The Rise and Fall of Fear

Updated: Apr 8

Survival mode has us trying to hold on.

Peace says we are letting go.



You are not your brain, you have a brain. Contrary to popular belief, the brain does not control you, YOU control the brain. While our natural state is PEACE, the brain’s default setting is SURVIVAL. Fear is the brain's focus and filter and never has this been more apparent than in our current circumstances. The brain’s m.o. is to literally look for things to be afraid of so it can initiate safety protocols, and what we don't master within expands to the collective. When we are in fear we stop trusting ourselves, we abdicate our sovereignty and we seek comfort in being told what to do. Sound familiar? This is what is actually most dangerous to our survival.


We are deeply asleep at the wheel. If we keep letting our brain drive the bus, we are in for a very bumpy ride. Corona is giving us the highlights tour of the brain's most coveted and unsettling routes...


  • Fear of the future

  • Fear of change

  • Fear of the unknown

  • Fear of missing out

  • Fear for the body’s safety


We are at a moment of choice. We are the masters of our choice and we are accountable to their ramifications. We can lapse deeper into a fear coma and go careening off a cliff or we can shake ourselves awake, grab the wheel and slam on the f*%@’n brakes. We all get to decide for ourselves.


If you are open to change, the techniques that I am proposing to train your brain will feel really weird at first. In psychological lingo we refer to this as ‘ego-alien’. That just means we are doing something new, and we already know the brain hates change. Not only have we never driven a bus before, but the brain has no interest in being relegated to the rear and duct taped to the back seat. The brain will tantrum, making up a myriad of excuses to discount and dismiss these strategies. Stay alert and don’t make the mistake of asking the brain for tips on how to control the brain. Clearly there is a conflict of interest. Let’s begin….

TIPS FOR LEARNING TO DRIVE YOUR BUS


Body Barometer:


The brain has an annoying habit of accepting every thought it thinks as true. If this is not bad enough, it also accepts things others say to and about us as true as well. In twisted irony, we are particularly open to strangers’ negative evaluations of us while only being partially open their positive comments. We are also dismissive of compliments from those who love us and wide open to their criticism. It is not hard to see why social media is so consuming and crushing. Sadly, this undermining brain skew is conditioned, meaning taught and learned. Blessedly, we can override this programming by adding a safety gate letting in only the good and keeping the bad at bay.


The Practice:


  1. Before you believe anything that you say to yourself or believe what you hear from another, take a moment to pre-screen thoughts or comments by running them through your body and seeing how they feel.

  2. If a thought feels good in the body, it is true. Your perception is correct. Allow that thought to enter into your belief system.

  3. If a thought feels bad, it is not true. Your interpretation of what you are seeing/ hearing is incorrect. Reject it, knowing there is another way to perceive what is going on.


Examples:

  • There is nothing to worry about.

This feels so good to me - it is true - ACCEPTED.

(Advanced: It is not mandatory that I worry during this pandemic. I can choose to send/experience love instead)

  • I don’t deserve to be happy (while others are struggling)

This makes me feel horrible - it is not true - REJECTED.

(Advanced application - I deserve to be happy. People are struggling. One has nothing to do with the other. I can honor myself and my brother at the same time)



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Set it to Neutral:


Using previous experience as a guide, the brain categorizes everything into one of two categories: Good and Bad. This malfunction insures that what was is what will be, insuring that nothing new will happen. (Remember the brain likes 'same' and hates 'change'). To get out of this loop we must disable this categorizing function.


The Practice:


  1. In truth, nothing is inherently good or bad. Everything just IS.

  2. It is our interpretation of what is that determines our experience of it.

  3. Resetting everything to neutral, to its pre-interpreted state, interrupts the brains habits and and opens up new possibilities.

Examples:

  • Divorce is neither good not bad.

  • Illness is neither good nor bad

  • Death is neither good not bad.

It is imperative that you leave nothing out when doing this exercise. Again, the brain will be very uncomfortable with you overriding its categories. Indeed, it is counter-intuitive, counterculture, even internally blasphemous to say these things - but press on. Leave nothing out. Everything gets neutralized. If the brain starts saying nasty things to you about you - i.e. cold, crazy, unfeeling - run it through the BODY BAROMETER.


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Get Stupid:


The brain likes to have all the answers. In the absence of having the answers it will make them up and then cause us act on them as if they were true. This can get us deep into fear, especially in times like these. Amidst the COVID fear frenzy we can feel our brains thirsting for nuggets to incorporate, act on, and share with others in an effort to make them valid. Consensus, though, has nothing to do with validity.


Instead of indulging your brain in trying to predict the future, or opining on the latest existential question, GET STUPID. Let everyone in your life have their own experience rather than giving them the one you made up or saw on TV.


The Practice:


  1. Your favorite words are now: IDK.

Examples:


  • I don’t know what is going to happen.

  • I don’t know why this is happening.

  • I don’t know what is best.

  • I don’t know what to do.

  • I don’t know what I am feeling.

  • I don’t know what this is. (Fun fact: these statements are all usually true)

And some fun for the whole family… when asked where is the milk? or where are my socks?

  • I don’t know

The goal is to shut that brain down and stupidity will do it…. This disables its fear default and renders the brain rutterless. Analyzing, pontification, conjuring and predicting go offline and this brings YOU back online.


These brain training techniques are all controversial to the brain. They are all unbelievable to the brain. Remember, though, that we are training the brain, not listening to it or asking its opinion. These techniques disable the brains regularly scheduled programming and take you beyond the limitations of current thought and behavior.


If you have had enough of the fear, and who hasn't, this will be a no brainer. In moving forward, here are some tips. Don’t overachieve. As with all training, the more you train the better you will become at it. Try one at a time for a week then shift around. You can choose any order that feels good to you. Most of all…


Open your mind

Don’t think twice about it

Just do it!

Have fun with it

Allow yourself to be surprised!


If this has been helpful to you, please share it. If there is something that you would like to see addressed in a blog, please send over your ideas.


BE SAFE, BE WELL and BE HAPPY,


xoxo Jill