Is Fear Impacting Your Life?

Do you ever think about fear? Our society with all of its advances and “progress” is teeming with fear just below the surface. There are many examples of how fear is propagated. The daily news is filled with stories that spread fear whether it's wars, violence, ecologic catastrophes, financial market failures or evil acts. The news frames the world as a fear-based place.

The news media is one thing, but consider the phenomenon of the entertainment industry and the sheer volume of content steeped in darkness and fear. This entertainment is consumed on a massive scale and impacts us on some level.

Effectively, if you watch lots of news or stream lots of dark and foreboding content, you are literally consuming fear.

And more troubling is the two years we've spent steeped in fear as a new Coronavirus wreaks havoc on the world. We've witnessed the shutdown of the economy throwing people out of work, business closures and bankruptcies, and the death of so many people. Some of those deaths were experienced in complete isolation which is incredibly tragic. Living in these conditions has created palpable fear. The mental health of many has suffered.

And yet another pervasive fear factor is climate change. We are living in an era of unpredictable climate changes. We don't know how erratic weather patterns will impact us in the near and distant future. Whether you are conscientious about the environment or not, on some level these changes impact everyone exacerbating the amount of fear you live with.

I’m sure you have your own unique fear-based topics. One that I’m currently facing is my mother’s cognitive decline. Not knowing how her journey through the final stages of life will look like and what my role in this is, instills fear in me. I see the fear in her too as she grapples with the loss of independence and the knowledge that her end is near.

Yoga addresses fear head-on. It is central to the teachings The yoga tradition, in particular, the Yoga Sutras teaches that the mind has five afflictions that perpetuate suffering within you: ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion, and fear of death.

The fear of death impacts us all. To some degree, we all fear death. It is said that this fear underpins all other fears.

The Yoga Sutras prescribes how to address these afflictions. The torment caused by the fear of death is best resolved by meditation. Resting the mind is the route to a peaceful way of being and escaping the grip of fear. Starting a simple meditation practice will help face fear. I offer many meditation-focused practices in my membership. Why not check it out?

The tantra tradition on the other hand embraces all aspects of life and views experiences from a non-dual perspective. That is, everything is neither good nor bad, right or wrong, but simply is. Fear is an aspect of life everyone faces. Tantra says experience fear and learn from it.

For me, as a teacher and a practitioner of the yoga, tantra and Ayurveda traditions, I’ve seen fear play less of a role in my life over the years. With practice, including regular meditation, my mind no longer gets stuck in emotions, including fear. The emotions are experienced but then pass. This is the path to achieving greater balance and stability in your life.

If you are burdened by fear I recommend that you find and commit to regular practice. You need tools to overcome the pervasiveness of fear in our society. The importance of physical practice is more obvious, but the best results for dealing with these trying times and fear, in particular, are through breath work and meditation.

I welcome you to reach out if you are challenged by fear. I can help you explore practices that will benefit you.

Likewise, if you have a great solution for dealing with fear, I’d love to hear that too.

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