Sometimes a mere wisp of a sentence will wiggle and dance itself directly in front of me singing, “Write about me!” Well, it happened while reminiscing over Woodstock footage featuring Crosby, Stills and Nash. My nostalgic, poetic heart thrilled to hearing “Fear is the lock.”
Fear can lock our body from fully living. Given our current world, fear has been nagging from center stage in many lives. At the root of fear is the negative expectation of loss. Many fear the loss of health or life of themselves or loved ones due to Covid-19. Hungry folks fear another day without a meal. The unemployed fear not finding a job and losing their home. Those in the workforce fear losing their job. People plagued with flames, floods or wind fear the loss of their home or life. The wealthy fear losing their resources. What is a person to do?
I am no stranger to fear. Eleven years ago, I passed through the dark night of my soul. Our son was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Knowing this was one of the most horrific diagnoses to hear, my body began shutting down. As I was so afraid of losing our son, I felt tense, withdrawn and tearful. I could not force my body to eat or sleep normally. I began losing weight and shedding hair. This is my healing journey. These are the keys which released me out of my hellish fear.
ONE: EMPOWER OTHERS. Whenever it is possible, lift up another with whatever they are lacking.
The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed. Mahatma Gandhi
Our son endured the Whipple Procedure, losing parts of his pancreas, stomach, bile duct and small intestine. This surgical recovery caused him excruciating pain. Thanks to an open magazine I miraculously encountered prior to his surgery, I found an energy healing ad. I eventually explored four different methods with amazing results. I did earn certification in one. Not only did energy healing greatly ease his pain, but our son also believed it extended his life. He lived nearly seven years post diagnosis. This practice also served me in tremendously reducing my fear.
TWO: DWELL IN THE DIVINE. Spending time in prayer and studying holy readings has provided me with great comfort in my journey through religion and spirituality.
THREE: CREATE WITH THE ARTS. Making art, playing piano, singing, journaling, sewing, dancing, and writing poetry have all helped me in playing my way from fear to wellness. Your creative efforts do not even need an audience beyond yourself for it to work its magic.
FOUR: NURTURE WITH NATURE. Spending time out-of-doors is quite a healthful way to release tensions. The sunshine vitamin and fresh air are priceless. Walking among the majesty of trees and the wonder of wildlife does my body good. While we have no lions, tigers or bears, we do have plenty of squirrels, rabbits and raccoons. (I know you are waiting for me to say, “Oh my!”) I love to watch the gold finches, humming birds, mourning doves and cardinals, the turkeys, pheasants and eagles as well as many other makes and models of birds in our vicinity. Growing plants, both indoors and out, is grounding and counts as connecting with nature, too.
FIVE: FOCUS ON POSITIVITY. According to Eckhart Tolle, …what we resist persists. I found in focusing on my fearful what ifs, that the what ifs were more likely to happen. Concentrating on a positive thought or goal eases my mind and body. Ponder best case scenarios. This optimistic viewpoint includes practicing a news fast. I no longer expose myself to listening to the news. I do however, find headlines in print format preferable. Reading rather than listening allows me to bypass much of the drama. I can pick and choose what to investigate according to what I feel I can handle at the moment. Remember to throw your shoulders back, relax and smile!
SIX: INDULGE IN HEALTHY FOODS. The foundation of my diet consists of fresh (or frozen when out of season) fruits and vegetables, preferably organic and locally grown. For over four decades, nearly all the grains I’ve consumed have been 100% whole. Meat is more of a condiment than a main dish. In lieu of red meat I prefer poultry or fish. I do love beans, eggs, nuts, cheeses and whole milk plain Greek yogurt as protein sources. Unsweetened dried fruits rather than sugar satisfy my sweet tooth. (Shockingly, I sometimes treat myself to ice cream!) Butter as well as olive and coconut oils add the fats to my diet. For a very long time, I’ve noticed how much better my body feels if I eat foods that are closer to their natural state rather than processed. Portion control keeps me from feeling sluggish.
SEVEN: ENGAGE IN MEDITATION. I practice a couple kinds of meditation. It allows my thoughts to clear and permits a foundation of calm to permeate my being. Research has shown the brains of meditators grow additional grey matter in comparison to non-meditators. https://ncbi.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4777419
EIGHT: DELIGHT IN LAUGHTER. I am so fortunate I come from a funny family – we all enjoy a good belly laugh! Each of us did and do relish the comradery around our table and home, centered around this good-naturedness. Laughter can shake out fear. As Norman Cousins evidenced, our health can be immeasurably improved with humor. He, with the cooperation of his doctor, prescribed regular doses of humor from Marx Brother’s films, the television series, Candid Camera, as well as the book, Subtreasury of American Humor by E.B. White. By his efforts, he mentally cured his terminal, painful and immobilizing illness. https;//sites.google.com/site/laughofflife/page-1
NINE: SOAR INTO EXERCISE. Movement of the body is critical to preventing an emotion such as fear from lodging in our bodies. My favorite exercise is qigong, along with a few yoga stretches. Practicing this for a mere ten minutes a day for over ten years has given me more stamina than I had three decades ago. If I skip a day, I feel achy. That alone is encouragement enough to continue my practice. When I desire more aerobic movement, I love to take a walk down to our pond.
TEN: INVITE TALK THERAPY. If you feel you need further help, consider discussing your fear issues with a health professional. Alternatively, a trusted friend or family member could make a great sounding board. Even our fur-babies are good listeners and more than likely will not divulge your deepest secrets. An added bonus with a pet session is that stroking their fur is mutually beneficial.
Perhaps adopting one or more of these keys could unlock any fears you may be harboring within your body. If you are fortunate enough to carry a natural immunity to fear, all these keys are extremely conducive to achieving general good health as well.
Oh, you may be wondering, which Crosby, Stills and Nash song contained the lyrics, “fear is the lock”? All of you smart, hippy dudes and dudettes know it as “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”!
Intriguingly, following the group singing their set, one of them announced to the 1969 Woodstock crowd of over four hundred thousand that this was only their second time of performing in front of a live audience. They exclaimed they were “scared sh–less”!
I have my doubts if any of them still suffer from stage fright, but if they did, maybe these keys could unlock their fear!