Choosing Love Over Fear
Two tools to help you stop playing small
Though we have myriad emotions that pervade our every day, two are at the source of all — love and fear. And when we live in one we cannot experience the other.
“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
It’s kind of mind-blowing when you think about it. Love and fear. When we live in one we cannot experience the other. I feel this truth in my bones.
In which do you live more? Love or fear? I’m pondering this question in my own life. I still don’t know where the balance lies, but I’m recognizing seemingly small consistent patterns that are fear-based …
- Feelings of not knowing enough
- Shutting down instead of speaking up
- Feeling inadequate, less than
- Choosing inaction over action
- Incessant worry: what if I fail? what if I look stupid? what will they think of me?
- Playing small
Do you recognize any of those in yourself? How do they make you feel? Seriously stop. How do they make you feel? The answer is in the body more than the mind, but using tools that bridge the two can clarify your answers …
Unlocking fear, I’m finding, is about taking all experience to the level of the body. Feeling the body from the inside out. When we say no but mean yes, how does it make us feel? Our deeper truths are in the body. Most of the mind we are using isn’t discerning — it’s fear-based. It’s ego. The truth is you are far more powerful than you believe. The ego wants you to believe otherwise.
We come at nearly every decision of our lives through the mind, and yet we live in a body. Look around. The average human body is eight heads tall. Weird, I know. I looked it up. The point is, our heads are only a fraction of the size of the rest of our bodies.
Sooooo, shouldn’t we include the body in the decisions we make? Ummmm, yes!
There are lots of body-based meditations available. Somatic meditation is a practice I’m just getting acquainted with, and I’m sad I didn’t find it sooner. As a person with an overactive brain, all of the other meditations I tried didn’t work well for me. I became frustrated. I couldn’t keep a consistent practice.
But somatic meditation is a gift. It helps me develop a stronger sense of my body and how it feels in any given moment.
Does this feel right? Yes or no?
How does this thought/decision feel in my body?
If it doesn’t feel right to the body then what are we doing to the body?
An answer always comes when checking in with self this way. It only requires we get quiet, slow down, and pay attention.
‘The Work’ of Byron Katie
Using the mind in a discerning way can also be helpful. The key is to use the mind instead of letting the mind use you. ‘The Work’ can help you change your way of thinking, moving you from fear to love. Just four questions. Deeply profound.
- Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
Do the work with a trusted friend, knowledgable facilitator, or journal your responses to see them from a witness point of view. Regularly watching yourself, your thoughts and reactions is a great learning tool.
We all have gifts. Life is about finding — and using them — for the benefit of others.
If we live in fear, in the “I don’t know enough” mindset, what outcome does that bring?
And if you think of things from a big picture perspective, where would humanity be if Einstein played small?
Thanks for reading. Did you enjoy? Please tap the 💚 to recommend it to others. Namaste …
ABOUT & OFFERINGS
Hi! I’m Heather, a writer and yoga educator from SE Ohio. I share daily-ish here as part of my spiritual practice, and am working on my first book, Yoga Prayers. Download the first 25 pages, A Prelude to Yoga Prayers, for a brief introduction into yoga history and philosophy — and let me know what you think!