I’ve been coming up against fear lately. I’m not talking about feeling a little anxious or concerned. I’m actually talking about pure terror and it’s not for a reason that may make sense to you.
You see, I’m not usually a fearful person. Many people who know me well would probably tell you I’m one of the least fearful people they’ve ever met. I’m the one out there on the edge, taking risks. But I’m not talking about physical risks like base jumping. I’m talking about emotional and personal risks that put myself out there; pushing my personal boundaries and jumping in where angels fear to tiptoe, that sort of thing. You see, being completely and wholly myself is incredibly important to me but the downside (for want of a better word) is that I am often left exposed emotionally and quite vulnerable. I feel compelled to ‘go there’, move forward and expand who I am but in order to do so, I often have to prise my own fingertips from the window ledge and allow myself to freefall, not knowing where I will land.
Recently the Universe has been pushing me to go to the edges of my comfort zone again and it’s been bringing up fear, big time. From being asked to perform in my Latin dance class in front of other dancers (and in the future, public audiences), to really going for it in my business and some other challenges, I’ve been feeling incredibly exposed.
How can dancing in front of my class make me feel terrified when I can confidently get up in front of a more than 100 people and present (and enjoy it!)? I know it doesn’t make sense. But it’s true. As I said to one of my classmates, “I’m not talking about something rational.” Fear is never rational.
When I shared my fears with my sister she suggested I need to do the things I’m terrified of and there’s a reason the Universe is sending these things my way.
The irony of her comments did not escape me as it’s the kind of advice I usually give to other people.
One of the most interesting things about my fear is observing how I respond when it comes up. In short, every part of me goes into resistance and a range of emotions riot at the surface. The anger, resentment and sometimes tearfulness I feel at being pushed to do something every part of me is resisting is extreme. I want to run from the room immediately, yell or nail my feet to the floor so they can’t move me.
It’s such an over-the-top reaction that it would be amusing, if I wasn’t experiencing it. I also know that such a radical response definitely warrants further investigation because it is blocking my progress forward in some way. In my experience, this type of response usually covers something that needs to come to the surface and be released.
Everyone has fears and you don’t have to do the thing you’re scared of. I’m certainly not going to commit to dancing in front of others just yet. But I am committed to closely looking at the fear it brings up and then taking steps to resolve it.
Perhaps you may see me in a public dance performance yet.
Lucretia is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who helps women move past their fears and connect to their inner truth. Her personalised intuitive mentoring programs help women reclaim their Intuitive Power and Live Their Soul’s Mission. Contact Lucretia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also find more of her work onFacebookandInstagram
Fear is the silent stalker that stifles creativity, achievement and our ability to rise up and take our rightful places as the change makers in our communities. It suffocates our enthusiasm, plays into the hands of our detractors and prevents us from serving at a much higher level.
Where does it come from this fear? Is it something we create inside ourselves as a self-protective mechanism born of our egoic mind? Or is it simply absorbed into our souls from external environments, the messages we’re exposed to and the people we learn from?
When you witness a young child climbing trees, swinging from a rope, running barefoot through the grass or simply spinning in circles in a field because it’s fun, there is no fear there. In fact, children in everyday normal life usually don’t feel fear at all. They trust. Fear is something they’re taught through the words and actions of others.
“Don’t do that, you might get hurt,” we warn them as they put their hand carelessly near the flames. And that message is fine. Our destruction by fire is something we should avoid so the lesson is eventually learned and it’s a useful one.
But what about the other fears we teach children and even teach each other. The messages parents tell their children like, “Don’t stand out too much, you need to fit in and make friends” and “Always try to get along with everyone” are fine on one level, they really are. But why is the truth that some people will never like you no matter what you do or say, so unpalatable. And do we really always need to try and get along with everyone? Because if we do that, then we’re always going to be conforming to what other people are comfortable with and this is unlikely to lead to our ultimate happiness. Right?
This is a fear of being who we are.
Our governments propagate our fear, insidiously. “Those people are a threat and shouldn’t be trusted,” we’re told about men, women and children who seek our protection from war and persecution.
Or, “They’re taking advantage of our system” we’re told of people who can’t get jobs and the majority of whom feel humiliated at seeking government assistance to pay their bills.
This is a fear of others taking what we have.
Then culturally we’re told, “The answer is out there!” It’s in technology so scroll through those electronic screens day and night and you will find the answers. Don’t stop and be quiet, alone with your thoughts. No! Fill your waking hours pulled inexorably into the world ‘out there’ and leave your own creative space behind. Soon enough you become uncomfortable with silence, with stillness and with nothingness. You must always be doing, watching someone or something else.
We become fearful of a life without distraction.
Eventually we don’t want to stand out too much, we want everyone to like us, we believe that strangers who don’t look like us and don’t believe what we do want to take something from us, and we can’t be still with our own thoughts.
What chance does our inner voice have then? Where is your intuition then? Where is the Universe’s opportunity to send you guidance then?
It’s squashed. It struggles. It slides to the edge of oblivion.
Fear, if permitted, takes over and leaves nothing in its wake but conformity and loss of consciousness.
How do we bring ourselves back from the brink?
We can begin by recognising that fear has become our driver in the first place and if it’s at the wheel of our car then we need to kick it out. Fear is never going to show us peace or happiness or fulfillment. It’s like a drunk driver – dangerous, with any vestiges of self-awareness drowned out by liquor.
Recognise it’s something we’re taught and absorbed. Then question it.
Acknowledge that we are all different and not all of us are going to ‘like’ or agree with each other – and that’s okay.
Know that in order to follow your calling you’re going to have to stand out and sometimes it will be uncomfortable. Some will try to pull you back into the status quo – resist the pull.
When we’re told that someone is a threat and seeking to take something from us, we need to come back into our hearts and ask is that really true. Or are we being fed a fallacy to manipulate and separate us from other human beings who are just in a tough or desperate situation that they don’t know how to escape from.
And finally we need to regain that balance between the external world and our internal one. We need to stop fearing the silence and instead, embrace it. We need to remember that our creativity and our ability to see opportunities and gain fulfillment begins first with our connection to ourselves and our inner voice. From there everything grows.
Are you ready to stop the fear and begin your real journey?
Lucretia Ackfield is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who seeks to empower women to create change and serve humanity. Her program, No I’m Not a Weird Hippie Chick, helping women to develop and manage their intuitive gifts so they can step into their Calling and live their Purpose. You can follow her on Instagram @noimnotaweirdhippiechick or join her Facebook group Rock Your Inner Channel for insights about being psychic and living in the mainstream world.
Today’s blog might be a bit controversial. I’m about to venture forth into a space I’ve only skirted around up until now. But I can’t stay silent about it any longer. I. Just. Can’t.
Because it’s getting worse and I’m seeing it a lot. Friends and acquaintances succumbing. Dropping like flies as we say in Australia. Their connection to self so broken that they will avoid their inner voice so they can just keep doing what they’re doing. So they can just keep going to keep everyone else happy; so they can maintain the status quo.
I’m not about the status quo. So I’m going to say it. And I’m sorry if it offends but it’s not my intention. Instead I just want to shine a light on something that’s getting worse. Here goes…
It’s Valium. It’s sleeping tablets. It’s the anti-depressants doled out like candy at the corner store. Women medicated to block out the sound of their soul whimpering to be heard.
I’m sorry if I’m being obtuse. Let me be more specific. Sometimes women are medicating themselves because it’s easier than standing in their power and owning their inner voice that is yelling for more. More than ‘this’ – whatever ‘this’ is for you.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-medication. I spent about a decade on anti-depressants in my 20s and early 30s. I saw psychiatrists and counselors at the same time. I was frequently a miserable, anxiety-ridden, tear-sodden mess. I had no idea who I was and I was sensitive to everyone else’s energy around me too. No one had ever shown me how to connect to my inner voice, the one that kept jumping up and down and causing all that anxiety because it wanted me to know there was ‘more’. No one ever told me that maybe I should ask if the feelings I felt were mine or were being picked up from the person next to me.
No one ever showed me how to trust my own judgement and then let the cards fall where they may.
So I was medicated. I chose it. Just like you’re medicated now. Yes, you; the beautifully gifted woman who is reading this blog post. I was you! I thought it was the best way, the only way to function, to be normal. And it did help, for a while. Kind of. But it wasn’t a long-term fix. It never could be. Not for me.
So what am I going on about then? Am I saying mental illness isn’t real? No, I’m definitely not saying that.
Am I saying that people shouldn’t take medication when they need it? No, I’m not saying that either. Sometimes medication is part of the solution that will keep you sane.
But when you have anxiety and you don’t sleep, I’m suggesting that maybe, just maybe, we’re culturally trained to be in too much of a hurry to muffle those emotions that are rising up and causing our disquiet.
When a woman tells me she wakes in the middle of the night for no reason because she feels like she’s forgotten something important and then, when it happens repeatedly for months, she medicates to block it out, I really feel there’s something wrong.
When another woman tells me her anxiety is out of control and her first response is to get medication to shut it up, but she’s not looked underneath to see what’s caused it, and she just wants to keep going because she ‘has to’, I really feel there’s something wrong.
When another one tells me her psychologist advises her not to meditate (which is simply the act of being present with yourself), I really feel there’s something wrong.
If we cannot ‘be’ with ourselves then there is a reason. And the reason in so many of the examples I hear is because women are not allowing themselves to ‘be’ with themselves. That disquiet we’re feeling, the anxiety that overtakes our minds and paralyses us is caused by our bodies trying to tell us something. It’s a response with a message and that message comes from deep within. It’s our soul telling us, ‘Hey, there’s something you need to look at here.’ Yet too often our response, our culturally-conditioned response is, ‘I can’t stop and listen to that voice. I can’t peer under those layers because I don’t have time. I have to keep going. I have to keep doing, doing, doing. I have to look after everyone else.’
So we medicate.
It breaks my heart. It makes me angry. It makes me feel despairing. When our first recourse is to medicate rather than heed our inner voice, I believe that is a tragedy. Because your inner voice is worth listening to. It’s yours. It’s trying to tell you something. But when you medicate unnecessarily you muzzle the messenger.
Do you remember that scene from the Wizard of Oz with the flying monkeys? I can’t remember all the details but I do remember the absolute terror they created within me. I still can’t watch that movie as an adult for the same reason. If I was to put an image with my feelings of fear about something, I’d have to say those flying monkeys epitomise what it looks like. Fear is an ever-present resident in my psyche and can serve as a both a catalyst for positive change and an epic destructor of what could be possible in my life. I am as familiar as anyone with its capacity to help create and decimate.
The adrenalin of facing fear and ‘doing it anyway’ has helped me take massive steps forward in my life. Standing in front of my first-ever class of university students four years ago, I was overflowing with fear.
‘What if I say the wrong thing? What if I’m a terrible tutor? I just want to get this right!!!’ My internal voice of fear screamed hysterically.
But I was determined to face the fear and ‘do it anyway’. Nowadays, when asked about my teaching, I say it is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing parts of my life where I get to help people on their path. Imagine if I’d let my fear vanquish my desire to teach? I would never have met all the amazing students I’ve had the honour to work with.
I haven’t always been quite so successful at facing down the flying monkeys. Recently, I found myself in a situation that pushed all my boundaries and insecurities, and fear had a field day. It was like the closet door swung open so violently it almost ripped off the hinges and a horde of flying monkeys poured forth and kept coming until the sky was darkened and the light was almost gone. All those fears I thought I’d dealt with or buried came out to play their vicious games in my present.
It was awful and, as I felt myself in the grip of those monkeys’ claws, my behaviour deteriorated. I was not my best self in the situation and afterwards I felt so very ashamed because I hurt not only me but also someone I cared about.
Mortified and yes, shocked at myself, I slunk away to lick my wounds and regroup.
As I reflected on the situation and sought the counsel of some wise friends over the following days, I came to some realisations about what had happened and the role of fear in my life in general.
Firstly, and quite obviously, fear had taken over my mind that day and I needed to take a good look at all the emotions and memories it had flung into the present. Then I needed to make peace with them and let them go. I needed to acknowledge that while they had taught me a lot, they had no place in present day or in the current situation.
Secondly, I needed to recognise that while the other person’s behaviour had upset me, it wasn’t their fault they had triggered my fears. My response to the situation was my responsibility and, if I’d responded in another way, things might have been resolved a lot more easily and calmly. That’s the ‘downside’ of self-development because invariably and inevitably you have to take ownership of your own role in life rather than place the blame at the feet of someone else.
Thirdly, I owed the person involved a huge and unequivocal apology (which I communicated as soon as possible).
And finally, I understood something fundamental about fear itself. You see, we all have fears and sometimes situations and the behaviours of others are going to trigger those fears in a big way because at those moments you’re being pushed to take a great leap forward in understanding yourself. And you’re also being asked to recognise and release the fears that have been holding you back from where you could be. That place you ‘could be’ is your present where amazing things are right in front of you if only you choose to claim them. But in doing so you must leave the fears of the past behind; you cannot take them with you. It’s by recognising your fears then choosing to let them go that you can create something magical. If you let them take over, you are simply allowing them to decimate what is possible.
Above all, as one wise friend put it, the most important thing to remember when fear rises is, ‘They’re just flying monkeys’.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Benjamin Mee, We Bought A Zoo.
The sponsor of today’s blog is Fear. I’ve known Fear for a long time now and I daresay he’d be pissed off to know that I’m using his name to bring my version of light and hope into the world. Nevertheless, that’s what I’m doing tonight.
I’ve chosen Fear because he’s a strong motivator. He is the motivator who creates…nothing. He’s the one who stops us in our tracks and prevents us going for what we truly want.
Often the only thing between you and that thing you want is Fear. Fear of success. Fear of failure. Fear of what other people will think. Fear of looking foolish.
I know Fear and all his versions intimately. Fear has circled my psyche for decades. He’s created cracks in my dreams and sucked my confidence many times. He’s insidiously perpetrated destructive crimes when I’ve least expected it and invited his close friends Procrastination and Self-doubt into my house when my back was turned.
He hides behind the furniture and jumps out, scaring the heck out of me. He also loves to lurk in those dark recesses of my mind that become a little too overactive late at night. Fear is a stalker who reappears just when I think he’s gone for good.
Sigh. I guess none of this is very uplifting, is it.
But here’s the thing. I’ve learned a lot about Fear over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no more of an expert than anyone else. But there are two things I’ve learned after all this time.
Firstly, Fear isn’t worth a damn and you should never let him come between you and that thing you want. Go for it. Just try. Even the attempt will create something. It may be an outcome you didn’t even know you wanted. It could be everything you want and more. You won’t know unless you give it a go (should that be a bumper sticker??). Your attempt may even propel you past what you thought was possible and into something truly amazing that you never expected.
The second thing I know about Fear is this: most of the time he’s just there to f!uck with your head. Yes, I know it is also a protective mechanism, etcetera, etcetera. But seriously, most of the time it just wants to f!uck with you. Fear wants you to doubt yourself. Fear wants to stop you taking that step into the unknown. Fear wants you to stay right where you are because it’s safe (even if you are miserable in that place where you stand right now). That’s Fear’s job.
It takes Courage to look Fear in the eye and kick its backside out of the way. Courage must come from deep, deep inside you. Courage can’t be learned from someone else. Courage comes solely from you, and you alone. Courage resides in every single one of us.
Courage is an instigator and brings her two close friends, Change and Creation along for the ride. Courage can vanquish Fear any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
So my wish…no, my intention for the end of 2015, is to harness Courage. My desire is to take her hand and allow her to pull me through Fear (who is merely a hologram) so I can reach what I truly desire. I want to live fearlessly. I’m asking the Universe to help me with Courage for all parts of my life. I want her to seek out Fear wherever he hides and send him packing.
Courage will be my sponsor in 2016. She’s the one I’m going to look to. She’s the one who will help me create the life I want.
Am I nervous about this intention? Heck, yeah. But Fear has had the upper hand for far too long.
A while ago I saw something I wanted and I went for it. It was tantalisingly close so I reached out and…found my hand grasping at thin air. What I thought was there had disappeared. Actually, it was still there but had moved out of my reach. So I moved forward and reached out again, but the same thing happened. The pattern kept repeating and each time I became more and more desperate to hold that thing just out of my reach.
At the time I thought I was following my heart. After all, that’s how I always try to live – following my heart. But in hindsight, I realise that while I started off that way, in the end I was following my fear.
When your heart tells you to go for something, you should put all your attention there. We know worthwhile things in life often don’t come easily and there is effort and attention required.
But there is a tipping point between following your heart and falling into fear and then letting that guide your actions.
When you are truly in your heart and following your path (these two things are completely connected), there is a peace and surety that comes from that. When you are in that space you don’t fall into desperateness when that thing you desire starts moving in a different direction. Instead, you can stand exactly where you are and know it’s going to be okay because if it’s meant to be yours it will be.
It’s difficult for my brain to grasp and a challenge to articulate this concept, but bear with me.
The Universe responds to action and intention. So when you are following your heart you must act and have clear intention about the direction you wish to go and what you want.
However, sometimes what we want is not for us at that time. Or, sometimes that thing we’re chasing is simply part of a bigger lesson and we were never meant to reach that goal. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly see this at the time because we are in the zone of going for what our heart wants and where that leads us. Then when we feel it moving away, we panic. We get desperate. We are in pain. We feel rejected. Lost. And we wonder what went wrong. We ask ourselves, what else could I have done to change the outcome and achieve my heart’s desire?
This happens in our careers and it most certainly happens in our relationships with romantic partners.
While I’ve successfully grasped (pardon the pun) this lesson in my work-life, I certainly haven’t mastered it when it comes to my relationships with the opposite sex. My history is littered with stories of following my heart and then falling into desperation when they move away. It’s like a bad habit I can’t quit.
I’m all about the love you see. Love, love, love. So I follow my heart where it takes me and I try to trust it as much as possible.
Some people might call that naïve. That’s okay because I am a romantic optimist and I do look for the best rather than the worst in people and situations. I see all the wonderful possibilities. Is that naïveté when there are so many reasons to always expect the worst?
But, I’m getting off track now. The point of my post is this.
When you are following your heart you trust that things will work out as they’re supposed to. So, if something or someone persistently runs in the opposite direction away from you it is wise to stop, be still and ask if your behaviour in response to this is coming from your heart or egoic fear.
If you are acting from your heart you will do what you need to do while holding on to your self-respect, your values and your peace of mind. You will clearly state your intention to the Universe (and the people involved), do what you can (action), then step back and wait (listen to your heart).
If you find yourself pursuing something as it runs away, and you desperately grasp at and try to hold onto it, then you need to stop and recalibrate because you have fallen into fear and that will get you nowhere. However, fear will lead you to abandon your self-respect and often humiliate yourself (yes, that would be my voice of experience there).
If you are living from your heart there is no fear because you know everything is as it needs to be and you can only do what you can do to reach what you want. You can’t control the outcome (or the other people involved) and if desperation and fear start to kick in then you know you’ve definitely gone off track.