3 ways to kick Fear to the curb

fearYesterday, I conquered fear.

Given a moment of confrontation, I didn’t allow the story inside my head to take over my day (it was only 7:30 am– it would’ve been a really looonnggg day if I obsessed over the single text message that overwhelmed me with fear).

Saturday, I lost out to fear.

Instead of dancing with a woman whom I love, I worried about how I’d look. I LOVE to dance; if you ever pass me on the highway, you’ll see my moves. But anywhere else, where I might be seen? Forget about it. The real kicker– it was just the two of us, in my home. That’s right, I wasn’t even in public.

I’ve been thinking about fear a lot these last few months.

Fear of the unknown
Fear of the uncontrollable (in nature, in others’ choices, of dis-eases)
Fear of loss (of loved ones, of clients, of myself, of friends…)
Fear of judgment (from others, of others)
Fear of lack of income (even though I have an abundance of work)
Fear of betraying myself (even though there are lots of folks who keep me honest)
Fear of broken (or breaking) relationships
Fear of speaking secrets

Some days I dwell in the fear and forget that it’s a little voice, a voice that’s there to inform me, like a telegram, saying “hey, pay attention, what’s going on down there?”

In those days:

I draw inward to stay safe.
I grasp instead of letting go.
I spin in the stories in my head and don’t step out into the present moment.

Other days I lean into the fear, especially when someone calls me on it, asking me “what type of person do you want to be?”

And in those days:

I choose love over distrust.
I choose expansion and openness over constriction.
I choose Monica over Monica as-perceived-needed-judged by others.
I choose the moment, rather than living in the past or the future.
On those days that I choose not-fear, how do I do it? Here are ya go:

Top 3 ways I move through fear.

1) Amazing folks who remind me of who I am.
Seriously. This is probably the most important one for me. I have friends who I run stories by, healers who work on me (and speak to me in a direct, no-bullshit, I-know-your-light-Monica way), colleagues who know my character and remind me.

2) Meditation prayer in the morning.
I go through cycles of remembering and forgetting this one. But, when I remember to set an intention for the day, without fail I am more grounded and better able to stay present rather than leave the present and live in fear.

3) Get outside and connect to the bigger picture.
I live near beautiful woods and an incredible lake. Getting out and moving reconnects me to the natural world and helps my blood and energy circulate and recharge. How can you look at this and feel anything but awe?

A blue heron at the lake near my home.

4) Bonus method! When all else fails, I scream it out. 

What are some ways YOU’VE found of bypassing fear when it stops you? 

Happy Samhain! (pt 1)

… They were actors, not kids running around without their parents. I realized this when I saw other youth, similarly dressed, running the concession stand.

My brother and I texted back and forth a bit: he assured me that he would have come with me, if he were closer. I continued to people watch from my perch on the bench: I saw a friend, dancing close to the stage, and I watched her freedom and ease with envy (yup, I was still stuck in self-pity mode). Finally, I got up, during a break between songs, and I offered my friend’s husband one of my donuts. He and I traded–an apple cider donut for a glow stick bracelet–and I walked back to my bench, with just one donut remaining, a donut that I was going to toss into the trash. Continue reading