Monday, September 21, 2009

Fear. And?

Have you seen the preview to the 2012 movie? It shows glimpses of total catastrophe. Big chunks of city blocks swallowed by the earth... Really scary stuff. Remember when the year 2000 was going to screw up food transportation because of the Y2K computer bug, and our bank accounts were going to get screwed up, etc. Don't we have enough fear without buying into these? I know that fear is incredibly entertaining and a good sales pitch for survival equipment, but don't we have important things to do in life? I know that my body has some kind of expiration date, and I'm grateful for the time I have. And I want to do the best I can.

Instead of encountering fear and stopping, I am trying the "Fear. And?" approach. I feel the prickly and sometimes sickening fear and I ask myself what else is here? There is fear, however can I see something else as well? If I can then a choice presents itself. Do I go with the fear, or do I do something differently? Can I offer a creative or thoughtful solution to the moment, or does the grip of fear run the show?

Fear is incredibly short-sighted. Being present with the here and now is incredibly deep. To get through the current crises we need to be deep. ...not just intellectual, but also deep. Deep including what we know and future and vision, also having a sense of how we got here might help. Who do we want to be? Who are we becoming? How do we move towards a future we want? Do we care enough to make changes?

It's not just distraction that can keep us from doing what is right, it's also fear. A fearful mind state is incredibly narrow. A person who is afraid is trying to survive, and basic instincts take over in survival mode. There isn't the presence of mind for a thoughtful response.

This world calls for a longer view. Give yourself time to release fear and relax in that state. Getting together with others in a yoga class can be a good way to relax into yourself in a way that can allow for this kind of potential to unfold. Let's change the world!

See the fear and also see what else is there. Let's find the creative solutions to personal and collective challenges. We create certain problems together. How can we solve these group effects like global warming, racism, violence, or poverty? How can we bring consciousness to our actions that have personal effects and global implications? Let's do it! Let's make the world a better place together.


YogaforCynics said...

Oh, Yogic Muse, thank you for this beautiful and thought-provoking post, which inspired me to write a really long, involved, and, I think, pretty good comment--which I then decided was long, involved and pretty good enough that I'm gonna turn it into for a post on my blog...particularly since, until just now, I've been seriously lacking in ideas...and I promise it'll be even more pretty good once I take some time and mess around with it a bit...

Bob Weisenberg said...

The Yoga answer to fear is that we're one with the universe, and the universe will still be here no matter what happens.

This argument is a little heavy for some. I tried to get at this with my ultimate doomsday blog, written in the form of an Upanishad no less:

What is "That" and Why am I "That"

Some may take this to mean nothing matters, so why do anything. But for me, like you, this loosening of fear frees us up to do the right thing for the world as a whole (just like you suggest in your blog), since we are all each other, too.

Bob Weisenberg

Anonymous said...

Fear is such an interesting emotion. It can stop us in our tracks, or spur us onward. Its all a matter of perspective, and how we choose to treat fear when it arises.

I think almost everything in our culture is based on fear. Whether that's fear of death, loss, seperation, aging, lack of money, failure, new challenges... and so on. There's so many ways we fear, and that it can either restrict or enable us.

But I'm not convinced we can away with fear all together. It is what keeps us safe as per the fight or flight mechanism. It provides us with caution, it tells us to be careful. This can without doubt, grow wild like weeds and infest our quality of life, though.

The question for me, is how much do we let fear rule our actions? I've ended relationships out of fear, I've stayed in relationships out of fear. I've pretty much done or not done a whole heap of things in my life because of fear.

Over time, I've learned to dismantle my fears and/or see them for what they are.

And yes, yoga is a perfect metaphor for dealing with fear. The poses I find challenging create fear that I will hurt myself or look stupid. But when I can eventually do them, I feel fantastic. There is always another challenge though, so we keep going...

Brooks Hall said...

Gosh, Dr. YogaforCynics Jay, you tease me! First you say that you had a long and pretty good comment, then you decide to keep it to yourself! Okay I'll look forward to your post.

Brooks Hall said...

Thanks for that link to your blog, Bob! I enjoyed reading it. It's true. And for the time being I have an individual body and mind, so I want to do something helpful with this blessing.

Brooks Hall said...

Thanks, Svasti! I can relate to what you're saying. And I think fear is an important part of experience to be aware of, too.

Unknown said...

This is like a philosophy musicians use while improvising. It's called "Yes, and." You accept whatever musical phrase your band mate emotes, and you add to it, creating a nifty jam.

Brooks Hall said...

Thanks, Andrew. I love that! ...gonna make a "nifty jam" Yes!