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? 

30 Days of 30. Day 5: miracles and mailings

 “But you accept me as I am with all that is fragile, all that is broken, all that is beautiful, too…Then the extraordinary thing is we can let down barriers, we don’t have to prove, I don’t have to pretend I’m better than you are, I’m allowed to be myself. I’m allowed to be myself because you love me.” Jean Vanier

“Any deep and genuine friendship is rooted in a covenant of two persons…To believe in someone is to give that person your heart, the very core of your being. We give each other a heightened sense of self-esteem, not through some dramatic, sensational act of love, but through the steadfast act of relentless belief in another day after day, acknowledging all the other’s potentials and possibilities.” Carmen Caltagirone, Friendship As Sacrament

One of the cornerstones to my 30 days of 30 is that it hinges on celebrating the relationships in my life–the people whose lives intertwine with mine from varying paths and worlds that I’ve been a part of over the years. While I have many ways that I love to celebrate people, one of my absolute favorites is to send snail mail (in fact, my project on July 1 centers around snail mail). Yesterday for the first part of my 5th Day of 30 Days of 30, I wrote snail mail: letters went out to penpals, to friends; I sent cards of congratulations and condolence; I wrote 10 (my maximum) Postcrossing cards.

All of this is a process: I like to specifically select the card, the stamp, that I think best matches the person who’s getting the mail. I own most of the current stamps that the Post Office has released… In fact, if you get one of those American Flags or Lady Liberty on your card from me, it isn’t because it’s my default stamp. It’s because you’ve told me that you like them (I can’t stand them). Letters are joy in a mailbox, especially amid the bills, catalogues, and flyers. So my first 30 Days of 30 activity of the day was to spread joy in the world, just a little bit.

Here is a sample of the assortment of mail I sent out:

Some of the mail that I prepared today: thank you cards, letters, congratulations cards, and of course, Postcrossing items

Some of the mail that I prepared today: thank you cards, letters, congratulations cards, and of course, Postcrossing items

My second activity to celebrate 30 Days of 30 was to visit Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC), which has a Prayer Room and a Peace Park with wonderful trails. There is also a lending library, and a room filled with the most amazing, beautiful, enormous crystal formations. My friend, Christa, had shared it with me in the fall, and since then I’ve returned many times. It’s a quiet space, and I love that since 1985, they have had a 24-hour, continuous prayer vigil. Every time I go to the Peace Park (as I call it), I return energized and calmed.

I love introducing friends to the space so that it becomes their own; my preference is to take people there individually for the first time. Yesterday, I went with my friend, Wendy. She met me at my house and we carpooled over together after she had signed her book for me.The entire experience was magical and filled with light, joy, gift. HOWEVER, there is a specific instance that bears sharing: Continue reading