Be Where You Are
The true nature of fear is purposeful. Fear warns you and provides a way to
access your past experiences to make good choices to avoid harm. You step back
when you see a speeding car before crossing the street or you run away if physically
But that’s different from psychological fear. This type of fear has
no concrete, imminent danger. It calls to you, off in the future somewhere,
a vague harbinger of misfortune.
This kind of fear creates a gap. You are here…and the fear of something,
anything is out there somewhere. That gap can become wide and yawning, holding
a boatload of dread and anxiety. You can’t resolve it because you can
never grab hold of it. This fear is a phantom constructed by the mind. And
it robs you of your life.
The only sane response is to close the gap between now and a nonexistent then.
Easier said than done you say…and you are right. The solution is simple,
but not necessarily easy. It requires discipline and practice to bring your
attention to the here and now, where you truly live.
One way to get started is simply to pay attention to your breathing. Notice
what your breath feels like as it enters and leaves the body…the inhalation
of your lungs, the rising of your chest, the release of letting go. Your breath
can immediately bring you into the present because it is always happening in
Next become aware of your surroundings. Press your feet on the floor to the
count of three. Release to a count of three and repeat.
Look closely at what is around you, and notice what you see. For example, pick
out three things that are green, three things that are square, three things
made of wood.
Now listen. See if you can name three sounds, near or far away.
Now ask yourself, “Am I safe in this moment, right
If the answer is yes, as it most often will be, realize that what you’ve
just done is close that anxiety gap. Bringing yourself into the present is
the only way to do that. And in the present you have choices. In the present
you have power.
Trying to grab hold of slippery “what ifs” squanders enormous
energy, leaving you too exhausted to meet life at your best.
But when you are present to the here and now, your energy and resources increase
exponentially, allowing you meet challenges with wisdom and grace.
Until next time