Fear, it's something we all don't want in our lives and yet it lurks in the shadows like a bad smell. Our aversion to fear is so intoxicating that we will do almost anything to avoid feeling it. And there are many weapons of choice available. Alcohol, drugs, food, sex, shopping, social media, gambling, TV, codependent relationships, the list goes on.
However something happened to me on the weekend that made me consider fear in a new light.
Breakdown or Breakthrough?
Last week I began a 4 week gastrointestinal cleanse (more will be revealed about that in another post, watch this space).
I had stuck to the program of taking the herbs, shake and probiotics and eating a raw food diet for 5 days straight. By Saturday the cleansing process had well and truly began and I was feeling emotionally flat – a common detox symptom.
So in my somewhat weakened emotional state I walked into the kitchen to prepare some lunch when I saw, sitting on the bench, a loaf of fresh Turkish bread. It wasn’t just any Turkish bread. It was THE Turkish bread from our local Turkish Takeaway joint. Possibly the best Turkish bread out there. But hey, I’m no expert.
Anyway, one whiff of the stuff and I became completely unhinged. My breath became shallow, my heart rate began to rise and all I could think about was having some of this Turkish bread instead of the salad and raw vegetable chilli I had waiting for me in the fridge.
I felt completely overwhelmed. I was so scared that I couldn’t resist this bread. I also began to panic about how this would completely ruin my cleanse. I even began considering just giving up the cleanse. Clearly I wasn’t ready for this yet. I still needed to heal my compulsive relationship with food more before I could go through with a cleanse like this
And then it hit me. I heard myself saying in my mind
“Nicola, it’s just a loaf of bread. You have tricked yourself into thinking that this inanimate object poses a serious threat to your life. You are not being chased by a tiger. You are simply having the thought that you would like to eat that bread. But nothing has actually happened. Nothing is happening right now other than that you are thinking.”
Sweet, sweet relief. In that moment I was able to take a few deep breaths, allow the feeling fear to pass and turn to the fridge to get out the lunch I had planned.
As I sat there eating my lunch I reflected on what I had just experienced and how I had handled it. During this contemplation I found the words ‘This too shall pass' dancing across my mind.
This one tiny idea then ignited a flash of inspiration for a new free gift for my newsletter subscribers. I'm not going to reveal much now but this idea has me so excited. So excited in fact that I began writing it that very afternoon.
As a side note, if you want to be the first to get you hands on it you can sign up to my list today. I'll also be sharing some sneak peeks with you in email during the creation process.
Clearing out the old to make room for the new
My experience on the weekend provided me with another reminder of why it's so important to feel and heal our fears instead of bottling them up and ignoring them. Fear is like a pollutant to our system that blocks our ability to receive and/or appreciate the good parts of life.
But once you burst just one little pocket of fear, you create an empty space in which inspiration, joy and love can fill.
By releasing my fear I created space for something new to come in. In this instance it was the inspiration for a great new free gift for my readers. At the same time it's also a gift for myself because I very much intend on using it once I have finished it. In fact I wish I had something like this from the start.
It really goes to show that everything you want really is on the other side of fear.
Now I'd love to hear from you. What are the tools/techniques/mindset shift reminders you use to cope with and move through fear? Post in the comments below.