I have something that I have to tell you. I recently experienced F.E.A.R. Yes, it’s true! Now for many of you of this may not seem that unusual. I mean everyone experiences fear at some point in their life right? But you see, I am a meditation teacher, and I’ve been practicing meditation twice a day for 17 years. What I teach is a technique that reduces F.E.A.R. And yet after all these years, I recently came down with a case of it. It wasn’t fun.
What is F.E.A.R.? Future Events Appearing Real. It is a removal from the present. It’s a mental projection into the future, into an imaginary event. So there I was, in sunny Fiji with my lovely family having a wonderful holiday. The fresh warm air rustling among palm trees, warm sun on my skin, the pacific ocean lapping at my toes, delicious food, lots of lightness and love. I was present; there was nothing but the now. Nothing but the sheer simplicity of being there, right there, in sunny peaceful Fiji. My world was bliss.
And then it happened. I was removed from the present and projected into the future. That’s when the F.E.A.R. arrived. You see it was triggered by three events in the space of about 2 hours all revolving around my future career prospects. To let you in on the situation there is some vulnerability about my day job, as many other people are experiencing in the world today. While I was in Fiji I received some phone calls and messages from friends that have had their world turned upside down as their careers and financial stability were removed from them. This triggered my mind to suddenly run rampant with all these imaginary scenarios and then wham! That was it; I was removed from the present and propelled into some un-real future!
What then happened? My entire holiday changed, well for a few hours anyway as I to grappled that mind of mine back from its very creative thinking process. I felt heavy, I felt scared, I felt withdrawn and low on energy. I lost that spark and fun playfulness with my family. I was no longer present and reveling in the deliciousness of what was all around me. This is the power of F.E.A.R. It has such a strong vortex that it will totally distort your present situation. How many times have you been lying in bed at night, all snug and cozy under the doona, your head on a soft pillow, your present moment totally safe, warm and nurturing, and yet you are off in some future event that totally removes you from the now? Your whole physiology shifts. You can’t sleep, your heart races, your skin crawls, you get hot, uncomfortable and you are deprived of sleep? Sound familiar?
Unless you are being attacked by a sabre tooth tiger or a marauding tribe, there is a good chance that your present moment, that is, what your senses have to offer you, is absolutely fine and beautiful. Most of our fear-filled scenarios never actually happen and yet we spend so much of our time in our mind projecting into the future.
So how did I deal with this F.E.A.R.? Firstly, meditation. This technique holds the key to being present. The simple repetition of your a mantra will quieten that busy mind and settle it back into the present. Secondly, outside of my meditation, I brought more attention to what my senses were detecting. What was I hearing right now? What was I seeing right now? What was I tasting right now? What was I smelling right now? What was I feeling right now? By bringing my attention to my senses it brought me back to the present. I went from these imaginary scenarios in the future that were totally unreal, back to Fiji, back to the paradise around me.
Aaah, the simplicity and lightness of right now. Out of the mind and in the senses, in the NOW. Free from F.E.A.R. I was in heaven again. Heaven on Earth.
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