The Good Fear And The Bad Fear

February 1, 2012 by  
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Photo by Angie Rubin

Fear is often debilitating but it doesn’t have to be so.

In its “pure” form fear is an instinctual response to potential danger. It is a “good” fear because it gets our senses focused, our pupils dilated, our muscles tightened.  We get ready to fight or flight.

But fear should never be our reaction to experiencing new things. It should not send us into an anxiety attack with the mere thought of us stepping outside our routine or our comfort zone.  When that happens, it is a real shame, because trying something new is the surest way to expand our knowledge and emotional existence. Without risk, without something new the world and we would still be in the caves.

Think of how excited we get when we receive a gift without knowing what it is inside of the package.  The excitement is often greater than the actual gift.  The anticipation where all of our senses come together to imagine what the gift is, is what keeps us vibrant and alive.  Not risking, being afraid of trying something new is like never wondering what is inside of the gift box.

Taking risks – not talking about jumping off a plane without a parachute – forces us to focus, learn and stretch our wisdom.  But many of us equate risking or trying something new with the possibility of losing everything or of putting what we worked so hard for in jeopardy. But without taking risks, without experiencing something new we become passive passengers on our own journey.  We stop making decisions and instead hope nothing will happen.

But if we want to feel energized and curious it is imperative that we balance our fears with the excitement for the new. So how do we do that?

  • Give some thought to the new endeavor/experience remembering the answer you are looking for is not necessarily should we do it or not, but if we do it, will this be of benefit to my life?  To better answer that, imagine what your life will feel like by going through this experience.
  • Once you decide to try something new, take one step at a time.  Like a mountain climber you shouldn’t keep looking at the peak.  It can be overwhelming. Instead think about the next step you need to take. Look at what is right ahead of you.
  • If anxiety hits, remind yourself you have thought through the risks and decided the process of going through the change was worth it.  Then take a deep breath and again think how exciting it is going to be to try something new and how great it will be to achieve your goal.

Once you get used to putting your fear in check, taking risks, growing, changing, will be as exciting as having the greatest ice-cream at a most beautiful beach.

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Can You Afford To Be Vulnerable?

June 2, 2011 by  
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My father is in the hospital.  He’s 86 years old.  But this post is not about his health issues but about the changes that I have noticed in my emotional response.

Before my husband passed away, I wore a thick protection around my heart.  By no means I was cold, but I behaved tough and decisive.   The truth is I had so much love in me that I was afraid to feel it all.  I was afraid of what it would do to me.  So I took on a posture; life is tough and I am tough.

Now there is a great difference between being tough and being strong.  Tough as mentioned before is a posture. Strength is the result of lessons learned and wisdom acquired.

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Learning About Forgiveness To Better Our Lives

December 24, 2010 by  
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Reading the Huffington Post today I came across the below post on forgiveness.  As I had written about it a couple of days ago, I thought maybe the “universe” was telling me I still had much to think and write about the subject.

Forgiving others is important because the anger we carry within towards others affects us in a negative way more than anybody else.  So we were not only wronged but now we are compounding the result but adding the toxic feeling of anger to our psyche.

I believe one of the reasons we stay stuck in anger, is our pride.  When we are wronged we think: how could they have done that to ME?  Followed by thoughts of; I didn’t deserve it, I’m such a giving person, I have done so much for him/her.  What we need to remember when these thoughts are coming up, is that the hurtful action had much more to do with the perpetrator than with us.  If someone has stabbed you in the back, it is not a reflection on who you are but it is a reflection on who the other person is and their emotional state.

We also have to remember that everyone has their own emotional limitation.  People, who invest time and energy into getting to know themselves, have less of a limitation simply because we are willing to look at our short-comings.

Forgiving others doesn’t mean blessing their actions.  It means making the decision that we don’t want to be victimized a second time.

Next time you feel wronged acknowledge the feeling and try to express it to the person who has hurt you.  If that is possible and a good result can come from sharing how you feel, then forgiveness can follow through.  But if the other person is not open to hear or they can’t deal with the truth, that’s okay.  Remember the process is about you. Realize you can’t change the other person so all that’s left for you is to let your anger go. It takes a strong person to forgive.

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The Power of Releasing Resentment: A Holiday Gift To Yourself And Others

by Judith Orloff MD

“If I stayed angry at other people, I would miss finding friends among those I was angry with.”
–Rosa Parks, from an interview in “Positive Energy“  Continued….

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Strengthen Your Ego And Find Freedom

October 21, 2010 by  
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Angie Rubin

When our ego is strong and healthy we are no longer vulnerable to other people’s agendas.  We realize that judging other’s worth by such measures as youth, physical appearance, success, money or power is just plain silly.

We know a person’s worth and their journey are complex.  It is the sum of our past, present and future.  And it is our dignity, kindness, strength of character put into practice.

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Slow Down And Remember What Really Matters

October 13, 2010 by  
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I had dinner last night with a new friend who at age 20 had cancer and lost her leg to it.  She has since gotten married and had a daughter who is now 21 years old.

We talked about having experienced the power of life’s sudden changes.  I lost a husband, she lost a leg.  But instead of us becoming fearful creatures we have both understood that life needs to be lived completely and every day.

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Surviving Life’s Low Points

August 26, 2010 by  
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Today is my fourth wedding anniversary.   I am here but my husband isn’t.  We actually only got to commemorate our first wedding anniversary.  Chris passed away nine days before our second.

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Reminder: Do Not Judge

July 23, 2010 by  
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In my neighborhood of Silver Lake, California, until Wednesday (7/21/2010) lived a doctor Marc Abrams who was known as the “Walking Man”.

Marc was a famous fixture in my neighborhood of eclectic people.  He walked 20-30 miles a day as well as swam for hours on a daily basis.  Until last year he practice medicine and once upon a time he had been my late husband’s doctor.

Marc walked with a purpose and if you had a burning medical question rather than get on the phone and wait for a return call, you just needed to drive around until finding him and then get out of the car and walk with him.  He gave you all the time in the world as long as you kept up with him.

No one would ever think Marc would commit suicide.  Of course the entire neighborhood knew something had to be off but no one thought Marc would stop walking by his own accord.

Reading about his suicide again made me think none of us know what truly goes on each other’s heart and how each one of us processes information.  Every day I remind myself to be less judgmental and more accepting as who knows what battles have been waged that have allowed any of us  to be standing here?

Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.  ~Turkish Proverb

RIP Marc.

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Fostering Meaningful Faith

June 16, 2010 by  
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Doubt is a pain toFlowers Carolina 2o lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains…. But it can put mountains where there are none.  ~Friedrich Nietzche, Human, All Too Human, 1879

I don’t want to write about religious faith.   But I do want to shine a light in the voice within that believes in our abilities to recreate ourselves, achieve our goals, and find contentment when there is no evidence of any of it.

I woke up this morning with much on my mind.  I’m busy with work and have been going through a lot of personal changes that have brought a certain anxiety to the foreground.

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Why You Should Love Yourself

April 25, 2010 by  
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If you want to have a loving relationship with a partner, you must start by loving yourself.  I know we all have heard that plenty of times but the reason for that is that it’s the absolute truth.

1. Loving who we are creates power and strength.

If all is do is try to get people to like you, you’ll come off as needy and desperate. This is a bad position to put yourself in. Because loving and respecting yourself goes hand in hand with people loving and respecting you.

2. People like people who like themselves.

Loving yourself is sooooooo attractive.  People like to be with others that love and appreciate who they are.

3. Emotional Stability.

If you love yourself you don’t need someone else’s validation.  Period.

4. Life becomes easy.

When you love yourself, you have nothing to hide.  You are happy with whom you are and so dealing with others is easy.  You don’t have to work at it because you are fine and doing well.

5. You’re happy today.

When you love yourself, you are your best friend and so you are always looking for ways to have fun and be happy today.  You don’t sit at home waiting for someone to rescue you while postponing being happy.

So how can we start to love ourselves?  Next post :)

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Sadness

August 14, 2009 by  
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As you know, you people that read my blogs daily tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my husband’s passing.

This has been a strange week.  A couple of Chris’ friends, who I had not met before, contacted me through Facebook when they realized it was a year since his passing.  They wanted to share how they had met Chris and one of them even included an anecdote about Chris which had me laughing.  I also got a prayer from someone I had helped a while back.

Today in my boot camp class my Argentine teacher who is always teasing me asked: “Brazil, are you okay?  You’re so quiet you almost seem like another person.”

I’m sad, and sadness makes me quiet and introspective. So I thought I should write about sadness and try to turn some of it into something positive.

First what is sadness?  According to many psychology books sadness is a natural emotion that usually accompanies loss; loss of a love, a person, an opportunity. 

What to do about sadness? Feel it, embrace it. If unfelt will just stay in our array of unresolved trauma knots.  Sadness also allows us to get in touch with our deeper selves and with the things that really matter to us.

Why is that sometimes we avoid feeling the sadness? Maybe some of us are afraid that if we feel the sadness and its accompanying partners, grief and crying, we will never come out of the hole. Or maybe we fear that others will judge us weak.

In my own experience there is great strength in pain and there is great wisdom in sadness. Of course I’m not advocating for anyone to go out there and purposely find pain and sadness to achieve strength and wisdom because trust me it isn’t necessary. The truth is; pain and sadness will come to us, on their own accord, at different times in our lives. 

What I’m saying is that when pain and sadness happen to us to honor their existence.  From them we learn that we survive most situations as well as the value of happiness. 

I also think there is great strength in being vulnerable, in being human.  When we are sad and vulnerable we tell the world that we are strong enough to experience your humanity without fear.  That’s strength.

So today I’m staying quiet and am allowing my sadness to have the room it needs to express itself.

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