challenges, one lesson shines as a beacon guiding me to be stronger and more resilient. It is a truth that is not so easy to face, yet it leads to endless rewards. That lesson is (drum roll please….)
We Must Face Our Fears
I have been a worrier for as long as I can remember. When you consider that all thoughts carry energy (and they do), worries and fears represent pieces of energy that are trapped in your being poisoning you and stripping away health and happiness little by little. In fact some believe that negative thoughts and fears could be a breeding ground for autoimmune disease, cancer and many other disease states, a theory that I initially refused to believe, but was forced to honor after realizing that living a more fearless life has done wonders for my health.
To help fight fear and anxiety, over the past few years I have found gentle ways to dissolve negative energy including writing out worries and fears and then ripping them up or burning them; releasing painful thoughts and emotions over to a higher power (ie. Give it to God) through prayer; and practicing relaxation techniques like yoga, Qigong, EFT, meditation and deep breathing. These methods work great to subtly shift elements of one’s body, mind, and spirit into a more balanced, positive state. But, typically, they can be rather slow.
This year I realized that if you really want to eliminate your fears and worries, you’ve got to hit them head on. Can’t you just hear Sara Bareilles belting out, “I wanna see you be brave?” Some people say you should do something that scares you every day. I’m not quite in that camp. But, I can tell you that 2013 marks the year that I did kick many fears to the curb by; riding every roller coaster at Six Flags (and getting sick, but living!), taking a 2000+ mile road trip with my sister and nephews (getting irritated, and living), attending a new church (feeling like an imposter, yet thriving) and enduring a job loss (and yet again still living). “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a mantra that I used to hate, but now I really feel its brilliance and power. If you want to have a truly healthy and joyful life you have to live. You can’t cower. You can’t hide. To paraphrase guidance from my new spiritual teachers, to really live the life that was intended for me I must “go forth and let my light shine.”
Bonus Lesson: Trust Yourself
Living in a fearless way, does not mean that you won’t feel fear. The feeling of fear or discomfort in your body is often a very powerful signal that shouldn’t be avoided. If you have faced a fear with all the strength you can muster, and it still persists, then it just might be time to look deeper into what it is telling you. If something is scary because it just doesn’t fit in with who you are or what you believe, all the bravery in the world isn’t going to make it better. Learning to trust and love yourself and your decisions is essential for living the life that is most courageous for you.
I hope the coming year brings you much love, very little fear, and all that your heart desires!